Nope I promise we didn't mean acid rain we actually mean attic rain. With all the cold weather we've been having in Alberta this January you could be experiencing issues with rain occurring in your attic.
So what is it and why should you care - Attic rain' occurs when warm, moist air sneaks into the attic, freezes during cold weather and then melts during warm spells such as chinooks which then will leak water into your home. In extreme cases it can be as thick as six to eight inches.
Why does this happen? With the newer homes being more energy-efficient they are doing a better job of containing warm air and moisture and if you have a few holes around your fixtures such as your bathroom vents and your light fixtures that haven't been adequately moisture-sealed then those holes are going to send the warm air into your attic. Plus, if the home builder didn't add enough insulation and put in soffit vents or if they covered the vents with insulation then there's no where for the heat and moisture to escape. It used to be years and years ago houses were drafty ... and they dried themselves out very well but now days if the builder didn't take steps to ensure you have proper ventilation in the attic we are starting to see this problem more and more.
A home owner is more likely to encounter this problem during the winter months if there's been a long period of time when it's been cold outside and then all of a sudden it warms up very quickly. Some inspectors have seen the frost get as thick as six to eight inches and once it warms up all that frost is going to start dripping water into your ceiling.
Start inspecting your attic for problems
Now that it's started to warm up it's a good idea to inspect your attic right away. Look for signs like water streaks on the exterior walls of your home. If you do find you have an issue call someone such as Tara Construction to help. The first step we'll take, is to fix the holes, the most prudent process to do this will be to remove all your current insulation, seal the holes with spray foam or poly and then re-insulate since it's is very difficult to find vapor barrier penetration, just think of it as finding a needle in a hay stack.
While we have your insulation removed we will inspect your soffit vents, intake and exhaust ventilation to see what steps needed to be taken to ensure your attic has proper ventilation. This is important since air is expelled from your attic through exhaust vents that are installed near the top, or ridges, of your roof. Your attic relies on this air exchange to help equalize the temperature between inside and outside of your attic, as well as expel moisture. Improper venting will cause heat and moisture to become trapped in your attic space. The build-up of this heat and moisture is what feeds the freeze-thaw cycle during the Winter months and can lead to condensation and attic rain.
If you do need to have work done to your attic be sure to check whether your repairs can be covered by insurance or if your home warranty covers the problem.
We recommend that you do an inspection once a year in your attic for signs of condensation and air movement.
Tara Construction provides a range of repair and renovation services. Call our skilled tradesmen today to get a free quote.