More Insulation Is Not Always Better… And Other Common Roofing Myths

How much do you know about your home's roof and maintaining it? Even if you think you know a lot, some of the "facts" you've heard may actually be untrue! Roofing myths can result in damage if they cause you to make unwise decisions about roof maintenance and repair. Here's a look at some common roofing myths -- and the real truth they're keeping from you.

Myth: The more insulation in your attic, the better.

Attic insulation does serve an important purpose. It keeps heat from escaping directly through your roofing shingles in the winter, which helps prevent premature shingle damage as well as ice accumulation (which could lead to further shingle damage.) However, it is possible to add too much insulation to your attic. Pile it too high, and you'll block the roofing vents. Then, any heat in your attic will have no choice but to escape through the shingles. In most cases, two layers of fiberglass batt insulation is enough to keep your roof protected without covering the vents.

Myth: You should power wash your roof to get rid of algae.

If your roof has black streaks from algae growth, power washing will remove them. The problem is, it will also remove a lot of the granules from your shingles, which will cause the shingles to break down more quickly. If you have algae on your roof, the best way to remove it without causing any additional shingle damage is to spray your roof gently with a roof-safe algaecide from your local home improvement store. Many roofing companies also offer roof spraying services.

Myth: There's no need to replace a couple of missing shingles.

A missing shingle here and there is no big deal, right? Wrong! While one or two missing shingles may not immediately lead to a leak, you do want to replace them right away. When one shingle is missing, the nearby shingles become less stable and are therefore more likely to peel away. One missing shingle can turn into 20 missing shingles overnight.

Myth: Trees overhanging the roof are good because they protect the roof from the sun.

While sunshine does wear out a roof, shade cast by a tree is worse for the roof. The shade keeps the roof from drying off effectively after a rain shower, so moss and mold start growing on the roof's surface. Leaves that fall from the tree also trap moisture against it. If you have a tree overhanging your roof, it's best to keep it trimmed back as well as possible.