What Causes This? Ceiling/Roof, Need Help ASAP!

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Old 10-22-10, 09:33 AM
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What Causes This? Ceiling/Roof, Need Help ASAP!

What Causes This? Please if you can help me. Give the most educated opinion you can I really need this fix.

Pictures to show problem:
(Pictures are ceiling in my children bedrooms)

http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/a...rbear5/008.jpg
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/a...rbear5/007.jpg
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/a...rbear5/005.jpg
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/a...rbear5/004.jpg
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/a...rbear5/003.jpg
 
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Old 10-22-10, 09:46 AM
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Welcome to the forums

Looks to me like you have a water leak

Can you get into the attic to look around for it?
 
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Old 10-22-10, 09:54 AM
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When was the last time you had any roof work done? Have you had a roofer come and check it?
If you have a house like mine with a flat roof, and you don't have an attic, after it rains, the water sits up there and starts leaking into the room/s. If your downspout is clogged up, it could cause the water to sit up there too, and cause the water to go under the edge (don't know what it's called) and leak into the rooms also.
 
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Old 10-22-10, 11:31 AM
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It's in 4 different rooms. Because of the pitch of the attic I can't get real close to the afflicted areas, Doesn't seem to happy when it rains, just when it's cold outside. Condensation problem I'm assuming but how do I fix it?
 
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Old 10-22-10, 11:38 AM
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Last year put a brand new roof on the house including sheathing (?)

The reason for the completely brand new roof was because there was frost building up on the ceiling of the attic and developing mold. We also cleaned out and replaced some vents on the soffits.

There are no gutters, and the pitch on the roof is tight.
 
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Old 10-22-10, 12:16 PM
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Sounds like it could be condensation

Go up into the attic when it's cold and see what's there
 
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Old 10-22-10, 12:22 PM
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Attic

What sources of moisture do you have going into the attic? Dryer vent? Range hood vent?
 
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Old 10-22-10, 12:35 PM
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What's the insulation and ventilation like in the attic?
Frost shouldn't ever form on a wall/ceiling in the living area
 
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Old 10-22-10, 04:27 PM
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When it's cold there is Frost

Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
Sounds like it could be condensation

Go up into the attic when it's cold and see what's there
 
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Old 10-22-10, 04:31 PM
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Frost forms on the attic ceiling now in the living area. Only condensation forms in living areas

Originally Posted by marksr View Post
What's the insulation and ventilation like in the attic?
Frost shouldn't ever form on a wall/ceiling in the living area
 
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Old 10-22-10, 04:40 PM
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Just the bathroom vent, but it's pointed directly at the ridge vent (?)

Originally Posted by Wirepuller38 View Post
What sources of moisture do you have going into the attic? Dryer vent? Range hood vent?
 
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Old 10-22-10, 05:15 PM
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You do not provide much information. It may be humidity from the living space condensing on uninsulated ceilings. Are the affected rooms sources of moisture, such as a humidifier? It appears to be plaster, not drywall. Is it cold when other places are not?
 
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Old 10-22-10, 07:17 PM
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The walls are drywall and so is the ceiling, we have insulation up in the attic. The affected rooms are bedrooms. We do not use Humidifiers. The walls that are affected are outsides walls. It seems the 'condensation' only forms first thing in the morning.

Originally Posted by EdLank View Post
You do not provide much information. It may be humidity from the living space condensing on uninsulated ceilings. Are the affected rooms sources of moisture, such as a humidifier? It appears to be plaster, not drywall. Is it cold when other places are not?
 
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Old 10-22-10, 09:10 PM
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If it does happen because of rain it won't show up until later when it has time to saturate through the insulation and drywall.

Seems like that area in general would always be on the threshold of being saturated if cold weather can set it off and then appear "dry" soon after.
 
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Old 10-23-10, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Summerbear5 View Post
Just the bathroom vent, but it's pointed directly at the ridge vent (?)
The vent shouldn't be just pointed at an exit - it needs to be piped out to the exterior!

Are you soffit vents plugged up with insulation? For attic ventilation to work it needs to have both intake [at a lower point] and exit [ridge or gable vent]
 
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Old 10-23-10, 06:51 AM
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good morning!

Pretty simple, I would think. Bedrooms and closed doors = high humidity. Breathing puts a lot of humidity into the air. Cold spots on ceilings = poor insulation. If it is batt insulation, there is probably an air space where some insulation doesn't fit tight that is allowing cold air to get underneath the insulation. If it's too tight to access, it only confirms this suspicion. Hard areas to access are also hard to insulate, and are a prime place to suspect inadequate insulation.

