Condensation issue

Discussion in 'Roofing and Siding' started by kwatt57, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Jan 31, 2014 #1

    kwatt57

    kwatt57

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    We are running 5 Humidifiers around our home to help with dry forced air. I noticed dark streaks/ Icicles down the side of my house the last few days, primarily under soffit vents. I think excess moisture may be getting into attic condensating and raining back down...My question is does anyone have any suggestions how I can continue to humidify my home but curtail this problem? all ideas are appreciated! thanks.
     
  2. Jan 31, 2014 #2

    CallMeVilla

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  3. Jan 31, 2014 #3

    nealtw

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    Are you sure one is causing the other.
     
  4. Jan 31, 2014 #4

    bud16415

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    I’m with Neil. When trouble shooting it’s easy to look for what has changed recently and then the awareness of that causes us to look for other things or if we see other things wrong want to tie them back to what we know changed. An example would be we buy our gasoline brand A all the time and out auto runs great we switch to brand B and we have running problems. It has to be that darn brand B gas. We take the car to the garage and they find the spark plugs are shot and it fixes the problem. So we tell everyone we know don’t buy brand B fuel it ruins your spark plugs.

    If your house is excessively dry as most are in a very cold winter and gas heat adds to it. Any moisture we add into the air should be sucked up and it shouldn’t be much higher humidity than we see in the warm months. The vapor barriers should keep the moisture where you want it. With your 5 humidifiers how much water would you say you are adding per day to them? Have you been in the attic to see this taking place? Where do your bathroom fans run to? Are the streaks just in one area or all around the house? Is this the first year you have seen this?
     
  5. Feb 1, 2014 #5

    kwatt57

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    I'd say we add about 1 gallon per humidifier per day. most of the streaks seam to be concentrated outside youngest child's room. we keep an electric radiator heater on in there at night because she kicks off covers. Also we had a new roof installed over the summer. My hunch is that's nothing to do with the problem but I'll throw that out there as well. I'll try to get in the attic tomarrow (its hard to get at...in closet above shelves..) Bathroom fan is good. its ducted through ceiling & out soffit vent on other side of house. also this is the first year I've seen this. I've been hear 12 years.
     
  6. Feb 1, 2014 #6

    oldognewtrick

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    Vent should go through the roof not the soffit. While you're in the attic, check to make sure the exhaust vents are cut in and not restricted by underlayment.
     
  7. Feb 2, 2014 #7

    kwatt57

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    O.k. got to the attic today. No obvious moisture present. however there was quite a bit of mold present. At least it looks like mold. This is only on the right side (above front bedroom) not on the left side( above rear bedroom) front bedroom is where my youngest sleeps where the radiator heater is running at night with door closed in addition to humidifier. other room has humidifier. both rooms are mirror images to one another. I tore both down to studs approx. 4 years ago and re-did. New insulation, drywall, ect. also installed Styrofoam vent chamber where insulation could have blocked soffit vents. Roofer removed two roof vents & installed ridge vent with new roof which appears to be clear. I posted some pictures here //brucesalbum.shutterfly.com Any ideas are appreciated.
     
  8. Feb 3, 2014 #8

    nealtw

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    Did you inspect the attic before roof was done? When you redid the drywall did you add vapour barrier? When you have the bathroom vent exhaust in the soffet, the soffet vent should be blocked for 3 ft on each side of it.
     
  9. Feb 3, 2014 #9

    bud16415

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    You defiantly have something going on up there that needs to be addressed. Your roof is stick framed and has a ridge board running down the middle. When the roofers removed the old vents and did the ridge vents how wide did they open up the peak of the roof? I’m wondering if maybe you are not getting enough air flow. If you pop your head up again point the cam straight up and take a shot. The other comments made are also important questions as to vapor barrier and how the bath vent was run.

    Just out of curiosity where do you live? In terms of climate.
     
