If you’re seeing water droplets developing on your home’s roof, deck, or insulation, chances are good you are dealing with condensation. This condition usually pops up during the colder winter months and, if it goes by unnoticed or unchecked, it can cause severe structural problems to your roof.
Luckily there are several practical solutions to consider if you notice that condensation has become a problem for your roof. Read on to learn more.
How Condensation Occurs on Your Roof
Condensation is one of the six major roofing issues homeowners may encounter during winter. When heated air inside your home rises to the roof, it meets with the colder temperatures from the outside environment. The hot air then rapidly cools, causing immediate condensation.
Because home heating is more common and intense in colder months, condensation is more prone to appear during winter. And since moisture has no place to go, it soaks into surrounding materials, causing problems with rot, mold, insects, and other unpleasant side effects.
Condensation is mostly associated with the attic area, but keep in mind that it can occur throughout the roof assembly, increasing the chances of roof damage.
You can identify condensation problems through the signs of wet streaks and drips that remain on the roof. However, condensation can also freeze in thin sheets in certain areas of your roof, which is challenging to detect. That’s why your best bet is to call in a roofing specialist who will be able to identify the issue with thermographic imaging.
Solutions for Roof Condensation
The best way to deal with condensation is to eliminate moisture. Here are some solutions you can implement to achieve that:
With proper ventilation, you can ensure enough air flow to remove moisture but not so much as to compromise your home’s safety and heating. Ventilation should, therefore, be adequately balanced.
Balancing attic and roof ventilation can be tricky, but a proper ventilation system can easily be installed by an experienced residential roofing contractor. Additional vent options, such as those for ridges, roofs, gables, eaves, and ceilings will help to balance out the air flow.
While having your roof converted into a cool roof is a great way to save money on air conditioning during the summer months, this might also cause you condensation problems during the winter. Cool roofs are designed to reflect the sun’s heat and stay cooler, which means that when the warm air from a heated home’s interior rises, it will meet this cold roof and cause condensation.
Therefore, if you already have a cool roof installed, you should determine whether un-cooling the roof might solve the condensation issue. And if you’re still only considering getting a cool roof, it is crucial that you look at the potential unwanted effects it might have on condensation inside your home.
Insulation and Vapor Barriers
Insulation and vapor barriers are a great way to keep your roof warmer and simultaneously diminish condensation issues. Vapor barriers are membranes that keep the water vapor from passing through. They can also help to prevent moisture build-up on vulnerable materials like insulation and wood.
You won’t need a significant renovation when installing these barriers, which makes them ideal for homes with existing condensation problems. However, keep in mind that vapor barriers can damage your roof during the summer because they will stop the hot humid air that’s coming from the outside and, with nowhere to go, the humid air and subsequent moisture will stay trapped in the roof and outside walls.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to take them down during that time.
Condensation on roofs can lead to severe roof damage if not taken care of in time. Even if you don’t notice signs of condensation, it does not mean it is not there. Therefore, the best way to understand how your roof functions and learn about its condition is by having annual roof inspections done by a professional residential roofing contractor.