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CONDENSATION

Have you looked in your attic lately?

Condensation, also known as “Attic Rain”, is often mistaken for a leaky roof. Over the years our homes have become increasingly energy efficient and well insulated. The result is airtight houses that are smothered and no longer “breathes” on its own. This, along with a number of other factors, can lead to condensation in the home.

What is Attic Rain?

Condensation in the attic is a direct result of warm, humid air finding its way into the attic and then freezing in extremely cold weather. The longer the cold snap, the more opportunity the moisture has to accumulate into frost. When the weather starts to warm up again, the frost melts and homeowners may start to notice moisture leaking into their home. This has recently become known as “Attic Rain”, a relatively new term in the industry.
Condensation-window
What are the Warning Signs?

Condensation in the home is usually noticed first as water droplets forming on windows and skylights. It is natural to assume the cause of the condensation is the windows, but they are not always to blame. The windows may be an initial indicator of excess humidity in cold weather.

Conquering the Myth – Windows Do Not Cause Condensation

ice-dam-sampleIce damming on the roof may also be a sign of attic condensation and can cause an additional range of problems.

See our Ice Damming page for more information.

Noticing water stains or dampness?

The most common area to first notice a “leak” inside your home is around bathroom fans, lighting fixtures and/or windows.

The most common areas on the exterior of the home to first notice a “leak” is through the soffits. Also, a sticky, brownish resin down the exterior walls of the house may be an indication of condensation.

What are The Usual Suspects?

Commonly they are a combination of these factors:

  • Bathroom fans, dryer vents, kitchen hood fans, or other exhaust fans venting into the attic or not connected properly
  • Inadequate insulation and/or ventilation
  • Blocked soffit intake vents (commonly occurs after adding or upgrading attic insulation)
  • Excessive humidity in the home
  • Recessed lights not properly insulated
  • Openings or holes in the vapor barrier
  • Leaving the attic hatch open
  • The list of possible causes goes on…

Potential damage?

  • Insulation can become compromised and ineffective
  • Water damage to the ceiling, walls and windows
  • Peeling or blistering paint
  • Warping or rotting wood
  • Damage or delaminating roof decking
  • Ice lifting and pushing in behind the shingle
  • Mold could start to form if left neglected

Best Course of Action?

  • Finding and securing the main sources of the excess humidity.
  • Ensuring adequate roof intake and exhaust vents are installed; working properly and there are no blockages.
  • Checking the attic insulation for proper install and function.

CAUTION! – Just adding additional insulation may not help and can potentially make the problem worse.

For further information or assistance Contact Us to find out how we can help.