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All About Roof Condensation

There’s a culprit behind roof condensation and it’s moisture.  Even a new homeowner knows that the word “moisture” brings bad news.  Roof condensation presents the threat of structural damage, and the aftermath is nothing but expensive repairs.  Here’s what to look out, how it happens, and what to do about roof condensation so you can fix the problem before it gets out of control.

roof condensation and mold

How Roof Condensation Occurs

You already know that with condensation, there’s moisture. How does the moisture occur?  Moisture forms when the heat from inside of your home rises to the roof (as hot air rises), clashing with the cold temperatures of the outside air.  This combination of hot and cold air results in rapid cooling, leading to immediate condensation.

As you can see, roof condensation is a more prevalent issue during the colder winter months.  And with that, roof condensation is also worse.  The heat is much more intense and more frequent, as homeowners raise the temperatures to keep their homes warm. That means more clashing temperatures at the roof and more condensation—and more problems.

What Roof Condensation Does

What’s the problem with a little condensation?  The answer is: a lot.  The moisture has no place to escape to and so it collects—and where does it collect?  Yes, that’s right, the roof and its materials.  The roof and the roofing materials soak up the moisture and this becomes a huge problem, resulting in: rot, mold, insect infestation, and structural damage.

The Signs of Roof Condensation

If roof condensation can cause so many issues, it’s a good idea to be prepared.  A step in preparation is knowing the signs of roof condensation so you know what you’re looking at and can solve it before serious damages is inflicted on your roof and home.

The downside is that roof condensation can be difficult to detect. In an attic, it’s easier to spot the signs.  You’ll see leaks and water dripping from the roof above.  If you don’t have an upstairs attic that sits just below the roof, then it becomes harder to spot.  Don’t assume that any dripping is from a leak, but consider the source as condensation.

Take a look at insulation to see if moisture has made it spongy, buckled, or warped because you may not be able to spot condensation on structural concrete or wood supports.  Cracking noises might be heard if you walk on the roof during the winter if the roof has been subjected to condensation.

Condensation can occur anywhere on the roof assembly.  You’ll want to watch for wet streaks, drips, or for difficult cases, it’s best to use thermographic imaging.  Thermographic imaging is a test that can identify roof condensation with specialized equipment.

Roof Condensation Solutions

Be vigilant about your roof.  It’s designed to last decades, but with problems like roof condensation, moisture damage can dramatically cut even the best roof’s lifetime short.  By inspecting your roof for signs of condensation and acting on implementing solutions to resolve it, you’ll save yourself the thousands of dollars. However, if the condensation damaged your roof then it’s best to replace your roof instead of going with repairs.

Proper Insulation

Insulation is essential to your roof’s health.  It regulates temperatures and not just during the colder months, but good insulation will actually help keep your home cool during the summer as well.

For the season of roof condensation, however, insulation is a key player in prevention. It keeps your roof warmer, which reduces that clash of extreme temperatures that cause the moisture to initially form.  Without moisture having the chance to even form or soak into your roof, there’s no roof condensation, and you can thank your insulation for that.

Vapor Barriers

Insulation is common, but have you heard of vapor barriers?  Installed and integrated within a roofing system, vapor barriers (also known as vapor retarders) are polyethylene membranes that prevent water vapor from passing through.  Vapor barriers help protect the more delicate roofing materials like wood and even insulation.

water vapor barrier installed on a roof

The good news is that even if your roof doesn’t have this barrier protection, it’s not overly complex that it can’t be installed after-the-fact.  Call a contractor and ask them about vapor barriers, especially if your current roof is prone to condensation.

They’ll be able to install this feature on your current roof without issue.  Like insulation, vapor barriers also assist in regulating your roof and home’s temperatures, dramatically reducing condensations and moisture presence.

Venting

For roofs to function, reliable venting is needed.  You need enough airflow to eliminate moisture, but you don’t want so much venting that it inhibits your home’s ability to heat itself (or to compromise safety by having wide venting openings).  The balance can be hard to achieve, but there are plenty of options for vents.

An experienced roofing contractor can recommend what’s right for your house like gables, eaves, ceilings, and more vent styles.  You can say goodbye to condensation, moisture damage, and intense heat that melts shingles forever.

Get a Water Proof Barrier Roof

The longevity of your roof won’t last long if you live in the Midwest. Let’s face it, the weather in the Midwest is unpredictable. You get heavy rain, snow, and hail during the same week. At Feldco Roofing, we provide a water proof synthetic underlayment barrier that will keep your roof and shingles protected for decades.

The shingles have a breakthrough design to deliver consistent fastening during installation and the barrier will keep the shingles intact. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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