Sunday, February 13, 2005

What is that Dripping in my House?!!

These past few weeks have been an acid test for roof systems. This question about dripping came from a client who was about to have me put her house on the market and leave the state for good. Instead, she has had to put off her plans and deal with these drips into her living room.

What's all this dripping? It's condensation. Through much of late January temperatures hovered at zero and below. If a roof system isn't ventilated and insulated well, the dew point occurs somewhere in the insulation layer, or under the roof deck. Moisture from the house gets up in the roof cavity and doesn't get out. Ice forms there instead. Then when a sudden thaw happens, like this past week, all that ice melts and finds its way back into the house.

When my client asked a roofing company to diagnose her problem they told her they were getting similar calls from all over town last week.

There's a variety of fixes, some simple and some are a big project. At the most extreme, it is sometimes necessary to remove the entire roof deck. The contractor builds up the roof trusses to create a ventilated cavity above the insulation where it formerly closed.

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