Moisture in New Homes (Attics)

With the advent of new building codes for High Intensity Residential Fires two years ago, came some new moisture problems in the attic spaces of new homes.  The new fire code restricts venting of eaves in some situations where homes are closer together.  this potentially life saving code revision has , in some cases, reduced the opportunity for proper attic ventilation.  Just as other builder’s have found, we had to adjust our building methods to improve attic ventilation and reduce the instance of Moisture collecting in attics.  A second reason for moisture in attics is improper sealing of the ceiling poly under the insulation.  Mr. Darrell Paul from Qualistat has supplied us with an excellent video of what can happen in a worst case scenario: 

When air from the house leaks into the attic, it condenses and freezes.  That could be caused by:

  • Air Leakage from house into attic
  •  Poor construction techniques and workmanship
  • Disconnected Vents – Fans, Dryer, Kitchen Hood, Etc
  • Exterior high humidity entering the attic space through soffiting – IE Front door under large vented soffit area

In each case the issue can be remediated if it occurs.  Indications of the occurring will be during a Chinook immediately following a cold spell.  The frost that has condensed against the roof plywood will melt and typically be visible to the homeowner around bath fans and attic accesses.  I will be the first to admit that we have had this occur in a few of our homes.  In each case we have remediated the problem to our client’s satisfaction.  Furthermore, we have spent considerable effort to identify why it happened and how to prevent it in the future. 




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