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Dallas Roofing: Article About Sun Exposure and Poor Ventilation

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Dallas roofing professionals have observed that a well-maintained asphalt roof can last for more than two decades. Two of the biggest dangers that an asphalt roof faces comes from excessive sun exposure and poor ventilation.

When installing a new roof, a contractor may recommend that a homeowner have a ridge vent installed on their roof, even if they already have multiple single static vents. This is because the NRCA, a governing body that regulates roofing procedures and materials, recommends that there should be a balance between the amount of ventilation in the eaves and the roof's ridge. The only way to properly balance an attic ventilation system is to ensure that at least one half of the vents are located near the ridge. This allows heat that has built up in the attic to escape through the top of the roof while allowing cool air to be drawn into the space through the eaves and soffits.

If an attic does not have sufficient ventilation, it can result in heat accumulation that will eventually damage the underside of composite shingles and cause them to fail prematurely. In colder climates, an unbalanced or insufficient attic ventilation system will result in the formation of ice dams. Ice dams occur because heat accumulates in the top of the attic and causes snow to melt.

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As it travels down towards the edges of the roof where the temperature is cooler, it freezes again. This process repeats itself over and over until a thick ridge, or dam, of ice forms on the roof. The dam prevents melted water from refreezing. Instead, it accumulates on the ridge and eventually finds its way under the roofing material and into the home.

Constant sun exposure is detrimental to shingles because it can cause them to dry and crack. Shingles are covered with granules that are designed to protect them from the sun's UV rays. When these mineral granules fall off, the asphalt coating on the shingles is exposed to the full brunt of the sun's rays and will eventually lose its ability to provide water protection for the home. This problem is worse for shingles that are on the west or south side of a house because they are constantly exposed to the sun. It is also more pronounced on homes that have a high slope.

When having a new roof installed, homeowners should ask their contractors if their home has sufficient ventilation. If it does not, steps should be taken to increase the ventilation during the re-roofing process.

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