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forrest 01-21-2008 06:56 PM

peeling paint on upstairs ceiling
An upstairs bedroom (just below attic) has paint peeling. I initially thought it was due to moisture from the humidifier we occasionally run. Today I looked in the attic and noticed the spot turns out to be directly under a circular attic vent in the roof. Because the attic is not finished (has no floor, just beams with insulation in the spaces between the beams), I did not crawl over to the spot to inspect it closely, but I wonder if the peeling paint could be due to moisture from the vent.

Anyone with experience on this. How would you further assess -- from inside the attic or from outside by looking at the roof vent? Thanks!

ToolGuy 01-21-2008 10:39 PM

Hi Forrest, and welcome to the forums.

Check the insulation right below the vent for moisture, and look under the insulation for water stains. Also, while you're in the attic look around the underside of the roof for any signs of water stains, indicating a possible leak.

Also, check that the insulation isn't blocking the eves from letting air in. If there is no air entering from the eves then the warm air won't flow up and out the upper vent. However, cold air will flow into the vent, make the ceiling cold, causing mosture from the humidifier to condensate on the ceiling. Just a possibility.

It's possible the peeling has nothing to do with the vent. If the vent leaked at one time and caused the ceiling to need repaired, maybe they didn't prime the new plaster.

I doubt you could tell anything looking from the outside, or at least not withou climbing up on the roof for a close look. But if it's leaking you should be able to tell from inside the attic.

How much of the ceiling is peeling? Is it only right below the vent or spread over the ceiling? I think we could better assess the situation with more detailed information. Take a detailed look at everything that might be related and let us know what you see.

forrest 01-22-2008 09:16 PM

upstairs ceiling (2)
Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at the insulation and the inner side of the roof. Just a quick question, though, from a neophyte home owner -- when the attic is unfinished (i.e. no boards between beams) and the insulation is loose particles (not rolls of fiberglass), do I have to be careful how I place my weight? I suppose I should inch around on the beams and not put weight in-between the beams, right? By the way, the peeling is just in two areas - one area directly (it appears) under the vent, and the other closer to the wall, perhaps about 3-6 inches from the side of the house/eave.

ToolGuy 01-22-2008 09:47 PM

Absolutely, you can only step on the joists. Best thing to do is to move carefully on all fours.

Under the vent and near the eve, sounds like it's either leaking or not vented properly, or was in the past and it's plaster repairs that are leaking. If you see signs of plaster repair but nothing is wet, you can safely assume it's been repaired.

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