Roof condensation is a common problem that plagues many roofs and their owners in the winter. When you turn on the heat in your home, it slowly rises to your roof. The roof, being exposed to outdoor temperatures, is much cooler than your home. Where warm air meets colder temperatures moisture forms. Unless there’s a way for moisture to vent, it collects and damages your home.
Unfortunately, few homeowners understand how to identify roof condensation or what to do about it. To avoid this common problem, learn about what causes roof condensation and how to deal with it below.
Do You Have Roof Condensation?
How do you know whether you have roof condensation or any outright roof leak? Here a few signs that it may be roof condensation:
- The ceiling or walls have water stains, but aren’t soaking wet
- You don’t hear gushing or trickling water
- The water problems get worse as temperatures drop
- The problem typically doesn’t get worse with rain
- It looks like the roof is sagging
If you see any of these warning signs you should reach out to a roofing professional to confirm that you are dealing with condensation.
Problems from Roof Condensation
As roof condensation collects in your attic it can cause a number of problems including:
- Deterioration of roof materials: Wet roofing materials are vulnerable to damage and can break or fail.
- Poor insulation: Wet insulation is not nearly as effective as dry insulation. Poor insulation can increase your heating bills and make your condensation problem worse.
- Damage to building: Other parts of your home, from your ceiling to your floor, can be damaged by roof condensation over time.
How to Fix Roof Condensation
Fixing roof condensation may involve improving your insulation, ventilation, or both.
Wait, don’t insulation and ventilation cancel each other out?
While ventilation can slightly undermine your insulation, a healthy roof needs both to work properly.
When you have proper insulation between your attic and roof, heat moves slowly out of your home. Instead of coming into direct contact with a cold roof deck, your home’s warm air meets the insulation first, which slows down the condensation effect.
Sometimes, roof condensation develops around a chimney in an uninsulated attic, as the heat and moisture from the chimney is much warmer than the cold attic air. In order to resolve this could insulate either the attic or the chimney.
Even if your insulation is perfect, you still need proper ventilation to allow excess moisture to leave your home. All homes create moisture from showers, dishwashing, cooking, and more. If that moisture can’t escape it will develop into condensation no matter what. Ventilation is the most common issue behind condensation problems.
So, in order to resolve problems from roof condensation, your roofer will inspect your roof ventilation and attic insulation. They will install new insulation or ventilation, or both. After they have resolved the problem, they still need to replace any damaged roof materials. This may include deck underlayment, shingles, and insulation.
Also, if your home condensation issues were severe, you may need to work with other professionals to fix your ceiling, wall insulation, and drywall. Your roofer can direct you to areas where the condensation has gathered, even where they are hidden from your view.