Cause for attic rain and ways to stay ahead of it

Ever wonder what causes for attic rain and how you could to prevent it?

Water is dripping from the ceiling. Is the roof leaking? This is a common question many homeowners in Calgary have.

Most likely your roof is perfectly fine and is not causing your ceiling to leak. What your home is experiencing is attic rain.  Water coming into your house from the attic, after a prolonged cold period followed by a quick warm-up, is called attic rain and many Calgarians have experienced it.attic rain or leaking roof in Calgary

Calgary’s waves of freezing frigid temperatures followed by Chinooks and rapid warm-ups are great for Calgarians to get through winter, but may not be great for our homes.

Moisture and condensation can accumulate in our attics when the weather is cold.  It’s harder for water to evaporate when the temperatures are extremely cold.

Since we can’t control the outdoor temperature, here are a few tips on how to prevent attic rain – and how we can tell if our homes will get attic rain.

Will there be attic rain in my home?

A good way to know whether or not attic rain may be a possibility is to simply take a look in the attic when it is cold outside.

  • Do you see lots of snow and ice building up in the attic?
  • Are your windows freezing up from the inside?
  • Is there a lot of moisture in your home?

When you see ice form on the windows inside of your home you know the attic is not far away from starting to get frost inside. This is the time to open up your attic door and have a peek inside.

Here are 5 ways to prevent attic rain and a leaking ceiling:

  1. Turn down the humidity. Many homes have built-in humidifiers and if turned on too high during cold spells it can cause too much moisture with no place for it to go.  Humidity during a cold snap should not be over 10% or you can simply turn it off during these times.
  2. Use your bathroom fan. Nothing beats a nice warm shower or bath on a cold day.  Showers and baths cause a lot of humidity (as we all know). Make sure to run your bathroom vent fan for at least 40 minutes after any shower or bath.
  3. Run your oven hood fan over the stove for 30-40 minutes after cooking to get rid of moisture in the home.
  4. Use a dehumidifier. If your home still has ice buildup on windows and you’ve already turned off the humidifier in your home then it may be time to invest in a dehumidifier.  Using one when temperatures drop will help the humidity in your home go somewhere.
  5. When replacing the roof system ask for extra vents if needed. Extra ventilation in your attic can help prevent attic rain.  We do not install turbines/whirley birds as they are not effective when they spin. Static vents are the proper choice. When replacing your roof in Calgary talk to your roofing contractor.
  6. Leave your furnace fan in the “on” position

If you are taking all the precautions and your home is still a victim of attic rain, you may want to have the insulation in your attic inspected and changed.  If you are thinking about this option, reach out to an insulation company and ask about a top-up to the current code.

Attic rain is common in Calgary but if you take preventative measures mentioned above, your home should stay leak-free.

Is it time for a new roof?

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