WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF ATTIC WATER DAMAGE
Although you may believe your attic is only a space for storage, it’s also an environmental pressure cooker. Heat, cold, and moisture seeping in your attic interact within the space above the living areas of your home or business. An assessment of the attic every three months will inform you to damaging moisture issues that will need to be repaired. The majority of water damage in an attic space develops because revealing signs were dismissed. Attic water damage is more prevalent than most homeowners understand. Ice dams and condensation are typical winter weather phenomena, particularly in cold, snowy climates like we have in Colorado Springs, CO. Nonetheless, its typical in all climates to have attic water damage and mold damage . Leaking roofs lead to damage problems not just to the attic, in terms of wet insulation, electrical shorts, and content damage, but additional ceilings, walls, and flooring within the home. Furthermore, water damage will lead to mold growth which can produce toxins that cause allergic reactions in vulnerable people. For content loss, content restoration companies can recover most water damaged possessions instead of purchasing new items, so referring to a restoration expert will save precious heirlooms and mementos stored in the attic. However, due to the fact this section of the home is not regularly visited, homeowners generally come across attic water damage unintentionally, whenever other areas in the home are already noticeably damaged, or when attempting to sell a home and the damage is found during the home inspection from the prospective buyer. As a business or home owner, you should inspect your attic every three months to ensure your homes’ safety and health. Don’t forget to check your attic after a hail storm. Many homes encounter moisture in their attic from severe hail damage to their roof. Colorado Springs is one of the most hail damaged areas in the United States, so keep on the lookout for water damage in your attic and other areas of your home or business.
ICE DAMS ON THE ROOF
Ice dams are usually produced whenever there is a build-up of ice or snow at the eaves, or lower edges of the roof, and gutters. Whenever attic temperatures are higher than freezing, snow and ice start to melt and then the accumulated water refreezes around the eaves and gutters, creating icicles. Mainly because this melting and refreezing behavior of water and snow replays throughout a few days, ice dams are created and much more water is accumulated on the backside of the dam. The resulting water build-up on the roof and flows into the attic through the cracks, shingles, unsealed vents, or attic fans that lead to roof, attic and ceiling damage, that ultimately will cause water damage, mold growth, and content damage.
Since warm air in your home rises directly into the cold attic, condensation is produced. Water vapor in the air interacts with cold attic spaces resulting in the water to condense on nearby materials, ultimately causing wood rot, mold damage, and structural damage. Extreme moisture and condensation issues lead to substantial costs.
HOW ATTIC CONDENSATION DAMAGES YOUR HOME
Cold air interacting with warm, moist air inside the attic can lead to three kinds of damage in the attic or the home itself:
- Warm air interacting with a snow-covered roof will cause melted snow to flow to the eaves or gutters where it creates icicles or ice dams which allows water to seep into the home through the roof, cracks, and vents.
- Water vapor in the attic creates an environment for the growth of mold and mildew. Besides being unappealing, mold infestations are unhealthy, especially to susceptible people.
- Excessive moisture in the attic rot the wood of inside structures, including roof sheathing. Wood rot results in the untimely failure of the roof and costly repairs.
SOURCES OF ATTIC MOISTURE
Each home produces moisture in the living areas from warm air that can migrate into the cold air of the attic. The attic must ventilate the warm, moist air outside, but if not then moisture will accumulate inside. There are many sources of moisture in any home:
- Leaking Roof from hail, storm or wind damage
- Crawl Space Ground Moisture
- Green firewood in the Attic
- Clothing Dryer Vent
- Bathroom Vents
- Poorly-vented gas or kerosene heaters
- Broken seals around fans, chimneys, plumbing vents, or lights.
- Exhaust fans that vent into the attic
- Failure of moisture barrier or insulation
SIGNS OF ATTIC CONDENSATION ISSUES
During the winter, icicles or ice dams on the roof are a definitive sign of persisting condensation issues. Additionally, signs of condensation issues include wood surfaces with darks stains, which typically show there is mold or mildew growth, and roofing nails visible through the sheathing show signs of rust. If you have any concerns or questions as to whether you have a condensation issue, call a water damage restoration business or mold remediation expert for help.
PREVENTION OF ATTIC WATER DAMAGE
Prevention of attic water damage can save you thousands of dollars with a handful of easy precautions:
- Insulate the attic with appropriate amount of insulation/possibly add extra insulation
- Control moisture and humidity in the house with a dehumidifier
- Install air vents to cool the attic during winter (reduce ice dams) and cool the hot attic air in the summer (remove moisture)
- Seal holes, cracks, and openings in the interior ceiling
- Soffits must be clear of insulation and open for air flow
CONTACT A RESTORATION COMPANY
If your attic has been damaged by water, mold, or mildew, immediately contacting a professional restoration company for information is highly recommended. They’ll assist you in restoring your home and contents along with implementing precautions for potential future water damage throughout the house.
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