  10. Feb 4, 2014 #10

    kwatt57

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    I'm getting a lot of good feedback, thank you guys for that. Bud, I think I agree with you on the ridge vent. I'm uploading a picture for you. at it's max it appears no more than 1/2" air gap between ridge beam & roof for air to escape. However I don't know what is standard. I'm wondering if I just have new vents installed where old ones where if this would clear up this mess. I also have been thinking about what if I install a power fan in one of those openings instead and install a gable vent? I think the "Bleeding" is I result of the holes in the insulboard (don't know if that's the proper terminology) I believe the siding contractor I used 8 years ago left those. I It looks like they where leaning ladders against it and poked holes in it. this also occurred behind walls on the second floor. during remodel I attempted to patch the with tyvek tape from inside before adding insulation. although it doesn't seem wet up there, I did observe condensation on back of roof underlayment & behind siding where exposed through holes. Concluded attic must be warmer than outside (should be close to same temp correct?)to prevent this. to clear up about bathroom vent, this is located under different roof( older house with addition) this roof is not using soffit vents for roof (1920's construction). I don't know if that was common then...it uses a gable vent with a power fan on other side. I've never seen trouble over there. Not saying adding bathroom vent down through soffit is correct way to do it, but moisture cant re-enter soffit vents as there aren't any. And bud, I live 25 miles east of Pittsburgh Pa. //brucesalbum.shutterfly.com
     
  11. Feb 4, 2014 #11

    kwatt57

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    also about vapor barrior. Just fiberglass insulation with paper to living space. should I have stapled up plastic before drywall?
     
  12. Feb 4, 2014 #12

    nealtw

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    The roofer should have removed some wood to allow the ridge vent to work something like 1 1/2" on each side of the ridge. Replacing the old vents would be the quick fix. Having foam on the outside and a vapour barrier on the inside can creat problems also, so repairing holes with tivac was a good move as it will allow moisture to escape.
    One of your picture is outside looking at some really dirty siding, Is that the room in question?
     
  13. Feb 4, 2014 #13

    oldognewtrick

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    You should have a 1-1/2" air gap on each side of the center ridge beam to allow for attic air exhaust and you should not use any other type of exhaust vent in combination with shingle over ridge vent. Your roofer did not cut the decking properly when he installed the roof IF the pic you show has ridge vent installed over it. I would call him back if it was my house.
     
  14. Feb 4, 2014 #14

    bud16415

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    Like others have pointed out it looks like the roofers measured back from the point of the roof as if it was a truss roof and cut the old sheathing. You would think they would have seen the ridge board and a light would have come on but it seems they didn’t. I don’t know how wide a cap they used and how that would cover a wider cut. Bottom line though is you need to get more air moving thru the roof and hopefully that will help with the mold problem. I’m not sure how the two issues are related or if they are related at all.

    You had the same bitter winter we had so far up in Erie, and it’s really tested insulation systems, furnaces and vapor barriers that’s for sure.

    Let’s recap what I’m seeing here. First the ridge vent is inadequate in the slots they cut. There seems to be some difference in opinion if restoring the old vents or redoing the ridge vent or adding some kind of additional venting power or not would be your best solution. I’m just a homeowner handyman around my own home and I’ll let the pros offer opinions on why one is better than another. The company that did your roofing should be made aware of their mistake and the problem it caused, and who knows they may offer help. They should. The old vent holes got plugged off it looks like with tin. Is that correct?
    Now the staining: I’m assuming a circa 1920 house around here had no insulation and had no sheathing on the outside and they removed the clapboard siding. For you to be able to tape holes they made in the insul-board from the inside, I’m guessing you took down lath and plaster and had empty wall cavities you filled with fiberglass with the paper backing stapled to the inside and then drywall. Neil seemed to think they put foam on the outside before siding that depending on the thickness could act as a second vapor barrier but I’m thinking the stuff you called insul-board was something different. Can you describe it? I wonder if it was something like the “Johns Manville Fesco Board”. Do you remember if they put anything over the board before the siding like a house wrap or felt paper? Looking at your photos the staining is evenly spaced on your studs right where the nails would be. It also looks like your house was balloon framed common in 1920’s. it also starts right at the second floor ceiling line and is not up in the cold place. I don’t think it’s so much running down the house as emerging along the stud lines. It looks to me like moisture coming from someplace reacting with a tar based product like the Fesco or tar paper etc. Popping a couple strips of siding off will tell us what’s going on there. How fast did the staining come on? Was it not there this fall and now it is?
    I would contact the siding company also to see what they have to say.

    Hope this helps you.



    On edit: The other reason you will want to get the attic venting corrected is the summer heat will really shorten your roof life if you don’t.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  15. Feb 4, 2014 #15

    oldognewtrick

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    Bud, vent MFG's installation specs state that ridge vent should never be used in combination with other forms of attic exhaust ventilation. What happens is you set up a condition where the stronger vent pulls air from the weaker vent and you short cycle the venting system. Exhaust vents are not designed to be intake vents. You can actually pull moisture in the vent. The answer is not just add more vents. They have to be properly installed and placed to be effective.
     
