So you suspect some moisture in the attic? Not sure?
Well, you’re in the right place, to say the least.
In this article, we will learn how to identify the presence of moisture in your attic, the issues it causes, and how to deal with them.
Keep reading to get tips for a healthier attic, cleansing it from all moisture issues.
How To Identify Moisture In the Attic?
Well, this is a simple one – moisture is quite easily felt when present in a room. Nonetheless, what you should be looking for is the effect of moisture in the attic.
If you suspect you have problems in the attic, make sure to check for further indications of excess moisture.
Do you see any rusting?
Is there any frost or ice buildup on the roofing nails?
Can you witness any dark stains in the attic?
Is there moisture on the roof sheathing?
Any drip marks on the attic floor?
Is the roof sheathing damaged?
Is your attic insulation moist?
All of these signs exemplify the presence of problematic moisture in the attic and deem a proper response from you.
How Does Moisture Get In The Attic?
In simple words, you can expect a significant increase in moisture when the outside temperature is cold. As the air holds a lesser quantity of moisture when the temperature is lower.
If there is too much moisture in your attic, it will condense on the upper portion of your roof deck.
Throughout winter, your home should have a 35% to 50% humidity level. If your humidity levels are higher, condensation can occur inside the home and can be witnessed on windows, walls, and ceilings.
And depending on the home, even 35% can be too much. In many cases, the sources for moisture can vary.
Some common sources for attic moisture are showers, dishwashers, dryers, cookers, washing machines, baths, humidifiers, and other heat-producing machines. In most cases, these sources do not produce excessive moisture, however, if a house is very tight or if ventilation is poor – it can certainly contribute greatly.
Does Moisture In The Attic Rise From The Basement?
Simply said – yes, it does.
In the winter, we presume that you use some form of a heating system to comfort the inhabitants of said house. If any water meets warm air – it begins to evaporate.
Moist air is less dense than dry air – making it easier for it to escape through holes and cracks. If your upper floors are nor sealed, the air will escape – decreasing overall home pressure.
After this, new air will begin to rise from the lower portions of the home. Wind, negative pressure, and air buoyancy stack together – causing all of the warm moist air reaches the cold roof deck. And at this point, the cold cools the air, condensing it back into a liquid form.
Some common areas for possible air escape are:
- interior/exterior wall gaps
- pull-down attic stairways
- entrance shafts
Having air infiltration is a cause for overall heat loss, and increases the heating costs of your home. So look out for unexpected bills, which can be directly related to the moisture in the attic.
How To Prevent Excess Moisture?
In most cases, a professional would suggest improving ventilation, if the current situation is under-par. However, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Ventilation does improve the exfiltration of air, and by doing so reduces attic temperatures. And as mentioned earlier, low temperatures increase condensation – decreasing the efficacy of your insulation.
Having a condensed attic = moist attic = moist insulation.
So in order to control the moisture in your attic – the best way is to directly ward off the source. If the problem is caused by water penetrating the foundation – you can install gutters and downspouts, which should be cleaned regularly.
Or you can regrade the property around the perimeter of the foundation while sealing off floor slabs and walls. Another option is to use a dehumidifier and a training system, which can help reduce moister in the foundation.
Because each house has a certain condition and set of responses – it is best to communicate with a professional, who can evaluate and provide the best solution for your issue.
Wait, but What Else Can Be Done?
Well, the first step was to control moisture infiltration. And if you’ve successfully done that, the next step is to reduce the actual moisture.
This can be done by sealing off all air leakage areas, which will contribute to infiltration reduction – restricting air movement, preventing the stack effect.
You should be able to do all of this on your own. Albeit, having a weatherization contractor stop by and do the job is preferable.
However, keep in mind that if an air leak is sealed off, the humidity will increase in your home. Albeit, it will be locked in the living space, where it is most required during the winter. A tighter home will require reduced heating, decreasing the costs. But if it’s too tight, the home will require mechanical ventilation – to assure that there are no pollutants or moisture contributions, which have a negative effect on your health.
Nonetheless, this is a very extraneous situation, which simply doesn’t happen that often.
Moisture In Attic? No More.
Now that we have covered the origin of moisture in the attic, the method for identifying any larger problems caused by it, and how to deal with it on the forefront of personal response you are well on your way to making your home free of any moisture issue. By taking a proactive approach, and combatting the problem at the source – you secure the comfort and livability of your home for many years to come.
If you would like Above Roofing to come and take a look at your attic and roof and fix any underlying issues, get in touch with us now.