Condensation in the Attic

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with American West Realty & Management 12599

Condensation in the attic can cause serious problems if not addressed. It can destroy insulation, damage stored belongings, lead to toxic moldd, or even damage structural elements of the home such as trusses and rafters. 

To prevent these problems, you have to maintain a dry attic with low humidity. To do this, you'll need to identify the source of the moisture.

Signs of condensation in the attic may include the following:

  • Moisture forming on the glass window panes or other flat surfaces.
  • Water stains or mold on the ceiling
  • Paint bubbling
  • Sagging or cracking sheetrock
  • Damp insulation
  • Noticeable musky, damp odor

Common Causes of Condensation In The Attic

There are many sources of moisture in the attic. It could be a hole in the roof, improperly vented bathroom or dryer exhaust fans, broken water pipes, ice dams, or even a lack of attic ventilation. Even a small hole in the roof can allow tens of gallons of water to leak in before you can see the signs and catch it.

Solutions For Attic Condensation

I recently dealt with two different attics that had high levels of moisture in the attic. There was enough water in one that it actually saturated the ceiling in several corners and water was running down the walls and into light fixtures. In the other, the ceiling started to sag slighty, mold was growing in the corners, and the entire apartment had high humidity.

In both cases, the source of moisture was condensation due to the mix of hot air and cold air in the attic space. They were improperly insulated and the vents were partially blocked, restricting air flow. The roof was covered in ice and snow for over two months, creating an unusually cold spot. The hot and cold air mixed, creating condensation in the attic over a long period of time. Despite our low humidity, this was enough moisture over a two-month period to generate a lot of water!

We also had ice dams. This is where the warm roof melts the snow, which runs down the roof but is blocked from draining due to the ice built up in gutters or at the edge of the roof. The water pools up and eventually creeps back under the shingles.

 


Watch For The Signs!

Keep your eyes peeled for the signs. If you suspect a problem, have a contractor look in the attic and determine where the water is coming from and fix it. By dealingn with the problem quickly you'll prevent further damage to the unit and protect yourself from potential health risks.

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Nathan Gesner, American West Realty

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Rainmaker
3,706,322
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

This is timely advice to share with home owners.

Have a great Friday and an outstanding weekend.

Mar 10, 2017 06:32 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,953,874
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Denver, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Great information Nathan Gesner for buyers and sellers to know about.  Even Realtors.

 

Mar 10, 2017 06:33 AM #6
Rainmaker
181,927
Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

Don't get snow around here, but taking care of your roof should always be a high priority.  Thanks for reminding me to be thankful I don't live in the snow.

Mar 10, 2017 06:43 AM #7
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Thanks for commenting, Roy Kelley 

Mar 10, 2017 07:57 AM #8
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Good morning, Will Hamm . Thanks for commenting!

Mar 10, 2017 07:58 AM #9
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Jim Cheney , I'm sure you experience things that I would never deal with here, but it's still fun to learn what others are dealing with. Thanks for commenting!

Mar 10, 2017 07:58 AM #10
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Debbie Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, Your Clarksville Real Estate Professional - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Moisture problems are not always easy to discover and fix. Ice dams can cause so many attic and interior problems.

Mar 10, 2017 08:53 AM #11
Rainmaker
482,886
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

We don't get that much snow, but you never know! Thanks fo rhte education Nathan Gesner .

Mar 10, 2017 09:35 AM #12
Rainmaker
2,935,934
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Dealing with a seller now with this issue and he doesn't think there is a problem

Mar 10, 2017 09:37 AM #13
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

I agree, Debbie Reynolds . I've seen water "travel" quite a distance making it difficult to locate the source.

Mar 10, 2017 10:27 AM #14
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® , I suspect you have a completely different set of issues i your state.

Mar 10, 2017 10:28 AM #15
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

William Feela If it's a problem, he'll come around when the buyers refuse to purchase or present low offers. :)

Mar 10, 2017 10:29 AM #16
Rainmaker
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Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists

Good advice for buyers. Hey, you never know...

Mar 11, 2017 05:36 AM #17
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Thanks for commenting, Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 

Mar 11, 2017 06:21 AM #18
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Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Home owners need to get up into those forgotten areas periodically to make sure this does not happen.  Forgotten does not mean it's not going to happen

Mar 11, 2017 11:04 AM #19
Rainmaker
428,997
Nick & Trudy Vandekar
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

That photo looks like a horror story and your text makes me worried even more. Lots of reasons to keep your attic dry and free of condensation.

Mar 11, 2017 01:57 PM #20
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Ed Silva that's right! By the time it shows up, the damage may already be extensive.

Mar 11, 2017 04:36 PM #21
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Nick & Trudy Vandekar this picture is from an abandoned home with a severe roof leak. I had several units with damage from ice dams this year but didn't have access to the pictures when I wrote this.

Mar 11, 2017 04:38 PM #22
Rainmaker
3,421,041
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks for the information Nathan.  That picture sure got my attention.

Mar 18, 2017 05:02 AM #23
Rainmaker
206,201
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Thanks for stopping in with a comment, Gabe Sanders . That was a bad situation for sure!

Mar 18, 2017 07:00 AM #24
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