Are you noticing signs of a leaky roof but unable to figure out the source? It’s common to assume a roof leak roof is the reason water is making its way into your home. But that isn’t necessarily that case! Many homeowners are puzzled when they inspect their roof to find a suspected leak only to find that everything is frozen. The good news is that the issue may not be a roof issue at all; it’s likely condensation in your attic.
Locating the Source
The first thing you need to do is verify that the dripping water is, in fact, not coming from a leak in your roof. Try to identify any exterior damage in the area of the roof above where the water is dripping. If you can’t find anything, it’s likely condensation from your attic.
There are two primary reasons for condensation forming in your attic. First, if your attic is insufficiently insulated, it may be allowing warm air from your home to rise up to the attic. Second, if your attic is improperly ventilated, warm, humid air might be trapped inside, causing the condensation to form. Most of the time, condensation in your attic is a result of both of these conditions.
How Condensation Is Formed
If you’ve ever had a cup of ice water outside on a hot summer’s day or hot chocolate in the winter, it’s likely that you noticed condensation on the outside or inside of the cup. The same process affects your attic during extreme temperatures. The interaction between the cold outdoor air and the warm indoor air causes the condensation that is responsible for your leak.
Fixing the Problem
There are a few relatively minor changes you can make to help prevent condensation from forming in your attic and in other areas in your home.
- Minimize humidifier use. Winter air can often be dry and uncomfortable, so it’s natural to want to run your humidifier often. The more you run your humidifier, however, the more moisture will be in the air—and the more likely it will be to form frost, which will reduce the effectiveness of your attic’s ventilation. Consider only using your humidifier when you are going to bed, and run the humidifier only in the bedroom rather than throughout the house.
- Be sure to run the exhaust fan in your bathroom for 30–60 minutes after a bath or shower. Trapping warm, humid air within your home can exacerbate your condensation problem. When cooking on your stovetop, be sure to run the exhaust enough to remove the warm, moist air, but don’t let it run for too long, or you’ll be sending out the air you’ve paid to heat!
- Keep all of the vents open in your home to make sure that air is flowing properly throughout your home and attic. Closing vents will not save you money on your heating bill, and poor ventilation is likely to cause further condensation problems.
More substantial projects include rerouting your ventilation, properly venting your attic, and adding insulation. You may want to consult a professional before embarking on any of these renovations.
Do you have a condensation problem or roof leak you've been dealing with for awhile now? Pacific is located in Carbondale, CO, and provides various roofing services for residents in the Aspen area. We can fix a simple problem or replace your entire roof before extensive damage is done to your home. Contact us today!