Attic, roof white mold? Wet nails?


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Old 01-05-20, 11:48 AM
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Attic, roof white mold? Wet nails?

Hi,
We live in northern New England where the summers are pretty hot and winters are cold. We have a hip-style, 2 story house. Shingled roof. The peak has a ridge vent. We have two bathroom vents that vent out through the roof.

I went up into the attic to check something and I noticed that on the north and east side of the roof plywood is white fuzzy looking mold. Most of the nails are dripping water. Not all of the bays have this white stuff, some do, some it's in one area, some it's 3/4 of the bay up to the ridge and some don't have it at all.

I have 2 - 3 layers of insulation up there, rolls, not blow in. All of the lights, fans, etc, are sealed by either a foam boxed around them or caulked, the attic entry as a foiled faced insulated tent around it. The attic is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Each bay has the styrafoam baffles that go down to the perforated soffit and about about 1/2 about the bays~. If I look down the baffles, I can see light. Under the baffles, installation is crammed up against them. I did remove some that looked too tight.

Some people are saying to block the soffit completely but I had always thought that is not a good idea.

I'm not sure that I've noticed this stuff before. The house is about 14 years old.

Any advice on what I should do? I am very concerned with this.

 
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Old 01-05-20, 12:31 PM
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I take it there is no evidence of a leaky roof.

Do you have any other venting up there?
I am not a big fan of ridge vents.
Have seen quite a few that are poorly installed and others that are just a poor design.
Even saw one where the plywood went right to the peak so there was no way any venting could happen.
The installers probably meant to cut it back later but forgot.
 
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Old 01-05-20, 01:22 PM
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No other vents. The ridge vent is probably 4 - 5 feet in length due to the hip style roof. The ridge vent looks OK to me but I'm not a pro- you can see that an opening was made and covered with that vent.I can't find evidence of a leaky roof- I suppose that it would be easy to find? One of the bathroom vent pipes is 6" stove pipe, I just insulated it as it was sweating. The other vent is that junky bendy kind that you'd see if a dryer vent, I wanted stove pipe, but I can't set it to reach to vent due to angles.
 
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Old 01-05-20, 01:28 PM
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Is the white fuzzy material frost?

Frost in the attic is typ a condition of excessive moisture that has condensed on the underside of roof, including the nails.

Are all your bathroom vents ducted outside?
The attic is cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
Yea, that is what attics are supposed to be.

If no venting into the attic I would first suggest doing come calculations that you have sufficient soffit and ridge vents first, might be a simple fix! Check the shingle web sites, they give some easy tools to calculate!
 
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Old 01-05-20, 01:35 PM
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90% of the perimeter of the roof has perforated soffits. The 10% that don't is a dormer peak with no window. Those soffits, in my in-experienced opinion look OK but in the two bays that were the worst, I pulled the insulation all the way back so you can see light under the baffles as well... Not sure if I made it worse or am helping but I thought I'd try that.

For the white stuff, I don't think that it's frost... I could be wrong, I did not have a camera with me. When I touch it, it felt squishy, maybe organic. It was very very short, less then a CM or smaller, just hard to tell but it didn't look crystalline.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 05:59 AM
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Look up white attic mold. The images should help you identify the problem.

Since you are confident that light fixtures/fans are sealed at the ceiling the most likely cause is that dryer vent hose.
I would replace it with a better quality flexible vent.
Also check the attic access hatch.
Also check the two fan vents on the roof to be sure they are clear.

I would say you need a lot more roof venting.
5 feet of ridge vent is probably less than 100 square inches of venting.

My place is 960 square feet and I have 3 roof vents at about 60 square inches each plus two gable vents at about 200 square inches each for a total of 580 square inches, I also have 80 foot of vented soffit.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 03:52 AM
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To clarify, that dryer vent hose, it's not for a dryer but for a bathroom vent. I'd love to replace it, physically, I don't think it's possible with the angles. I am going to look for better piping though- any suggestions? I know that one of the vents has a small hornets nest, pitch is too steep to get up though.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 07:15 AM
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Sorry I have never had to use it so do not have persona;l experience.

I know this is not a good time being winter is here,
In the spring I would get some roof vents added.
As far as the wasps nest I do not know what to say. If it is blocking a vent even partially then it could be that the pressure in the vent hose is forcing moist air out any poorly sealed joint.
 
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Old 01-23-20, 07:51 AM
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Would this product be suitable for the bathroom vent? Eventually we'll be move the vent higher on the roof and make sure that the ridged pipe lines up when we re-shingle.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/IMPERIAL-6-...-Duct/50401800
 
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Old 01-23-20, 07:56 AM
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For a bathroom vent this is great, not for dryer!
 
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Old 01-25-20, 05:55 PM
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I installed the new duct work, I ran the shower hot for 10 minutes and no steam leaking out, just right out through the roof vent. I did notice that the fan enclosure had a 1"x1"~ opening where the electrical went it. You can see down to the fan and into the bathroom. I'm not sure how well the box was covered before, however, I did use the foil duct taping to cover it up. I also caulked the edges of both bathroom fans so no air would come up through the sides.

The attic was cold, my fingers were getting numb as it was 25F outside- not sure how cold it was in there though but everything felt a little... clammy. I think that I may need more insulation, I don't know if everything is at R49 which is the minimum of my region and R60 is the highest.

I posted some photos.
 
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