Condensation in the attic is a serious problem that must be addressed by homeowners. If left untreated, it can damage critical structural elements of the home, such as the trusses and rafters, ruin insulation, damage any stored belongings, and lead to the formation of potentially toxic black mold.
You can prevent these problems from occurring by maintaining a dry attic with a low relative humidity. First, however, you must 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.
- Traces where water has trickled down the walls.
- Damp insulation.
- Noticeable musky, damp odor.
Common Causes of Condensation In The Attic
There are dozens of things that can cause condensation buildups in the attic, one of which is a leaking roof. Even a small pin head-sized hole can send gallons of water pouring into your attic over the course of a couple months. And to make matters worse, these holes are not easily identified unless it’s raining. If you believe a leaking roof is to blame for your attic condensation, perform a little investigative work the next time it rains, inspecting the roof for signs of a leak.
Improperly vented bathroom and dryer exhausts may trigger the formation of condensation in the attic. Both bathroom and dryer exhausts are designed to serve the same basic purpose: to vent the hot, humid air outside the home. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for contractors or DIY homeowners to run these exhaust vents to the attic rather than outside the home; thus, pushing the humid air into the attic. Check to make sure all exhausts are vented outside, not the attic.
Broken water pipes may also cause trigger condensation in attics. If the pipe is completely busted, then you’ll likely experience a severe flooding of the attic. On the other hand, if there’s a minor hair-line crack in the pipe, it could release a very small — yet still damaging — amount of water.
Solutions For Attic Condensation
Running a dehumidifier will help to eliminate some of the condensation in an attic, but it’s not a viable long-term solution by any means. Depending on the moisture levels of your attic, you could find yourself emptying it several times a day. A more sensible solution is to identify the source of the condensation and eliminate it. A properly designed attic should maintain a stable relative humidity (RH).