6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Moisture in bedroom corner

I have a 1950's ranch in Upper Michigan. In one of the corner bedrooms, there is always at least of foot square area of large water drops hanging down from the ceiling. It doesn't appear that it is inside the drywall, just on the outside. I think it may be that the corner is not insulated enough. I was wondering if i could drill a small hole into the ceiling (into the attic) and spray some foam insulation. Unfortunately, money is very tight right now. Anyone had experience with this? Thanks...

Re: Moisture in bedroom corner

I think you are on the right track, the insulation is not sufficient where the moisture shows up. I am not sure the spray foam idea would work so well to fill the space.

Do you have access to the attic area? It could be the insulation that is there is bunched up in that area.

Is this on an outside wall that has a soffit on the outside? If so maybe you could remove some of the soffit panels to fix or install the insulation from that direction.

If your attic is ventilated from the soffit's then you want to make sure not to block it entirely with insulation. there should be a baffle that allows airflow between the insulation and roof deck.

If either of the ideas listed above aren't feasible, then you could always cut a square in the drywall big enough to fix or install the insulation and then patch the drywall. The BigBoxes even sell little 2x2 drywall squares so you don't have to buy the 4x8 sheets. Think of it as a learning opportunity in the university of drywall!

Re: Moisture in bedroom corner

Thank you for your thoughts. I do have 2 ft soffits on the outside but we already have a few feet of snow. Not feasible to go from the outside. I think I will take your advise and cut a 2ft square and actually look up into the attic to see what is going on. Would you recommend I stick with fiberglass insulation which I'm sure is already up there? Thanks, Gloria.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Moisture in bedroom corner

ice dam possible. why don't you take a few pics from the outside if its an insulation issue the roof would be warm and snow free there.

agree it sounds more like a ventillation issue. squirrel nest wasp nest birds nest up in the eave or insulation up there has shifted.

why don't you go through the attic scuttle probably in a closet ceiling.

i'd be careful about cutting open the ceiling might have vermiculite up in the attic was really common to use in the 50s and 60s.

exaust fan in the bathroom venting through the roof? drier? is it connected (wouldn't be the first 50s house that was venting into open eave attic) going out a wall under the sofit near by the wet ceiling?

see any nail pops or ghosting lines on the ceiling?

Re: Moisture in bedroom corner
ranchinthesnow wrote:

I think I will take your advise and cut a 2ft square and actually look up into the attic to see what is going on. Would you recommend I stick with fiberglass insulation which I'm sure is already up there? Thanks, Gloria.

See if you can tell how far apart your ceiling joists / trusses are by looking for evidence of nail heads holding up the drywall. If they are only 16" apart then you won't need a 2' hole, only a 16" hole. It'll make the drywall repair just a little easier. Score a slit in the drywall (sharp utility knife, 4 or five passes should get through the drywall) on the midpoint of the ceiling joist / truss so that you can nail the drywall you leave up as well as the new piece in the same board.

After checking out and fixing the insulation issue, you can secure the new piece of drywall to the existing drywall between the ceiling joist / truss by using a 4" wide strip of plywood that spans the drywall seam so each piece of drywall can be screwed to the piece of plywood.

Let us know what you find with the insulation when you get that far in the project. It will probably be a good idea if you have the funds to increase the amount of insulation all over up there. I'm guessing they didn't place as much emphasis on insulation back in the 50's as we do now!

Re: Moisture in bedroom corner

I wouldn't cut into your ceiling as one of the other posters said you might have dangerous vermiculite insulation. You really should be able to get into your attic through an opening that is already there in your house. In many older houses like yours the entry to the attic can be just about anywhere. My house while not as old as your house has the entry in a bedroom closet. Certainly not a good place but much preferable to cutting into your ceiling.
As to your moisture problem one of the other posters I think has fairly well hit the nail on the head. If you have any kind of ventilation fan or dryer venting or even a range hood that vents into the attic you need to check and see if the ventilation doesn't vent outside and instead vents only into the attic. Don't rely entirely on what you see at a distance go up to the vent and inspect it. Is the venting damaged? If so replace it. If there is no vent to the outside from say your bathroom then as soon as the weather gets better you will need to have a vent extend outside. Where to send the vent depends on how far away your bathroom is to either side wall of your house. If too far away it needs to go through the roof.
That's the easy fix If you have a leak in your roof then you will need to put a tarp in your attic until the weather gets better. Either way you need to address the problem sooner rather than later as if you don't you will start to have mold problems in your house and that is not good for your health or the structure of your house.:(

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.