Homeowners tend to focus only on “seen” threats like hail and storm damage. However, there is a silent threat to your roof that is often overlooked, and we tend only to notice it when it gets out of hand. That threat is excessive humidity and moisture. Constant exposure to moisture can quickly degrade your roof and pose significant health risks to you and your family. That’s why your roofing shingles are so important; they are the first line of defense against everything nature can throw at your home. How do excessive humidity and moisture damage your roof?

Rotting Decking

The decking on your roof serves as the foundation for everything else. It is typically made of OSB (oriented strand board) or plywood and rests under your shingles, shakes, or other roofing materials. Excess humidity and moisture can infiltrate this critical layer, causing rotting over time. When the decking rots, it compromises your roof’s structural integrity, resulting in dips, sagging, and, in extreme cases, collapse.

If you notice loose or missing shingles, get them repaired or replace your roof immediately~

Warped or Loose Shingles

Shingles form the visible outer layer, serving as a waterproof shield that safeguards the overall structural integrity of your roof. When excessive humidity and moisture infiltrate your roofing system, this can result in your shingles becoming warped or loose.

  • Warped Shingles: If not controlled, humidity causes your shingles to absorb moisture and expand. They then contract after the sun dries them out. This constant contraction and expansion cause the shingles to weaken over time, leading to warping. Once this happens, they can’t protect your home from water infiltration.
  • Loose shingles: Nails become rusty when moisture consistently gets under your shingles. If the wrong nails are used, or the nails in the roof deck are affected, this could weaken the roof’s structure or cause shingles to become loose. Nails that have rusted could eventually make shingles more susceptible to being blown off during strong winds.

Wet Insulation and Leaks

Excessive humidity and moisture can also affect the insulation of your attic space. When your roof and attic space don’t ventilate well, warm and damp air might be trapped in the attic. As a result, this can lead to condensation forming beneath your roof, saturating the insulation, ruining it, and eventually leading to leaks in your home.

Wet insulation reduces its efficiency, enabling warm, humid air to enter in the summer and heat to escape in the winter. Additionally, it might cause leaks because moisture can enter your roof’s structure through tiny openings and cracks. These leaks don’t just damage your roof—they can wreck your walls, ceilings, and everything inside the house. It’s a chain reaction you want to avoid.

Mold and Mildew Growth

While moisture certainly catalyzes mold growth, you might wonder how this relates to your roof’s overall health. Mold excels in settings filled with moisture, darkness, and a food source. Considering your attic meets the criteria of not having sufficient lighting and potentially being damp due to leaks, one question remains: what provides mold with sustenance? The answer is wood. Remarkably, mold damages more wood yearly than the combined effects of termites and fires. Having mold underneath your roof is far from desirable. It can erode the undersurface of the roof, ultimately leading to leaks and structural decay.

Moreover, mold doesn’t stay put; it spreads. So, if there’s mold in your attic, it can move into your living areas. This affects your home’s air quality and can be unhealthy for your family. To be safe, keeping things dry and preventing mold from growing is best.

Excessive humidity and moisture pose a significant threat to the longevity and functionality of your roof. From rotting decking to mold growth, the consequences of moisture and excessive humidity can be costly and damaging. To safeguard your roof against these threats, perform regular inspections, quick repairs, and roofing replacements to ensure it continues to protect your home.

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