Often times when homeowners think of an area that can attract dampness their minds instantly go to the basement, especially in the Indianapolis area, and the bathroom. Indeed both of these areas have a high aptitude to become somewhat damp throughout the year, but the most missed area would actually be the attic.
What are some concerns that homeowners should have about their attics throughout the constantly changing seasons?
The biggest concern in summer is heat. When extra heat build-ups under the roof deck it can cause your shingles to deteriorate much faster, sometimes cutting their life expectancy in half. In addition, your cooling system will have to work harder to keep your home comfortable. For example, when the temperature outside is 90° in the summer, attic temperatures can easily reach 120°-150°. This will make your air conditioning system stay on longer to keep the home cool, resulting in higher utility bills.
The main concern during the winter is moisture. When warm, humid attic air combines with cold outside temperatures it can lead to condensation, which can form on any cold wood surfaces, metal nail heads, chimney surfaces, ventilation pipes, and even in the insulation. This moisture will cause wood rot, deterioration of the brick on the chimney surfaces, and can eventually cause mold to grow if left wet for an extended period of time.
So what exactly can homeowners do to prevent any of these potentially catastrophic issues from happening in their home?
A great start to this would be to have a roof inspector come out to your home to investigate any possible trouble areas with your roof. However, if you prefer to be more of a DIY’er you can refer to a roof inspection checklist (one can be easily found in our previous blog posts!).
Here are some items you can be on the lookout for and consider updating if you are having damp issues in your attic:
- Missing, torn or broken shingles
- Cracked or missing caulk
- Rusted or missing flashing
- Rotted or torn rubber boots around pipes
- Wood rot or sagging areas
- Cracks in chimney or missing caps
- Gutters that aren’t securely attached
- Improper, or insufficient ventilation
- Missing, damaged, or insufficient insulation
By having your roof inspected, taking any of the preventative steps, and performing continuing maintenance on your roof will ensure that your attic will stay dry throughout the year and potentially lower some of your heating and cooling bills in the future.