Spring is a stunning season! We finally come out of our winter hibernation and get to enjoy the warmth of the sun and collect some Vitamin D!
Winter is a hard season on our buildings and houses. Temperature difference between inside and outside were up to 70 degrees this February and the long cold spell impacted not only ourselves, but also our buildings. Spring is a good season to keep your eye out for possible weak spots in your houses insulation and Air/Vapour barrier (AVB) systems.
If you take a walk around the outside of your house and look up you will see the underside of your roof overhang, called the eave. If you have some water dripping out of your eaves that means all winter long there’s been condensation collecting inside your attic and it is now melting in the warm attic and dripping out your soffits. While wood is a pretty amazing building material and can handle a decent amount of moisture, it is still important to fix up moisture problems before they cause rot and mold in your house.
Weak spots in your AVB system in your attic are typically items such as:
1. Attic access hatches
Make sure they are sealed up good, and use a rubber gasket instead of a foam one.
Many skylights have poor insulation around them and cause condensation both inside and outside the thermal envelope in your house.
3. Light fixtures
Every light fixture that is mounted on the drywall against your attic will have a Poly-pan. This is a special piece of your AVB system that seals air movement around light fixtures. If the poly pan isn’t sealed right, warm moist air escapes from your ceiling and get sucked up into your attic where it freezes. Come spring time this all melts at once!
4. Bathroom vents
The notorious bathroom vent! Sometimes these are vented directly up into the attic and all winter long a stream of hot moist air gets blown into your attic and condenses on your trusses and sheathing. This one is a huge culprit for moisture movement into your attic and should be remedied immediately!
5. Water leaking out ceiling fixtures or plugs
It happens! If water comes leaking out or pouring out of your ceiling fixtures or wall plugs you have a major moisture problem! The big culprits would most likely be bathroom exhaust fans in your attic or poorly placed furnace exhausts.
6. Furnace exhausts
If a furnace’s vent fumes are being vented near an eave, it can get sucked up directly in your attic and collect all winter long! Come spring, a significant amount of ice will melt in one day and it will come raining down on top of your insulation. If there’s enough water (and I’ve seen it multiple times) the water will saturate your insulation, and run along your AVB till it finds an opening and then run right on down into your house. Needless to say, these should be fixed immediately!
If you want any help with your moisture problems, don’t hesitate to get a hold of us. We’ve solved many of these problems and they can sometimes be hard to track down.