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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Dripping Ceiling

    Hello All,
    I live in Connecticut. It was recently in the single digits outside and I noticed on the ceilings near the outside walls in all rooms near the soffit side "wet water marks" and some drops of water. Also the attic hatch door had droplets of water all over the room side of it, they actually dropped on me thats how I noticed the problem. The inside temp at the time was about 53 degrees. I shut the heat at night then fire it up in the morning (oil prices). New roof, no leaks when it rains, new insulation in the attic vapor barrier side down towards the rooms. No pipes leaking. Thanks all!

    >Bob



    The darker area on the attic hatch door is where the water was...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Dripping Ceiling

    Yikes ... That's extreme.

    It seems to indicate that's where cold spots in the ceilings are..... do you have soffit vents and are you getting ice damns outside?
    I'm guessing there isn't much insulation at those points as well as poor sealing of warm air leaking there points as well.

    One thing is also what's the humidity level inside the home?
    In an average home up to 20 gallons of moisture per week can be generated during the winter months.

    A second problem is the possibility of high humidity in the winter with the temperature set too far down at night.

    Cool air can hold less moisture than warm air, so the relative humidity (RH) rises as the air cools.
    For instance, house air at a reasonable 35 % RH at 70 F will see an increase to 50 % RH when the same air is allowed to cool to 61 F.

    This can lead to condensation on windows ,ceilings and walls (for instance, in closets or behind furniture). The warm moist air will condense on a cold surface.

    So if the humidity inside the home is at 50% with the temp at 70 degrees then it will be considerably higher when you lower the temp down to 53 degrees.

    Basically, you are creating a more humid environment, all things considered, when you allow the house temperature to drop significantly. This may not be a problem in a dry house or one where you can modify the humidity, for instance by turning off a humidifier.
    The house humidity should be monitored, especially in winter.

    Hopefully this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Dripping Ceiling

    Hi Canuk,
    Have soffit vents...........no ice damns ever. Here are pics of the insulation over the wet spots. The carpenter said when I put the new insulation in to leave a "gap" at the soffit end of the insulation as seen in the pics, he said so that air can circulate. I also have a ridge vent in the roof.





    And a pic of the inside of the attic stairs that was dripping wet on the outside (roomside)...........

    Thanks Bud!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Dripping Ceiling

    Anybody ever see this type of condition, if so how did you remedy it? Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Dripping Ceiling

    Bobby ... have you checked what the humidity level is inside the home ?

    It doesn't look as though the attic hatch is insulated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: Dripping Ceiling

    The wet spots along the outside walls are caused by the cold air from the soffit making its way through the top 2x4 wall plate. Your attic insulation is probably not far enough toward the eaves to seal against the top plate. Its tricky, because you still need to have the air flow you noted earlier from the eave to the ridge vent. Usually a channel for the air flow is formed by using a styrofoam chute (I forget the product name, all big boxes have them in the insulation section, though). Placing this chute against the roof deck keeps the insulation from blocking the air flow as you push it toward the eave to cover the plate.

    As Canuk said the stairs need to be insulated to solve the water there. You can make your own box out of a 4x8 sheet of 2" styrofoam insulation. Place the box over the stair opening and fold the stairs up into it. Make sure you make it wide enough to accommodate the steps or you'll have a do-over opportunity - don't ask me how I know this!!

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