If you have moisture in your attic, you’re not alone. We have received hundred of calls from concerned homeowners. Frost in the attic and ice dams are two forms of water damage typical to cold climates. What are they? What can be done about them? The answers to these and more questions follow in this article.
Frost In The Attic
Once we get sub-zero temperatures, frost will start to accumulate when excessive amounts of moisture are in our home. The colder it is outside, the more frost that will accumulate in the attic. It is when the temperatures swing to above freezing, in a short amount of time that we have a problem.
The more humid a house is, the more frost you’ll find in the attic. The houses with the worst frost problems usually have a humidifier running. We recommend turning off your humidifier.
When moisture gets into the attic, it condenses on the roof sheathing in the form of frost. Frost doesn’t do much damage to the roofs while it remains frost. It is when it melts that the problems start. When the frost melts, it saturates the insulation, and can leave stains on the ceiling. The continued saturation can lead to the roof decking being compromised and even cause mold issues if left undiscovered for long periods of time.
Ultimately, the issue needs to be resolved. This generally calls for insulation being removed and the attic being updated with proper ventilation and air sealing before adding new insulation. Mike Darley an insurance representative from Liberty Mutual Insurance says that these incidents would generally be covered by insurance.
Ice dams form when a warm roof, above 32 degrees F, allows snow to melt giving way to water running down your roof. Meanwhile, the roof edge remains below 32 degrees F, ultimately freezing the water when it hits the cold roof edge or eave. Without proper roof snow removal, the ice develops an ice mass which prevents melting snow from properly draining off the roof. When the water is unable to drain from the roof, it may then back up underneath roof shingles and make its way into your home. Ice dams, because of their weight, can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up, causing damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation. “Typically, damage from ice dams is covered under a standard home insurance policy” says Mike Darley.
Mold In The Attic
Mold grows as the result of a moisture problem with poor or improper ventilation in the attic. Dryer exhaust vents, kitchen exhaust fans and bathroom exhaust fans are designed to pump moisture out of your home. Make sure that they direct the moisture outside of your home and not in the attic. An attic can be a source of condensation, which can lead to attic mold growth.
A mold problem can be remediation quickly and permanently. You will need to reduce the amount of moisture getting into an attic. The air leaks need to be sealed off to prevent moisture from getting into the attic. No matter the source of your moisture problems, you need to get it looked at and fixed as soon as possible.
“If homeowners have questions on their insurance coverage, I’d recommend first reading your insurance policy. If you are still looking for more clarity, or are contemplating making an insurance claim, I’d recommend you contact your local agent first and ask for their expertise on coverage. From there, if you feel making an insurance claim would be worth it, your local agent can get you connected with an insurance claim specialist” said Mike Darley.
Mike Darley is a Sales Representative with Liberty Mutual Insurance. He can be reached at 612-656-7382.
If you have any questions about your attic contact Stinson Services for your free consultation, 952-933-4510.