Blistering And Heat: What Can You Do To Cool Off Your Hot Flat Roof?

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If the surface of your flat roof blisters from heat every summer, it's time to take action. Blistering or bubbling occurs when heat enters the eaves surrounding the roof and traps moisture between the roof deck and insulation or between the roof deck and roofing membrane. As they try to escape the home, heat and moisture pushes against the asphalt or tar membrane on your roof and forms bubbles. If you don't stop the problems now, the bubbles pop open and your roofing system fails. Here's how the proper intake and exhaust systems cool off your hot flat roof, as well as another valuable tip you can use.

Why Install an Exhaust System and Intake System?

One of the most effective ways to prevent blistering in your flat roof is to install exhaust and intake systems. An intake system consists of eaves and soffits. Eaves overhang the sides or edges of your roof and soffits enclose the edges. 

Properly placed eaves and soffits allow warm air to enter the roof's foundation and exit through the roof's exhaust system. An exhaust system consists of special vents that release heated air to the outside of the home. This is called a venting system.

Homes with sloped roofs generally already have a built-in venting system in the attic. Since your flat roof lacks an attic, you need to modify it before you install a venting system.

Modifying a flat roof isn't easy but with the right venting options, it's possible. Pop vents are the most popular types of modifications to make on flat roofs. The venting systems feature special caps attached to round or circular shaped bases. 

To achieve the best results, have two pop vents installed on your flat roof. One vent becomes the intake system, and the other vent functions as the exhaust system. For maximum performance and to protect your flat roof, install a vent on each side of the roof.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can install the pop vents yourself. But keep in mind that installing your own pop vents requires a great deal of time and planning. Pop vents should fit securely on your roof, which means you need to create openings in the roof's foundation to hold and support the bases of the vents.

You also need to buy and install pop vents that fit the size and area of your flat roof and home. Improperly sized pop vents won't remove enough hot air and moisture from the roof deck, which doesn't solve the problem you have now.

It's less stressful on you if you contact a roofer and have them install the pop vents for you. You should also change the insulation in your ceiling when you have your exhaust and intake systems installed.

Why Change the Insulation in Your Ceiling?

When insulation is exposed to excessive heat and moisture over a long period of time, it wears down, breaks apart or stops working properly. In this case, you should replace the insulation between your roof deck and ceiling.

Choosing a new insulation requires thought and consideration because you want to enhance the functions of your pop vents. Although pop vents improve the airflow in your ceiling, roof deck and roofing membrane, they may work more efficiently if there's less heat and moisture to remove from these locations. 

A good insulation product to choose as your replacement is foam board. Foam board is sturdy, flat and easy to install. Most products come with closed-cell cores or centers, which improves airflow between the ceiling and roof deck because they prevent heat and moisture buildup.

Foam board also comes in different widths or thicknesses and R-values. R-value describes how well insulation materials protect your home from heat. Insulation with a high R-value may protect your home better than low-value product. It's a good idea that you ask your roofer about the best foam board products for your home.

A new exhaust system, intake system and insulation can prevent blistering in your flat roof. If you want to learn more, contact your roofer for more details.