No matter what area of the country you live in, chances are, your attic space isn't properly ventilated or insulated. Excess heat and moisture don't just make the space unusable; it could be damaging your home. Here are three reasons to have your attic assessed before summer kicks into full gear.
1. Reduce Moisture-Related Damage
In the cold, snowy climates typical in the northeast, upper Midwest, and the western mountainous states, attic ventilation is imperative to protect your roof from snow and ice damage. Many of the homes found in these areas use wood as their primary or supplementary heat source. Wood heat makes the home warm and cozy, which is a good thing, but when that heat rises to an improperly vented attic, you could end up with a mess on your roof.
By the time the heat reaches your attic, you no longer need it. Rather than getting trapped in the attic, you want it to head outdoors. This will keep your roof cold. If your roof doesn't stay cold, the snow will begin melting. This can create heavy ice dams that can get caught in your roof's valleys or suddenly slide of, or they will drip and form huge icicles; this can cause your roof leaks. Melted snow and ice could also result in a roof collapse and your gutters will tear off the roof from the weight of snow sliding down.
In warmer climates, excess moisture in your attic can result in mold and mildew getting a foothold. The moisture can also cause the wood to rot, which makes an ideal place for carpenter ants, dampwood termites, and the aggressive Formosa termites to set up shop.
2. Prevent Excess Attic Heat
When most people think of insulation, they think of insulating a home to protect it from the cold. However, insulation is required to keep a space from getting too warm as well. In northern homes, especially those that heat with wood, you want to prevent too much heat from entering the attic to begin with. Laying fiberglass rolls of insulation on the attic flooring can help decrease the amount of heat going up.
In southern homes, insulation is needed in the attic to save energy. Homes in warmer climates typically use their central air conditioning to keep their home cool and comfortable. You don't want your cooled air to find its way outdoors, nor do you want your air conditioner to have to work overtime to cool your living areas and insulation can help prevent that.
3. Extend the Life of Your Roof
Any time a roof must contend with temperature extremes, it takes a toll. The goal is to keep the temperature range as constant as possible. While you may not be able to prevent the snow from falling or the sun from beating down on the shingles, the right amount of ventilation and insulation will go a long way in keeping your attic just right.