What is Roof Condensation?
When we think of something going wrong with a roof, our first thought is that there must be a leak. While a leak is definitely bad, it is typically noticeable fairly quickly. Many other things can cause damage to an aged or improperly installed roof. Today, we are going to look into roof condensation and what problems it causes.
Roof condensation occurs when the warm air from inside your home rises and meets with the colder air outside. Think about a cold glass of ice water on a hot summer day. Quickly you notice that droplets form on the outside of the glass. Similarly, droplets form along the roof deck. This water that forms can then rot your roof deck, insulation or anything else that it comes in contact with. Definitely not a good situation.
What Are Some Signs You Have A Roof Condensation Problem?
Water spots on your ceiling- We normally equate water spots with a roof leak however, they don’t necessarily mean that you have an actual leak. It could mean you have a condensation problem. Condensation can pool and then drip down and run onto your sheetrock. This could be the cause of water spots.
Water coming down from fan or other ceiling vents- This is a sure sign that water is getting in. Fans or ceiling vents allow warm air to travel from the inside of your home, through your attic and escape through the exit. If not properly insulated or installed, warm air can leak through cracks and openings. This creates the condensation effect, allows water to pool on the surface and drip back into your home. Hopefully you do not have water coming through a light fixture as that is extremely dangerous.
Mold or Rotten boards in the Attic- If you find mold or rotten plywood in your attic, then you definitely have a water issue of some sort. This could be a leak, or condensation. Either way, it is an issue and needs to be addressed.
What Are Some Solutions For Roof Condensation Problems?
Insulation- Proper insulation between the attic floor and your roof is key to keeping the warm air in your home. Keeping warm air inside will greatly reduce the risk for condensation. So, be sure to check any pipes (especially bathroom ones) that begin inside your house and exit through the rooftop that they are properly sealed and insulated.
Ventilation- Perhaps your attic lacks proper ventilation. Adequate ventilation allows the warm air to escape properly. It allows the building to breathe. Sometimes an attic fan ventilation system can be installed to keep the air moving in the attic so that water does not condense.
What about Vapor Barriers?
The jury is out on this one. Some contractors insist you use them and others suggest that they actually help trap condensation on your roof! Yikes! We definitely do not want that! The best thing to do would be to consult your roofing professional for their advice.