Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
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lmoody
Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
lmoody

We live in a 1940s farmhouse. We have been living here for 25 years. A few years ago we had a metal roof put on the house. They removed our turbines from the roof and instead cut a ridge vent for ventilation. After that, we started having problems with debris and insects getting into our attic. So, this past spring we had someone come in and put in a foam type piece under the ridge of the roof. It was suppose to keep out debris and insects but still allow air flow as needed in our attic. We also installed a vent and a fan in the gables of the house to help with air flow. We ran the fan during the summer months to help remove excess heat in the attic. This fall we had additional insulation added to our attic. Currently, our house is much warmer and no debris or insects can get in our attic......... But NOW we have a new problem. Today I heard dripping coming down on our attic stairs. I pulled the stairs down and went into the attic to see what looked like frost..... condensation,...... and some type of mildew formed all along the very ridge of our attic! I also notice it around the roof along an area where a chimney comes up from our bedroom and through the roof. In all the years we've lived here...... This has NEVER happened. Even though this house is OLD.....the wood in our attic has looked pristine!. We are at a loss at what I next steps should be. Can anyone advise????

keith3267
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
keith3267

Do you have soffit vents? You have to have soffit vents if you have a ridge vent, gable vents won't do.

lmoody
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
lmoody

We do have soffit vents...... but I noticed the blown in insulation has them covered. We are working to pull that insulation away from the soffit vents this afternoon.

lmoody
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
lmoody

And.....now I'm thinking the material used to fill in the ridge vent to keep out debris and insects isn't letting air flow out like it should and maybe the gable vents aren't enough. Wondering if we should have the wind turbines put back on. I sure wish the people we hired for the roof work and the insulation work had properly advised us on all of this! And...... how do I get rid of the mildew that I see now all along the ridge of the roof in the attic???

dj1
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
dj1

Quote: "And...... how do I get rid of the mildew that I see now all along the ridge of the roof in the attic???"

Get bleach and a garden sprayer (with a hand pump).

Mix water and bleach (50-50) and spray the mildew well. It will go away quickly.

Jack
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
Jack

Here's a second thought. Remove the ridge cover and install a standard ridge vent cover then install the metal cover over that. That will keep the warm moist air from causing condensation on the metal. Insulate around the chimney with spray foam that you can get at almost any hardware or big box store.

Jack

Mastercarpentry
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
Mastercarpentry

Once the soffit vents are opened to free airflow the condensation problems should be over. Keep the insulation pulled back as it will tend to settle back over them or install baffles to hold the insulation back (which should have been done when first insulated).The premium ridge vents have that thick "plastic wool" like steel wool or scotchbrite only coarser in them. It doesn't affect airflow much and is effective in keeping most bugs out which may get up that far. If what they stuffed in there is similar you're OK there.

Phil

MegaTomslick1
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
MegaTomslick1

how did it work out for ya????

lmoody
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
lmoody

We have opened up the soffits but still need to put in the baffle. We hired a roofing company to come in and remove the air tight filler in the ridge vent and replace it with a screen so now air can move but bugs and debris cannot come in. We know have good ventilation flowing in the attic....... but we still have to get the mildew sprayed. We also built an elevated attic catwalk so we can now easily walk from one end of the attic to the other. This will make it easier to get to all parts that need spraying. We are exhausted!

ed21
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
ed21

Accuvent makes a nice insulation baffle that would contain blown in insulation well. I don't think it's necessarily meant for retrofit, but should work. Any work don't at the soffits is going to be nasty. Get some good kneepads and try not to jam any roofing nails in your noggin or put a foot through the drywall. ;)

Fencepost
Re: Condensation in Attic..... Help!!!
Fencepost

You may also want to try to reduce the amount of moisture coming from your living space into the attic. Try and seal up any penetrations, such as wires going into the top plates of the walls and around any recessed lighting. If you have recessed lights that are NOT "IC rated" (rated for insulation being in direct contact), you'll need to build a sealed box around them.

An added benefit is you will gain even more heating efficiency, as you will also reduce heat loss from drafts.

This work will probably require shifting aside some of the insulation. If you have blown-in insulation, you may need to have more added after you do this, as handling the stuff will compress it and it's about impossible to fluff it back up by hand.

Ideally, there would be a vapor barrier between the ceiling and the insulation, but, practically this would require removing all of the insulation, so don't even bother -- it's not worth the time or cost. You may get some benefit from using a vapor-barrier primer on the ceiling, to block moisture transmission through drywall or plaster.

Mold can be a respiratory allergen. If you notice an increase in stuffiness without the usual symptoms of cold or flu, it could be a mold response. Removal of the mold may be beneficial. (In the coastal Pacific Northwest, mold is everpresent in the soil. People with respiratory mold sensitivities have chronic respiratory issues of they live in the coastal Pacific Northwest.)

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