No one’s denying it’s hot here in Georgia. By the time summer rolls around, you can expect the humidity levels to hover somewhere between 99% and “hope you brought another shirt!”
That humidity is hard on your hair, yes, but what about your roof? What does the relentless GA moisture mean for the functionality of one of your home’s largest – and most expensive – components?
What is humidity, really?
Humidity is essentially water vapor trapped in the air. The reason humidity is so high in the summertime is because warm air can hold higher concentrations of vapor. Humidity can be present when there’s no rain the forecast or it can linger in the wake of a storm.
What does humidity do to your roof?
Nothing good. Let’s talk about all the ways, both subtle and major, the humidity here in Georgia can wreak havoc on your roof.
Lumber: Your roof is a actually and entire system, of which lumber beams play a large role. Humidity in the air causes that lumber to constantly expand and contract which over time will weaken the roof’s structural stability.
Single-Tear Strength: As the humidity gradually weakens the places where your roof is held together, it’s in turn making it more vulnerable to wind. A roof that’s been weather-weakened is more likely to rip off in tornado or hurricane-force wind gusts.
Decking: Humidity can cause the edges of your decking boards to absorb water. This will naturally lead to separation which causes major deflections along the plane of your roof. When water can’t run off your roof efficiently, leaks happen.
And that’s just your roof. Next, let’s talk about…
What humidity does to your attic ventilation system
Your attic and, more specifically, its ventilation system, is a critical component of your roofing structure. Allowing air and moisture to effectively move in and out of your attic space ensures your roof will work properly and that your HVAC system won’t be spinning its wheels. What does humidity do to this ventilation process?
Mold and Mildew: Yuck. Lingering moisture quickly leads to mold and mildew build up on the organic components of your attic such as the beams, stored items, or even certain insulations. This can actually make you and your family sick.
Rot: Wood rot is a serious problem when it happens inside your attic – your roof’s structural stability depends on those beams! Moisture and wood rot go hand-in-hand.
Insulation Compression: Water is heavier than air, so air that’s loaded down with water vapor will eventually cause your insulation to “compress.” This drastically reduces its effectiveness.
So, what can you do about the humidity?
The number one thing to do is talk to a northeast Georgia roofer. They’re familiar with the specific challenges that come with weather in this area and can talk you through your options.
If you have a humidity problem, odds are it’s starting in your attic. Regular inspections and maintenance of your entire attic system are essential for ensuring you’ve got the right kind of ventilation (and enough of it.)
Lastly, know that some of your roofing materials may need to be repaired more often than in other parts of the country. It’s just part of living in Georgia! We may not have ice dams, but we do have sticky, persistent humidity.
Ready for a free roofing inspection?
Accent Roofing is your experienced Georgia roofing company.