Common Problems Caused By Poor Roof Ventilation

Roof VentsFirst Choice Inspectors see a lot of roofs in Chicago and Aurora, Illinois. As inspectors, they look for common problems caused by poor roof ventilation. So, what do they look for?

Inspectors often look at an attic to figure out how the roof ventilation of a house is working well… or not. When a roof is properly vented, the attic allows for airflow such that the air is cooled and moisture is reduced. This is a good thing. Problems occur when the ventilation isn’t working right, and the attic becomes overtly hot and moist. When this occurs, an inspector might notice mold and mildew, saggy or spongy decking, and frost or ice dam formations where they shouldn’t be.

Obviously mold is something no homeowner wants because breathing that stuff in is not good for one’s health. Furthermore, mold messes with the roof sheathing, causing it to wear down. If and when too much moisture ends up in the roof decking, guess what happens… adhesives holding the sheathing together end up dissolving. If you’ve ever walked on roof decking that seemed warped, saggy or even “spongy,” you know that’s not a good thing. Overall, this weakens the roof such that it cannot bear heavy loads as intended.

Poor roof ventilation can also be discovered if and when an inspector notices shingles that seem to be cracking or curling. He or she may look for the loss of granules on the shingles, too.

Have you ever left a car window open in the winter while the car was outside overnight? The next day you discovered that frost had formed inside the car. Imagine that happening inside your attic. When the frost melts there, where does the water go? It ends up dripping into your ceiling– not good. An inspector would want to look for places where wet, cold air could seep into a home. Maybe something as simple as a cracked attic window has been letting in “the weather outside.”

Finally, an inspector looks for ice dams. These form at the edge of the roof creating a barrier preventing water from running off the roof. Ice damming is typically the result of poor roof ventilation.

If you’re wondering if your roof is properly vented, call First Choice Inspectors at 773-429-9711 to make an appointment for an inspection.