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  16. Feb 4, 2014 #16

    bud16415

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    That sounds correct to me as well. Suppose the home owner after calling out the roofing contractor finds they won’t make this right. I guess his next step is to find someone to remove the cap and open the slots up and then replace the cap with new product. Could he also have the option of plugging the slots that are undersized from inside and adding a power draw system like he was talking about. To reinstall the old roof vents would be most likely more work than redoing the ridge vents. The problem with a power venting system is its only going to run when it’s hot out.

    Do you see his two problems as being related beyond he is pumping 5 gallons of water into his dry house per day. I don’t see that mold growing in the winter months from the humidifier water. The issue on the outside is tied to the poor attic venting?
     
  17. Feb 4, 2014 #17

    oldognewtrick

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    All he would have to do is remove the ridge vent, cut strips of underlayment 8" wide, center it to the ridge, nail. Install new capping along the ridge line and install a power vent if he chose. I would replace the ridge vent properly myself.
     
  18. Feb 5, 2014 #18

    kwatt57

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    Thanks again guys for the good discussion here. To old dogs point, I'm going to try to stick with correcting the ridge vent here. it makes sense not to mix venting systems as you suggest. As I mentioned in my last post the main roof above the original house is isolated from the roof on the addition(Where the problems are)The addition roof starts 90 degrees off of the old one (when I crawl up in this space you can still see the outside of the old roof inside this space it's behind me in the pics I took) reason I bring this up is the roofer installed a new fan in the old roof (the old one died in the spring) and he also put in a ridge vent. although I suspect it looks like the one in the addition( I will need to inspect this as well). So in this space I have a gable vent on one side dead fan on the other (aka another vent) and a fan in the roof and now a ridge vent. No soffit vents. I'll probably just keep a close eye on this one. Bud, I'll try to answer a few of your questions here. Old house is vinyl over wooden clapboard. addition side( Also 2 stories & approx. 45 years old) is an insulating board material resembling OSB or waferboard black in color only not nearly as strong. without siding on you can poke holes in it. Siding contractor did not install anything over this before vinyl. I had requested fanfold ins. in retrospect perhaps I should have had the house wrapped, but I returned home one day & his crew was hanging siding with no fanfold. crew foreman kept going on about house needing to breathe..so everywhere there ladders poke holes through exterior I now believe is causing stains on house (At attic level inside of house holes show back of vinyl, warm air inside/cold out causes sweat on back of vinyl runs down house....inside house actually had 3*5 sheets of sheetrock tore down Insulated re-drywalled. Old house is balloon framing, addition is not. Also you asked about roofer tinning over holes from old vent, unfortunately not what I saw looks like underlayment for shingles. He did not use felt it resembled more like a house wrap. as I mentioned above next step will be to contact roofer and try to get ridge corrected.
     
  19. Feb 5, 2014 #19

    nealtw

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    When we open up walls with pink insulation lots of times we find that it is black, home owner always think mold but most of the time it is dirt, dropped off by dirty inside air working it's way out.. This seldom turns to mold as the moisture can vent to the outside unless the moisture hangs there to long. The foam behind your siding would have trapped any moisture leaking into the wall would stay there. So the dirt down the siding could be dirty moist air coming from inside. The other problem is the vinyl siding is not waterproof actually it leaks like a sive. It really needs the house wrap behind it.
    This dona cona type product you have under the siding will swell up and deteriorate and that could be the cause of the dirt on the siding. As this swells up it will push and pull at the siding and make it leak even more.
    Balloon framing is bad in that it has clear runs for air and fire up the exerior wall, some have open cavities all the way to the attic. these should be blocked in the attic and basement or crawlspace.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  20. Feb 5, 2014 #20

    bud16415

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    Here is a link to some information on the fiberboard sheathing you have.
    http://inspectapedia.com/structure/Fiberboard_Sheathing.htm

    I know exactly what that stuff is like it was the way to go back in the day. My dad covered a whole house with it and then put felt paper and then red wood siding over it. Still looks great 60 years later. I don’t think quite so good with the plastic siding. I think you are right it needed the fan fold stuff. I would take the siding off and add the fan fold and put it back up. I think that’s the only way you are going to fix the problem and I thing water getting in against that sheathing will just keep getting worse. Maybe the reason its showing up in lines where the studs are is because the siding is tighter there and closer to the sheathing. Siding pops off very easy with a hook tool and you just drive the nails in flush and put up the fan fold and rehang the siding. the company that did it should really make it right. Or at least do it for cost.
     

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