“My Roof is Leaking!” Are You Sure?

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Is water coming in through your ceiling? While the first thought for most homeowners when they experience water in the home is that their roof has sprung a leak, this isn’t always the case. A very common cause, especially when outside temperatures are extreme, is attic condensation. Your roof may not have a leak (so rejoice!), but your attic may be poorly ventilated and/or insulated, enabling moisture to build up and cause problems for you. If the leak is not from your roof (see How to Track Down a Roof Leak), it very likely is due to attic condensation.

If you do have water entering your home through the attic, make sure you take action to have the problem resolved as quickly as possible. If you don’t, it could lead to a number of serious problems: water stains, mold, poor indoor air quality, rot, and possible ceiling collapse. Don’t delay dealing with a water damage problem until it’s too late. Every day you put it off will increase the damage as well as your repair costs. Call Hedrick Construction at 515-597-7663, or click on the button below. 

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Find the Leak

If the water in your home is, in fact, entering through a leak in the roof, the first step is to identify the source.  Call your Ankeny-area roofing contractor to pinpoint the problem area for you and determine how you should proceed to fix it. It’s likely that the moisture is due to one or both of these things: improper attic ventilation or insufficient attic insulation.

 

Improper Ventilation

Hot, humid air from inside your home may rise to your attic, causing condensation and water problems inside your home. The first reason for this is insufficient insulation (see below), but once the “bad” air is up in your attic, it’s your ventilation system’s job to get rid of it. Frost can also build up inside your attic if it is poorly ventilated. When the frost melts, it can leak into your home. A good attic ventilation system should get rid of the warm, humid air inside and replace it with cool, dry air from outside.

 

Insufficient Insulation

When the insulation in your attic is insufficient, it allows warm, humid air that rises up from inside your home into the attic space, producing condensation. The first step to fixing this problem is to seal off all air leaks into the attic. Then, and only then, you should add more insulation. Blown-in insulation is well-suited to attics. It can tightly fill an entire space without leaving gaps or holes around structures such as pipes and beams. This makes it much more airtight than insulation batts and rolls. Blown-in insulation is moisture-resistant and made from recycled materials that are environmentally safe. A professional contractor can locate air leaks for you that you may be unable to find on your own. Some air leaks are tricky to pinpoint, as they can actually be located beneath your current attic insulation.

 

Indoor Tip 1: Make sure you keep all of the vents open inside your home to allow the air to circulate properly. Closing vents will not save you money. On the contrary, closing vents around the house can damage your heating system and reduce ventilation throughout your home, allowing moisture and condensation to more easily form.

Indoor Tip 2: A lot of people turn on humidifiers in the winter to make their homes more comfortable. This may cause frost buildup in your attic. The more humid you make your house, the more frost is likely to form. The solution? Simply turn off your humidifier. While the warm, humid air may feel nice in the winter, it’s actually bad for the home. Also, make sure you have exhaust vents in your bathroom and kitchen that you run when showering and cooking. Leave the fan on in the bathroom for 30-60 minutes after every shower or bath to get the indoor humidity levels back down to normal.

 

We offer Owens Corning Insulation and Lomanco vents to keep your attic space dry and prevent water infiltration into your home. If you live near Ames, Huxley, or Ankeny, contact us today with any questions you have about your roof, attic, or insulation.

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