Well, we all know the benefits of insulation, overall. It’s all about increasing or sustaining energy efficiency indoors and gaining from the benefits that come with it.
But how about the roof? How does your roofing system benefit from attic insulation? We’ll tell you all about it.
Let’s talk about some attic issues first
The attic is the last frontier before the roof. Depending on its overall condition, the roof’s shape, the underlayment and all nice components that comprise the roofing system, there might be some air leaks. There might also be some moisture, condensation – all unpleasant things that won’t only make the attic an unfriendly place but will also cost you in various ways.
• The cooling and heating system won’t work efficiently – at least that’s what you will feel since there’ll be energy loss through the attic. And so, you get two problems here. First, you will pay high energy bills (without getting the temperatures you want either). Second, the HVAC system will break down sooner than later, due to its constant efforts to keep up with the energy loss.
• The air leaks won’t only wreak havoc on the HVAC unit but also take a toll on the indoor air quality. You see, air doesn’t travel alone. It brings along pests, debris, dust and all sorts of pollutants. As a result, the environment indoors won’t be fresh and clean. Plus, there might be some health issues.
• If there’s condensation in the attic, it will affect the whole structure, the roof included. Moisture saturates most materials, especially wood. With the heating traveling upwards and ending at the attic, the environment will be perfect for the formation of mold. Things start to get really alarming, now. Don’t they?
What we have established so far is that attic insulation is good for you, the entire home, your pocket. Let’s see now its great benefits for the roof.
Ice dams are prevented
Without attic insulation, the indoor heat travels upwards and escapes through the roof. Now, when the temps are really low and it’s snowing, the snow blanket on the roof combined with the cold and the heat loss form ice dams. What happens is this: the snow found on roof sections above freezing melts. The melted water flows down and when it lands to roof sections below the freezing zone, it freezes forming the ice dams.
Ice dams are bad for the roof – the whole structure, actually. The water that keeps flowing and bumps into the existing ice dams may cause leakage. Ice dams increase moisture and so, the likelihood of mold formation.
How does attic insulation help? Well, if you cannot battle with the weather and the freezing temps, you give your fight indoors. By adding attic insulation, you prevent heat loss and thus, ice dams formation that may cause significant structural damage.
Gutter damage is avoided
Although the lifespan and condition of the rain gutters are not at an immediate risk from the lack of attic insulation, there’s a possibility that they will be affected. How? Without attic insulation, the phenomenon of contraction and expansion will be intense on the roof and this may shift the gutters. Now, if the gutters are shifted, damaged, or even strained from the load of ice dams and water, they may get distorted, they may break, they may cause leaks.
Condensation risks are minimized
Roofs consist of many components – components you don’t see. And there are some gaps between them. Now if cool and warm air meet at these points, they will create condensation. And that’s bad for the materials of the roof, apart that condensation will eventually lead to mold formation.
Roofs last longer
When the roof materials are not affected by condensation, extreme contraction and expansion, and ice dams, they last longer.
One consideration? For roofs to last longer and perform well, there’s a need for balance of temperatures. And so, you don’t only need attic insulation but also ventilation.