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Pacific Sheet Metal Blog

What Causes Condensation on My Ceiling in the Winter?

Posted by Joey Haack on Dec 4, 2019 2:15:00 PM | Updated on 07/16/20 2:05 PM


If you’re experiencing water dripping through your ceiling during the winter and it’s not due to an actual roof leak or ice dam problem, condensation is the most likely culprit. Regardless of the source, excess moisture is one of the home’s worst enemies. It can lead to poor indoor air quality, mold and mildew, rot, and deterioration. Attic condensation is a common problem for many homeowners during the colder months. Today, we’ll explain why it forms and what you can do to fight it. 


What causes condensation?

Condensation forms when moist, warm air cools quickly. This causes the air to release the moisture, forming water droplets. This is the same thing that happens your glass of ice water on a hot summer day: the moisture that forms on the outside of your glass is condensation.


Is it condensation or a leaky roof?

If your roof has no exterior damage and you can’t track the source of a leak, it’s more likely that you have a condensation problem on your hands.


Why does condensation form in my attic in the winter?

Using heat, humidifiers, and hot showers to combat the dry, cold air during the winter fills your home with warm, humid air. Dryers, dishwashers, ovens, and stoves also contribute to excess heat and humidity in the home. If your attic lacks proper insulation and ventilation, this warm, moist air can rise into the attic and get trapped there, causing condensation to form as the warm air meets the cold roof.


How do I fix my attic condensation problem?

First, make sure you have enough attic insulation to keep the warm air out of your attic in the first place. A professional can install quality, water-resistant insulation and seal any air leaks for you. Second, make sure your attic has a proper ventilation system in place to expel any unwanted moisture and keep the top of your home dry and cool

If you have a serious condensation problem, you may also be adding too much moisture to your living space. Cut back on your humidifier usage during the winter, and consider using a dehumidifier. Also check to make sure your dryer vent and all other exhaust fans throughout your house (in the kitchen and bathrooms) are leading outside. If they lead to your attic or another part of your home, they need to be rerouted.


Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against Mother Nature. If you’re experiencing any roofing system problems, it's important to call a professional to resolve the problem. For more tips about keeping your roof in good condition, subscribe to our blog! 

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Topics: roofing