One day you look up and notice you have a stain on your ceiling. Your immediate reaction is that you have a roof leak, which you know can cause harm to the rest of your home.
You immediately call a contractor to come out and take a look.
While it’s totally natural to think that you have a roof leak when you spot a stain on your ceiling, if it’s winter, that’s likely not the case.
Instead, the likely culprit is condensation in your attic. But how does this happen, and how can you prevent it from happening? Today we’re going to dive into frost in your attic and tips and tricks for making sure it doesn’t happen to you.
How Does an Attic Become Plagued With Frost
Heat rises. So when warm air is in your home, whether it’s from cooking, showering, or any other daily activity inside your home, it will work its way through all the cracks and spaces in your home until it reaches the attic.
Once it gets to the attic, it hits the plywood, which is cold from the outside, winter air, and sticks to it and becomes frost. If there is enough humid air that reaches your attic, you may have a pretty thick layer of frost. Once the air warms up too quickly outside, the frost will melt.
As a result, the water will work its way down and eventually you’ll have stains and the appearance of a leak.
If you watch the video that accompanies this post, you’ll see that is exactly what happened to a home we recently woed on.
How Does the Air Reach Your Attic?
One of the quickest ways the humid air reaches the top of your home is through bathroom fans that aren’t correctly connected. You think the air from your bathroom is going outside, but in actuality, it ends up just going through an open pipe into your attic.
Dryer vents are another way that air can get to your attic. Again, it occurs when they are not properly insulated or connected.
In the video, you’ll see another example of how air gets through, which is a can light. In this instance, there was no insulation what so ever on the light. In order to fix this, you can build a box out of sheet foam product, seal it up and tape it all together, and then place the box all the way down and seal all around it to ensure that warm air that gets through the cracks by the light doesn’t reach the attic.
All-in-all, basically any hole in your ceiling is an issue – and a lot of small holes can lead to a big problem.
A professional can come in and help identify weak points in your home. Proper attic ventilation within your attic is also key. Vents in your soffits should be functional and ridge or slant-back vents should be used to guide warm air all out of the roof through the top. This will help air out your attic and keep the air circulating throughout the home.
Remember, if you think your roof is leaking in the dead of winter, it’s most likely an insulation and condensation problem in the attic.
Contact Treasured Spaces for assistance in helping to solve the problem!