If you went into your attic recently only to discover that there is condensation inside, then you probably have a problem. It is not good when condensation builds up inside an attic. In the winter the condensation can freeze which is often called attic frost, and in the warm season the tiny water droplets can cling onto the surface material inside the attic. Both dew and frost can cause the attic material such as insulation and roof framing to rot and develop mold. If the wood frame rots or molds it can weaken the framing, which can lead to total roof collapse. Montgomery Construction & Roofing will share some of the common causes of attic condensation to help determine the source and repair needs.
One of the most common causes of condensation in the attic is when water is leaking inside after snow or rain. Leaks can occur from bad flashing around exhaust pipes. Other sources of leaks can come from displaced roof tile or shingles. If pests have chewed a hole through the roof it can also allow additional moisture inside, especially during or after rain or snow. Often you can see the source of the leak after recent rain or snow as you will see where the wood is damp from the water seeping inside.
Poor Ventilation Design
Some homes end up with a poor ventilation system or design where there isn’t enough of or the right size vent to allow proper air flow to help clear out the condensation when it accumulates. Ventilation is essential to the longevity of the roof, especially in high humid areas like Michigan where we average humidity levels between 50 and 80 percent. Condensation is a major problem in the state and it is important that the attic has proper ventilation design. You can have the roof and attic inspected if you have concerns for your roof and attic developing condensation.
Old Exhaust Systems
Older homes may have the bathroom and laundry room exhaust vent feed out of and into the attic. Older homes were built with the exhaust vent popping out through the attic. Contractors hoped the attic ventilation would take care of the rest. This was a major flaw and modern homes have the exhaust vent going straight outside. Older homes that may have this older design could be feeding condensation right inside the attic. Often to correct this problem, the exhaust vent will need to be rerouted. If you are living in an older home be sure that the exhaust vent isn’t fed into the attic where rot and mold could be the result.
If you had a major problem with condensation in the attic the damage may already be done. Repairing the damage will vary on how long or severe the damage is. In serious situations if the entire roof structure has been compromised, the entire roof will need to come down and the roof will need to be replaced from the frame out. In most cases, the insulation may need to be replaced and the interior attic treated for mold. It might need to also be dried out with dehumidifiers. If you discover you had condensation in your attic, have your attic inspected immediately to ensure your household safety.