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Attic Rain

January 17, 2017

While most of us are happy to welcome the warming Chinook conditions after the recent cold snap, the warm-up can be cause for concern in some homes, especially those built in the last few years. 


As the CBC News recently reported, some Calgary homeowners may experience Attic Rain. 



Moisture that has made its way into the attic can develop into quite a heavy layer of frost during the cold weather. Naturally, when the temperatures rise, the frost will melt and this Attic Rain often makes itself visible. You may see water marks inside the house around fans, vents and there might also be water streaks down the side walls of the exterior of the house.


So, how did the moisture get into the attic?


Air can leak into the attic in a number of ways: penetrations in the vapour barrier, poor ventilation, insufficient insulation, unsealed or disconnected vents or attic access points. New homes that are especially energy efficient may be literally sending humidity up to the rafters (only to have it rain down again!).


And, what can you do about it?


You can inspect your attic during cold snaps or periods of heavy rain to see if there is moisture or frost build-up and to determine the source. You may need to call in qualified professionals for this.


If the air is coming from inside the house, you may need to invest in a more efficient fresh air intake system that will reduce the humidity and circulate the air more efficiently. Your homebuilder may have some ideas to help with this.


If there are penetrations in the vapour barrier, issues with insulation or unsealed access points you will need to have those problems addressed. 


Like your roof, your attic is often left forgotten until there is a problem - but whether it has been raining in your house or not, remember to take a good look at your attic at least once a year: inspect, repair & maintain.


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