A lot of time people contact the professionals with an assumption their roof is leaking when, in fact, it is not. Instead, the home is simply showing condensation. This is a very common misconception, but there is one surefire way you can tell if you are suffering from an actual leak.
Actual Leak Vs. Condensation
An actual leak will be apparent during heavy rainstorms, while condensation will appear after changes in temperature either inside the home or outside. If it hasn’t been raining outside and you think your roof is leaking, chances are high it is condensation.
Why Does Condensation Occur?
Condensation occurs when the moisture in the air is too much for a specific temperature, and so it is expelled. This is why it is most noticed when there is a drastic change in the weather, such as when it is incredibly warm during the day but drops to freezing at night. A good example of condensation is the morning dew you often see during summer mornings.
Inside your home there are multiple ways moisture is placed into the air. Examples include:
- Normal breathing and human perspiration, which is responsible for three pints of moisture per day per person
- Showers or sinks when ran on hot
- Dishwasher, clothes washer, and other appliances
Condensation is much more likely to occur if your home suffers from poor insulation or insufficient ventilation.
Is This A Bad Sign?
While insignificant amounts of condensation may be normal, noticing large amounts may be a bad sign. Excess moisture has the potential to accumulate in the areas of your home you do not see. Primary targets for buildup include walls, roofing, flooring, and interior ceilings.
What does this build up of moisture lead to?
- Paint that peels, blisters, or bubbles on floors or ceilings
- Wood that rots, warps, and eventually cracks or breaks
- Mildew and mold spores
What Can I Do About Condensation Inside My Home?
The main way to control excessive condensation inside the home is to control the humidity. Ensure that all ventilation systems are discharging outside the home, not inside. This includes dryer vents, which are one major culprit. If they are not already equipped, install exhaust fans in the main rooms responsible for interior condensation. This includes your kitchen, laundry room, and any bathrooms.
You can install a dehumidifier, which draws the humidity out of the air. This is especially recommended if you have a loft and/or vaulted ceilings. Also, if you have a fireplace, always ensure the damper is open.
Check your basement, attic, and crawl space to ensure they are properly ventilated. These places are often overlooked but have a lot to do with the heating or cooling of your home. For basements and attics, also ensure they are properly insulated.
A final option is to add additional roof vents to your existing structure. These will allow warm air to escape from the attic, which drastically reduces condensation buildup. Roof vents come in several assorted styles. The most popular include box, turbine, and ridge venting.