Why Does Condensation in Your Roof Look Like a Ceiling Leak?

Midwesterners are all too familiar with drastic changes in weather. Going from 20 below zero one day to 30 above zero the next is just a normal part of our winter season.

The issue with extremely cold temperatures, besides frostbite, is that buildings and residential homes may experience water drops in the ceiling. We see this happen a lot when the outside temperature goes from very cold to above freezing, creating an opportunity for water vapor in the air to become water drops in your ceiling. This looks a lot like a roof leak. 

Why Is There Condensation on My Roof?

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 (i.e., water vapor) in the air is frozen when it hits a cold surface. Once the temperature rises above freezing, the ice (i.e., frozen water) turns into water (i.e., liquid form) and tries to find its way into your building, which is why condensation can look like a ceiling leak.

I Have a Water Leak in My Ceiling. What Do I Do Now?

When we investigate the report of ceiling leaks, and the actual source turns out to be condensation, the first step is finding where the moisture is coming from.

We look inside the following areas to find the source:

  • Pipe vent stacks
  • Heating and air conditioning equipment
  • Bath and kitchen fan stacks
  • Attics
  • The transition of one building to another
  • The edge of an exterior wall 
  • Peak of the roof

We have found condensation in the form of water or ice, depending on the location and conditions.

Is Condensation in a Roof Dangerous?

Well, aside from creating leaks and damaging your building or home’s structure, don’t forget that mold can grow from water leaks in your ceiling or wherever the condensation is occurring.

But How Do I Know If It’s A Ceiling Leak or Condensation?

If after a heavy rainfall, your roof doesn’t leak, consider looking for possible condensation sources. Check for 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.

Think You May Have a Bigger Issue?

If you think you’re dealing with more than condensation, contact our team to help you identify the issue and find you an affordable, durable solution. At All Elements, we offer both residential and commercial roof repair services to keep you covered from all Mother Nature throws our way.

Need a quick estimate? Contact us to learn more!