Beware, Drastic Temperature Changes Can Cause Condensation in your Ceiling

Beware, Drastic Temperature Changes Can Cause Condensation in your Ceiling

With the recent change in weather going from 20 below zero on Saturday to 30 above zero on Sunday some buildings may be experiencing water drips on the ceiling. One phenomena to know about is when the outside temperature goes from very cold to above freezing this creates an opportunity for water vapor in the air to become water drops in your ceiling and it can look the same as a roof leak.

Condensation typically occurs when warm, moist air migrates or is directed into the attic or roof cavity from living spaces below. Water vapor enters the attic or roof space as part of the air. Then when the temperature drops to extreme lows the moisture (water vapor) in the air is frozen once it hits a cold surface. Once the temperature rises above freezing, the ice (frozen water) turns into water (liquid form) and tries to find its way into your building which is why condensation can look like the roof is leaking.

When we investigate the report of roof leaks and the actual source turns out to be condensation we find moisture inside of pipe vent stacks, heating and air conditioning equipment, bath and kitchen fan stacks, inside of attics, at the transition of one building to another, the edge of an exterior wall or maybe even the peak of the roof. We have found the condensation in the form of water or ice, depending on the location and conditions.

If you roof didn’t leak during last summer’s storms which brought us hail and wind driven rains, consider looking for possible condensation sources. Gaps in insulation, around roof penetrations, in or around roof top heating and cooling equipment or vents and fans. This may save you the cost of a repair call for something that is not a roof leak.


Kari Switala