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November 18, 2021

Humidity Vs Your Roof – How Florida Humidity Can Put Your Roof At Risk

How Florida Humidity Can Put Your Asphalt Shingle Roof At Risk, And What We Can Do To Help!


Florida, being surrounded by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, has been recorded as the number one state in America when it comes to annual humidity percentages. So what exactly is humidity you might ask? Well, according to Google, "Humidity is the concentration of water vapor present in the air. Water vapor, the gaseous state of water, is generally invisible to the human eye. Humidity indicates the likelihood for precipitation, dew, or fog to be present. Humidity depends on the temperature and pressure of the system of interest.” In this instance, the system of interest is Florida weather. To dissect this a little further, the humidity level is our way of measuring how much moisture is in the air around us, and it is dependent on factors such as temperature and pressure.


Why Does Florida Get So Humid?

"With Florida being surrounded by the warm Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and with South Florida being a nearly tropical climate, it is definitely the most humid state in the U.S.” Climate Center of FSU.

Though it can be argued that there are certain states that have a higher humidity at times, it is a known fact that on average Florida is the most humid state. So much so that the two almost seem synonymous with each other, but why is this? As we have already discussed, humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Florida is a state that has annually high temperatures and is surrounded largely by two substantial bodies of water. The combination of both abundant water and hot temperatures results in a lot of evaporation. This is mainly why Florida is so humid.


How Do Asphalt Shingles Work?

As the name implies, asphalt shingles are made of asphalt, however, there is much more to them than just that. A typical asphalt shingle is made of three layers adhered together. The bottom layer of the shingle has a strip of adhesive at the top, which allows for it to adhere to the shingle above it. These strips are activated by heat and are crucial for the integrity of keeping your shingles together. Then there is traditionally a middle layer of adhesive, which connects the top and bottom layers. The top layer of the shingle is a composite made up of inorganic material, such as glass fibers and ceramic coated granules, held together by tar and asphalt. These shingles are then layered one on top of the other and nailed into your roof.


Humidity Vs Roofs

How exactly can humidity be bad for not just your shingles, but for your roof in general? When the air feels humid, it’s because there is a lot of moisture in the air, as we have already discussed. This humidity is a silent killer for your roof because you can suffer extreme structural damage over time without there being even a single rainstorm the entire time. When it’s very humid, the moisture in the air can cause your wooden roofing materials, roof decking, and shingles to be compromised. This humidity will settle on the wooden materials and start to rot them.


Moisture in the air can also penetrate the exterior roofing materials and get trapped in your attic or crawl space, which can lead to mold and rot on your support joists and interior wooden walls. Excessive mold settles on the plywood and makes it rot. Not only does it damage your home's structure, but it can also pose serious health risks to you and your family.


In addition, humidity in the attic can also cause wood to rot, which weakens the structure and stability of your roof. Florida has a high, humid, subtropical climate, so roofs in this region are at a higher risk of damage due to humidity. There is also the risk of having the adhesive strip on the bottom of the shingles become compromised if they get hot and wet from the humidity.


Signs To Look For:

If you are not sure if your roof is damaged, here are some things to look out for:


  • It looks bad from the street- If you are able to tell all the way from the edge of your driveway that your roof just looks old, and you will be able to tell, it’s a sure sign that you are in need of a roof replacement.

  • It's old- Most asphalt shingle roofs have a lifespan of twelve to twenty years, in the best conditions. If you have lived in your house for ten years at least and have had to repair the roof multiple times within that timespan, chances are your roof's time is just about up. If you have inherited an older house, check to see if there is any old paperwork in the basement or attic. Any work that was done to the home was normally recorded for insurance purposes.

  • Its shingles look bad- If you are able to get onto your roof by yourself (Take caution when doing so!) take a look at your shingles. If you notice any of their edges look to be curling up, or they have been chipped off, this is a key sign that your roof is at the end of its life. Also, look for moss growing on your shingles. This moss will have a negative impact on your shingles, and it can grow under them and damage not only the shingles but the roof as well!

  • There are granules all over the place- Asphalt shingles all contain small fragments of debris to help give them stability and keep them waterproof. As your roof ages, the asphalt is worn away leaving the debris from the shingles all over your roof. It will look like small pebbles or black sand.

  • Your energy bills are rising- If you start to notice your energy bills rising, this may be a result of a faulty roof. If your roof is not being vented properly, or it has a hole, there may be air escaping outside, resulting in higher A/C usage in the summer and increased heating bills during the winter.

  • It's leaking into your attic- Probably the most obvious of all the signs, water leaking into your attic. Look for multiple leaks, as more than one can indicate you have damage from deterioration rather than from a single isolated incident.

How Can We Help?

There are many things that we can do to help keep your roof in prime condition, but to generalize it all, we will make sure there are no gaps, cracks, or compromised areas on your roof. Give us a call today and we will send out a professional to inspect your roof for absolutely free, we will even go into your attic (with permission) and check for moisture damage! We are excited to be your roofing contractor of choice and wish you all the best!

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