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Attic Rain – What is it?

We have spoken with a number of homeowners recently regarding moisture on their upper level’s ceilings. In these cases, 9/10 homes were experiencing attic rain rather than a deficiency with their roof or exterior.

What is Attic Rain?

Attic rain occurs when moisture enters the attic space during colder months which then freezes and builds up a layer of frost within the attic. When temperatures rise, the frost melts and drips onto the upper level ceiling. Moisture spots and stains on the ceiling of the upper level (or main level in a single story home) can be a sign of attic rain.

When does is Occur?

Attic rain most commonly occurs when temperatures rise after a cold spell, during the winter months and in the spring. It is most common in newer home as they built to be more air-tight which reduces air flow and traps moisture within the home.

What Causes Attic Rain?

Attic rain is caused by moisture or warm moist air enters the attic space. Moisture can enter the attic in a number of ways, such as:

  • Gaps surrounding light fixtures
  • Bathroom fans with air leaks into the attic
  • Hood fans with air leaks at the attic space
  • Dryer Vents
  • Poorly constructed ventilation system
  • Poor seal around the attic hatch
  • High humidity in your home

How to prevent attic rain?

  • Keep your humidity settings below 30% in the winter, we recommend closer to 20%
  • Run your hood fan vent while cooking to clear out warm, moist air
  • Run your bathroom fan during showers and baths to remove humidity
  • Take a peek in your attic space to look for frost build up in colder months
  • Have an insulation specialist come in to ensure your insulation is adequate and has not been blown out of its proper place.

We recommend you take a look inside you attic during the winter to inspect for frost within your attic. If you see any frost, we recommend you hire an insulation specialist to come in and fix any air gaps, or if you are handy you may be able to caulk any gaps around vents in your attic yourself.

Attic Hatch

While you are in the attic it is also a great idea to inspect the attic hatch’s weather stripping to ensure a tight seal. The weather stripping on the attic hatch does require replacement throughout the years. It is important to check hatch every year to ensure it is a tight seal and that there is no moisture and mold growth around the hatch. If left unsealed, warm air and moisture will enter the attic and can lead to moisture damage and mold growth over time.

If you would prefer to have a licensed home inspector inspect your attic, we offer affordable mini inspections and would be happy to help. Give us a call to learn more, or to book an inspection at (403) 585-6279.  Alternatively, you can view our availability and book online!

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