Have you noticed water droplets in your attic? Roof leaks? Mold and mildew? Ice dams? Your attic may not be properly ventilated.
At Hopkins, it is our standard practice to check if the homes we inspect for a reroof have adequate ventilation. It is not difficult to add ventilation to a roof and there are many different options for improving ventilation. Proper ventilation of your attic is vital, because it improves the longevity of the shingles and structure of your attic as a whole.
How do I know if I have attic condensation?
If you have noticed any of the following, it is likely that you have condensation and a call to the experts is in store.
- Discoloration on the underside of your roof deck.
- Physical droplets of water on the underside of the roof.
- Attic surfaces feel damp to the touch.
- Mold begins to appear in your attic space.
- Discoloration of drywall joints on the ceiling of your home.
Top 3 reasons you have attic condensation
Hot air contains more moisture than cold air. When hot air from your house rises into the attic and mixes with the cold air, the air cools and the water vapor turns into liquid water. So what leads to warm air rising into—and staying in—your attic?
- Inadequate amount of attic insulation. When warm air from your home leaks into the attic space, the warm air is condensed on the cold underside of the roof and the roof sheathing.
- Home ventilation improperly routed. From taking a steamy shower to boiling a big pot of water, moisture in the air can build up fast. To properly remove excess moisture from your home, your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fan vents need to have their ductwork routed to outdoor escapes. If vented into attic space, humid air will be pushed directly into the attic, causing condensation to accumulate on the underside of the cold roof.
- Poor ventilation of your attic space. Air may not be circulating properly, so when warm, moist air becomes trapped, excessive moisture occurs.
Ways to prevent attic condensation
- Improve attic ventilation by adding or subtracting intake or exit ventilation to make sure the system is functioning properly to move in new air and move out old air.
- Make sure your attic insulation is installed correctly with no gaps or cracks where heat can leak into your attic. Check to ensure the R-Value (a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it—the higher the better) is sufficient to keep heat inside your home.
- Add a vapor barrier, a moisture-resistant material that can be applied inside your attic to provide added protection against potential moisture problems.
- Make sure all bathroom and kitchen vents are properly routed outside of your home.
What steps should I take to get rid of attic condensation?
- Identify where the condensation is coming from.
- Identify what is causing condensation in that area.
- Call a professional to install more insulation, properly route bathroom vents, or revamp your roof ventilation system.
Real-life example: An easy fix
The joints in Reed’s drywall were getting too much humidity in them and tape was starting to fall off the ceiling in some areas. He had adequate insulation and a proper ventilation system in the attic, but a bathroom vent had become disconnected from the exit point in his attic wall. This meant he was pumping moist, warm air into his attic whenever he was using that vent. He also had a hole near his chimney that was created when a contractor installed new siding. Hopkins was able to hook the bathroom vent ductwork back to its exit location and flash the hole in his attic wall. These simple fixes prevented a considerable amount of condensation from occurring in his attic.
Need help? Contact us today
If you are experiencing condensation in your attic, contact the experts at Hopkins Roofing for a free inspection. We will let you know what the problem is and what needs to be done. Give us a call today.