With a few winter storms recently hitting our area, and more in the upcoming forecasts, the chances for roof leaks in the coming weeks continues to be high. Another source of moisture problems is condensation. Fall, winter and spring are the times we see the most attic condensation problems. This can cause rotting and mold, which could result in some pretty serious damage over time.
Condensation occurs when moisture in warm air is squeezed out by cold air or cold surfaces. Things like poorly routed bathroom or laundry room vents can be the cause of this condensation, or it could be that the entire attic itself is not insulated properly. Things such as attic stair openings and can lights, or tongue and groove ceilings, are areas where warm air from the house can escape into the attic.
Another more recent problem that could be causing attic condensation is whole-house humidifying systems. Oftentimes these can be set to run too high, causing condensation to build in the attic. Regardless of the cause, noticing the signs of a possible roof leak or attic condensation is key for minimizing damages.
Potential Signs of Attic Condensation
- Rusty nail points or water droplets on the nails inside the attic.
- Water marks on your ceiling or walls
- Visible mold or stains inside the attic – usually on the North side of the attic.
- Moisture on glass, metal, or flat surfaces. Examples are skylight glass, skylight flashing, chimney flashing, pipe collars, etc.
- Wet/damaged sheathing on roof
If you believe you have any of these signs, there are a few things you may be able to do. Try to identify the source of what is causing these things to happen. Improving overall insulation and ventilation in the attic is an option, as well as running a dehumidifier to help stave off some of the lighter attic condensation.
Turn off humidifiers. Find out where your bathroom vents are routed to make sure they are venting to the outside, (sometimes they become loose and disconnected), make sure to run the bathroom fan during and for 5 to 10 minutes after a shower. Add insulation and weather stripping to attic access openings.
If you believe that it is a roof leak, or would like a professional opinion on the matter, we would be more than happy to help. Fichtner Services is well-versed in treating both roof leaks and attic condensation. Being a local, family-owned and operated company for over 25 years, we are a name you can trust.