When you think of threats that may damage your roof, the first that come to mind are probably exterior factors, such as high winds and hail. However, one of the biggest threats to your roof’s integrity may actually come from indoors, with a lack of attic insulation.

Although attic insulation is intended to keep your home comfortable, it also reduces heat transfer through your roof. Read on to learn more about the relationship between attic insulation and your roof.

How Does Attic Insulation Protect Your Roof? Asphalt shingles are durable, but they do have their limits. Every time heat moves through them, it causes a tiny amount of damage, weakening the shingles and accelerating their deterioration. The role of attic insulation is to prevent heat from traveling out of your home through your roof, thus minimizing the strain on your shingles. If you live in an area where winter brings snow and freezing temperatures, the effects of insulation on your roof are even stronger. If your attic is poorly insulated, heat from inside your home will escape from the roof, causing the snow to melt. Eventually, this water refreezes on the edge of the roof, forming sheets of ice known as ice dams. This ice eats its way under shingles, prying them off of the roof surface. Come spring, you may have missing or loose shingles as a result. What Are Some Signs Your Attic Insulation Is Lacking? There are two main problems that can happen with attic insulation — you may not have enough insulation, or the insulation you have may not be doing its job. There’s a simple way to tell if you have enough insulation. Look inside your attic: if the insulation is above the floor joists, you probably have enough. If the insulation level is below the level of the floor joists, you do not have enough insulation. The following are a few signs that your insulation is damaged and no longer functioning as it should.

  • The insulation is compacted and pressed down in some places.

  • The insulation feels damp, or you can see moisture beading up in some places.

  • The insulation is discolored and moldy.

Get into the habit of checking on your insulation at least once or twice a year. The sooner you discover and deal with insulation problems, the greater your chances of preventing roof damage. What Should You Do About Lacking or Damaged Insulation? If you find that your attic does not have enough insulation, just add another layer. Energy Star recommends 10-14 inches of fiberglass insulation for the average home. Unroll the second layer of insulation perpendicular to the first layer — it should run across the floor joists rather than parallel to them. If your attic insulation is moldy, compacted, or moist, you’re dealing with a bigger problem: potential roof failure. You may have a leak somewhere, or your roof vents may be blocked, causing moisture to accumulate in the attic and seep into the insulation. If you simply replace damaged insulation, the new insulation will suffer the same fate. So, before you replace the insulation, have a roofing contractor come inspect the roof and repair any discovered damage. Once your roof has been repaired or replaced, you can replace the damaged insulation. Your new insulation will help protect your new, or newly-repaired, roofing from deteriorating. Attic insulation is intended to protect your roof from heat damage, and a lack of insulation can lead to costly roof damage over time. If your home has been lacking insulation for a while, make an appointment with Top Dog Roofing. Our highly-skilled roofers are prepared to deal with missing shingles, leaks, dents, and more.