Best thing to do would be to either DIY or hire it done, but go in the attic and pull out any insulation above your top plate and near those exterior walls. Install Styrofoam proper vents (baffles) between the rafters where appropriate (line up with can vents if you have them) stuff fiberglass under the baffles, and then blow insulation or hire someone to spray foam those tight areas.

Your humidity is obviously too high, so you could do a couple things. A humidifier in each room. A ceiling fan in each room, with the switch oriented so at to circulate air upward, not downward. If that's not possible, just set up a box fan in each room- directing air at the area will prevent it from becoming so cold. You could also run your heater blower fan continuously to circulate air inside the house. Check to see that there are cold air returns in the bedrooms and that they are drawing air- place a piece of paper on the grille to check, and if there are no cold air returns in the bedrooms, ensure that you have a 1" gap below bedroom doors so that return air can pass under the door. If your heater is running make sure nothing is obstructing the air flow, like a dresser or basket. And leave the bedroom doors open at night. Leave your windows open a little bit, since outside air is usually dryer than humid air in the bedroom.

Adding the insulation is probably the best thing to do, increasing airflow and decreasing humidity are all things you can do by taking the necessary steps.
 
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Old 10-23-10, 07:17 AM
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Hasn't rained in awhile, Thank you for your suggestion though.

Originally Posted by mickblock View Post
If it does happen because of rain it won't show up until later when it has time to saturate through the insulation and drywall.

Seems like that area in general would always be on the threshold of being saturated if cold weather can set it off and then appear "dry" soon after.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 12:13 PM
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Obviously summerbear5 meant dehumidifier. All the suggestions to increase air flow across the areas of condensation will decrease the condensation, but increase heat loss, since you will be keeping the cold ceilings warmer by blowing more air across them, and thereby sending more heat through the walls. The only way to decrease heating costs and improve the problem is to insulate better. If access is tight, you may need to take some boards to the attic to lay across the joists and commando crawl to the area. If you absolutely cannot crawl there, you can drill small holes in the drywall and send expanding foam insulation through the holes, but you have no idea where it is going this way. You could remove some square areas of drywall and insulate from the bedrooms.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 01:46 PM
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Condensation

The bath room vent needs to be vented to outside, not into the attic, as has already been stated.
 
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Old 12-22-11, 03:27 PM
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Sorry it has been a long time answering this post. Unfortunately the problem is still existent. The problem only occurs in the winter months when it's could outside.

I re-read some posting and want to add a couple things.

1. We never close our bedrooms doors. We never really close any doors accept when we use the bathroom

2. As for the tight areas in the attic they are stuff with insulation and my husband had to remove some because it was clogging the vents but now the vents are clear but there is still enough insulation there to protect the attic, Yet we are STILL experiencing the problems.

3. Every bedroom except my daughters room has a ceiling fan. We don't however run the fans in the winter time when we do have this problem.

4. The insulation that is there is blown in insulation and it's really fluffy and all over the place. Should I remove this and just use roll insulation?

My husband is not very intelligible about handling this. I appreciate all the postings. Hope that maybe one day I can fix this right and not worry about it.

If I need to reupload pictures let me know...

I believe it's a combination of blown in insulation and bathroom vent not routed properly. As I said though my husband isn't very intelligible and doesn't believe a woman knows what she is talking about. Anyways....Any further posting are appreciated. Thanks

Summer
 
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Old 12-22-11, 04:06 PM
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Neither cellulose or fiberglass are air barriers. What this means is they "slow" air but do not stop it. So if air is moving in your attic, it is basically blowing heat away from the house. This is creating cold spots on your ceiling. I would guarantee that your coldest spots line up with any "vents" that are between the rafters.

Part of the problem is likely inadequate insulation. There is only so much fiberglass or cellulose insulation you can get in a ceiling joist. As I mentioned before, if you install styrofoam proper vents (baffles) between your rafters this will enable you to stuff more insulation between the top plate and the baffle giving you the maximum amount you can get (using those products). It also creates a channel for the air flow, so that you don't have air blowing "right next to" your insulation, which speeds heat loss- creating a cold ceiling. Once you have the baffles installed, you could blow 2 feet of cellulose or fiberglass up there if you wanted.

You also would want to ensure that you are not OVER venting your attic. The ratio for venting is 1 sq ft of ventilation for 150 sq ft of attic space. Half of that would be soffit ventilation, and half would be exhaust. So you would actually have 1 sq ft of soffit ventilation for every 300 sq ft of attic space. Most places have WAY too much ventilation which leads to very cold attics and a lot of heat loss. Maybe that's part of your problem too.

I've also seen 2 story houses where due to balloon framing, the rim joists between floors were uninsulated, allowing air to blow freely down the ceiling joists all the way from one end of the house to the other. Of course the coldest areas were next to the exterior walls. Only solution for that is to actually open the ceiling up and spray the rim of the house with foam.
 
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