What it is, top causes and what you can do to prevent it
Each Winter in Alberta, there are a number of homeowners who experience ceiling, kitchen and bathroom vent leaks in their homes. While some might assume this moisture is coming in through their exterior roofing system, this is often not the case. What many are not aware of is the cause of this leaking – which is oftentimes due to a condition known as attic rain.
Although attic rain is unfortunately not completely preventable within our homes, there are proactive steps homeowners can take to educate themselves and learn how to decrease the risks of this condition over the Winter months.
What is Attic Rain?
Attic rain can occur when warm, moist air accumulates and rises into the attic. From there, cold temperatures cause it to freeze, creating a layer of frost across the roof sheathing. When temperatures begin to warm, as we often see in Alberta during a Chinook, the frozen moisture hiding in your attic begins to melt.
As a result of this, the moisture must go somewhere, which is typically down into the attic insulation or interior of the home through areas such as pot lights, smoke detectors or other perforations in your attics vapor barrier. This causes noticeable leaks during warmer temperatures.
Where Does This Moisture Come From?
Warm, moist air is created within a home via the appliances and fixtures we use for daily living such as the shower/bath, humidifiers, as well as our personal and lifestyle habits such as cooking and even breathing! Moisture not only gets stuck within the attic, but also in a number of items within the home including bedding, furniture and carpeting.
Today, new homes are often designed to be “weather tight”, meaning there is limited room for air to escape through windows, doors and other openings throughout the home. Although this helps to keep things warm and cozy during Alberta’s cold winter months, this also increases the risk of warm, moist air getting trapped within your home.
This should not prevent you from living in a beautiful home you love, which is why it is especially important to take as many preventative measures as possible to decrease the amount of moisture you are producing in your home during the Winter.
How Can You Decrease the Amount of Moisture Being Produced Within Your Home?
Although it is impossible to avoid the production of moisture in our homes completely, there are some efforts you can take to decrease the amount of moist air being produced on a daily basis.
During the Winter, we highly recommend keeping a consistent eye on the weather reports and implement our suggested preventative measures the best you can. We recommend humidity levels be turned down below 15% as early as possible before a cold snap, as it takes a few days for a home to adjust to humidity changes as the moisture is stored in furniture, bedding, carpets etc.
- Reduce the duration of time you spend in warm, steamy showers or baths;
- Run the bathroom fan for longer than you typically would in warmer months (20-45 mins);
- Keep the hood fan running while cooking in the kitchen;
- Minimize or avoid use of steam-generating appliances such as humidifiers during colder temperatures;
- Minimize the use of the dryer to dry your clothing, instead hang some loads on an indoor drying rack instead.
How Can You Prevent Attic Rain?
Although there is no way to fully avoid attic rain all together, we can take the preventative efforts mentioned above to help decrease the chances of attic rain.
What Can You do if You Suspect Attic Rain?
Don’t panic – if you have noticed a leak and suspect attic rain, follow these simple steps:
- Continue to follow all the suggested methods of reducing interior moisture listed above;
- If the leak is worsening, place a bucket and/or towels near the leak to prevent any further damage;
- Take photos of the leak as soon as you are able;
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible with your name, address, photos, description of the location and any other characteristics of the leak you can provide;
- A Lincoln representative will be in touch to discuss and determine next steps as soon as possible.
Please always contact a professional roofing company to address the issues related to attic rain. Although there are many resources to help in doing these repairs on your own, it’s important to leave this work in the hands of trained and qualified professionals.
What are the Costs to Address Issues Related to Attic Rain?
Each home and leak is different, which is why Lincoln takes a personalized approach to each request. There is an assessment fee for the initial inspection and any repairs are quoted and determined based on required repairs.
If a Lincoln Exteriors representative discovers any issues that could be improved upon in your attic system, a quote for improvements will be provided and repairs will commence accordingly, based upon approval and billed in addition to the inspection fees.
Due to the fact that attic rain is not completely preventable, many insurance policies do not cover inspection or repair fees for damage related to attic rain. For information on what your policy will cover, please contact your insurance representative.
How can Lincoln Help With Attic Rain?
At Lincoln, we see your home as a working system of interconnected parts. We believe that in order for your home to work as a system, all of its parts must work in tandem with one another – from your siding, windows and doors, to your roofing system.
Upon any exterior renovation, we ensure your home will be protected for years to come by using materials such as breathable synthetic underlayment’s, and vents that go above and beyond code standard.
When it comes to attic rain, Lincoln will do its best to resolve your attic rain concerns in a timely and effective manner. If you suspect attic rain, follow the steps outlined above and/or give us a call at 403-275-4871.
Some things are out of our control, but taking proactive steps to lessen the impact of attic rain is a proactive step we can all take to decrease the long-term impacts of warm, moist air.
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Are you in need of Calgary roofing services? We would love to manage your comprehensive roofing needs. Get in touch with us today by calling (403) 275 4871 or by filling out our contact form. To read more about our roofing process please click here to visit our roofing page. Your roof is in good hands with us.
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