Is Your Attic Protected From Water Damage?

Attic water damage

Like the crawl space beneath your home, your overhead attic is a frequent focal point for water damage. Because attics are infrequently visited by occupants of the house, water damage often progresses unseen for a good amount of time. By the time it’s noted, damage from situations like these may be well advanced:

  • Rotted wooden attic structure including rafters, joists and subroof
  • Saturated attic insulation
  • Toxic mold contamination
  • Ceiling deterioration
  • Water intrusion into living spaces below

Damage to attics may result from four water-related causes which in turn call for different remedies:

Roof leaks during rain. Pinpointing roof leaks requires both exterior and interior inspections. Signs of roof leakage into the attic include darkened spots or streaks on the underside of the plywood subroof. However, these interior signs often result from an exterior leak that may be far from the point where water actually drips into the attic. Therefore, locating and repairing roof leaks affecting the attic is generally a job for a qualified roofing contractor.

Leaky plumbing routed through the attic. Any leakage from water supply lines is unacceptable, including tiny pinhole leaks and minor seepage. In addition to providing a continuous source of attic moisture, leakage generally indicates deterioration inside pipes which may result in a sudden pipe rupture that inflicts severe damage to living spaces below. Leaking pipes require immediate attention by a professional plumber.

Continuous high humidity. When attic ventilation is inadequate, extremely hot, humid air accumulates in the enclosed space during daylight hours. As the attic cools after dark, condensation forms, drenching wooden structure, degrading insulation and feeding mold. To break this continuous cycle, make sure all attic vents are open and unobstructed by insulation or other objects. If passive attic ventilation is insufficient to moderate attic temperatures and exhaust humidity, consider installing powered attic vent fans.

Exposed HVAC ductwork. When humid attic air contacts cold ductwork conveying air from the central A/C, condensation soaks the area around the ducts, saturating insulation and triggering mold growth. All ductwork routed through attics should be insulated to prevent condensation as well as inhibit thermal gain or loss.  

Tags: , ,

Return to the Blog Home Page