Monday, February 5th, 2018
What is causing mold, water damage, or frost on the underside of your roof in the attic?
Warm air rising from a heated home will leak into the attic through small openings or gaps in the ceiling by natural convective forces. This is called the “Stack Effect”, the taller the home, the greater the effect. The stack effect is often increased when there is air leakage into the basement.
Here’s how it happens:
Cold air leaks in through gaps in and around rim joist, foundation walls and basement windows. This causes higher amounts of heated air to rise into the attic.
The highest amount of pressure in the home in winter is the ceiling because of the rising heat. This heated air contains relative humidity (moisture). When moisture hits the cold underside of the roof plywood and rafters, it causes condensation. This will freeze and form frost when the temperature is cold enough. When the weather warms up outside, the frost melts and drips into the insulation below.
Other potential causes of warm air leaking into the attic are improper or inadequate insulation and leaky ducts and HVAC systems in the attic. Bath fans and dryer vents that are not vented to the exterior of the home are major causes as well. Moisture and humidity cause mold, rot, and structural damage. Visual evidence can be one or all of the following:
These visual indicators can be the result of a long-term problem. Just because you don’t see frost any longer, doesn’t mean the leakage has stopped. It just means the roof isn’t cold enough for the moisture to freeze.
How does Home Environment Solutions eliminate this problem?
Home moisture problems are sometimes complex to solve. Have Home Environment Solutions fix the underlying causes! Our staff has been trained by Dr. Energy Saver. They have the largest home performance training center in the country. National certifications include:
The previous conventional method to combat attic moisture was to ensure enough ventilation would allow warm air leaking in, to escape through the vents before it condensed. It was found later that adding more insulation to the top of your ceilings without properly air sealing caused the attic temperature to drop—in fact, it increases the chance of condensation. Fiberglass insulation is a good air filter, but does very little to stop air movement. Adequate ventilation does not address the source of the lost heated air, it only minimizes the effects.
The real solution is to find where the moisture is coming from, air sealing it, and then installing a good thermal barrier. Comfort, efficiency and indoor air quality is dependent on keeping the air you paid for (heating or cooling) inside your home’s living space. Proper air sealing is as important as insulating the attic. The most common areas that need sealing are around openings, light boxes, recessed lighting, vents, chimneys and other protrusions through the ceiling in the home.
The control of air leakage is a critical step in preventing moisture problems. Here are some steps to help:
Did you catch this problem too late? Have our Nationally Certified professional mold remediation team remove the mold and fix the underlying causes.
Attic mold must be removed, not just sprayed, encapsulated, or killed. Dead mold is sometimes just as allergenic as live mold. Once the mold is removed, the problems that caused it must be corrected or the mold will soon return.
What happens if the underlying problems are not eliminated? At the least, the cost of heating and cooling your home are increased while the comfort level is decreased. Worse cases can cause rot and structural damage to the home as well as mold contamination inside the living space, leaving the occupants inside at risk of an allergic response.
What are the advantages of having your home properly air sealed, insulated and ventilated?
Call Home Environment Solutions at 1-844-385-7874 to schedule your free evaluation and estimate. We proudly serve Cecil, Saint Clairsville, South Park Township, & Surrounding Areas!