How to Stop and Prevent Condensation in Your Attic (Dry Is Always Better!)

A wet attic during winter is typical and something most homeowners have trouble with.

The culprit?

Condensation in the attic usually causes this messy situation.

Molds and moisture come with the cold weather every year.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say:

It can be quite the struggle dealing with an attic leak and molds on your roof’s sheathing!

But not to worry, you’re not alone in this winter dilemma. I’ve been there myself.

There are plenty of ways to fix condensation in the attic.

Are you ready to say goodbye to fogging windows and dripping roofs?

I’m going to give you some tried-and-tested solutions that will help prevent and fix these problems!

Why Does Condensation in the Attic Happen?

Condensation typically happens during the spring and winter seasons.

During these months, warm, moist air from the other areas of your home rises and accumulates in your attic space.

And when that moisture rich air comes across the icy underside of your attic’s surface, condensation takes place.

So how do you contribute to all of this?

All your water-related activities like showering, cooking, and doing the laundry can contribute to moisture!

During winter, condensation transitions not just into moisture in attic cavities but also frost.

Although this isn’t hazardous, it sure can be inconvenient.

That’s not all.

When the frost melts, it re-enters the condensation cycle, leaving almost everything damp or dripping wet.

Aside from this natural process, condensation also occurs if your attic has poor ventilation.

Here’s how you can find out if condensation has taken place or is ongoing:

  • Signs of ice buildup or frost on the nails of your attic roof
  • Corroded nails on the roof and walls
  • Old dark stains and new water stains on the floor
  • The roof sheathing has moisture on it
  • Drip marks are apparent on your walls, floor, and the insulation
  • Formation of molds
  • The ceiling is starting to droop

Condensation in Attic Solutions

Attic Solutions

Once you figure out condensation has occurred, you’ll want to know how to fix it.

So here’s the foolproof plan to show you exactly how to get rid of attic condensation.

Let’s get started.

#1. Eliminate the Extra Moisture

  • Identify the sources of the extra moisture in your house.
  • Check every room of your property and check if you can reduce or eliminate the source of moisture.
  • If you have downspouts and gutters installed, that’s great! They could help water to exit and prevent buildup in the loft.
  • Check if water or moisture is penetrating through the floor slabs. Do this especially if your house is mainly constructed with wood.

And what better time than now to adjust your bathroom and dryer vents so the moisture from the area is routed outside?

#2. Maintain a Balanced Ventilation System

Ventilation System

If you want to reduce the temperature of your attic, you’ve got to improve the ventilation in your house.

Air sealing and insulation can significantly enhance your home’s comfort, sure.

But don’t let that make you keep your home tightly sealed during winter!

So what should you do?

Ensure indoor air is fresh and has the right humidity level.

When air flows through your attic, it decreases the humidity buildup that causes condensation.

Your attic vents must function perfectly to release excess moisture and heat.

But that’s not all.

Figure out means of creating openings—even a slight gap in the windows—to let the cool air in.

#3. Invest in Products that Help Keep the Moisture

Now is the time to begin investing in products that can help you control the moisture in your loft.

The good news is, the market has plenty of these products.

Here is a cost-efficient solution:

Purchase a dehumidifier. You can choose a mini-version or a full-sized dehumidifier.

You can pick one that needs to be manually turned on and off or one that automatically turns off once your attic—or any part of your house—reaches the suitable humidity level.

Here’s another great product I recommend:

This one’s called DampRid.

This moisture eliminating product comes packaged in buckets. You can set them on the floor or other storage places to get rid of moisture.

A few other amazing options:

Weather strippers, air to air exchangers, and window insulation kits.

Other Quick Wins to Reduce Condensation in Your Attic in Winter

Reduce Condensation

Injection foam insulations create an airtight barrier and help maintain the desired temperature.

Seal all cracks in your house to prevent the entry of moisture into your building structure.

Install a loft fan to help pull hot air out of the area while drawing in cooler air from the outside.

Avoid excessive use of your humidifier during the winter season.

Check out this Youtube video to install a vapor barrier:

DIY: Minimizing Moisture with Rock Salt

Did you know your kitchen rock salt can be an efficient solution to help minimize condensation?

It helps reduce the moisture in the air, so if your attic has very minimal to zero foot traffic, you’ve got to try this DIY hack.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bag of rock salt
  • 2 buckets (five-gallon capacity)

What you need to do:

  1. Make several dozen holes in the bottom and sides of the first bucket. You can use a drill to do this.
  2. Place this bucket inside the second bucket—one that has no holes in it.
  3. Pour rock salt into the top bucket.
  4. Set these buckets in different areas of your attic.
  5. When the rock salt pulls or absorbs the moisture from the air, it will be collected in the bottom bucket.
  6. Get rid of the accumulated liquid and regularly replace the rock salt for continuous dehumidifying.

That was easily done, wasn’t it?

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Condensation in the Attic Cause Damage to My Property?

Yes, condensation is likely to cause extensive damage to your property.

Condensation thrives on insulation and in wood.

It can readily spread to other materials and parts of your attic, including the rafters, frames, and roof sheathings.

When these are consistently moist, there is an increased likelihood of rotting and mold development.

You see this on sills when you’ve got excessive window condensation occurring during the cold months.

These two elements—rot and mold—can eventually jeopardize the structural integrity of your home.

And when the building structure gets damaged, repairs become costly and time consuming.

Can Attic Condensation Cause a Ceiling Collapse?

Over time, it can cause damage as extensive as a ceiling collapsing.

When left unattended, moisture can lead to the gradual deterioration of a structure, including the walls and the ceilings.

Droopy ceilings and minor cracks and holes can eventually destabilize your attic ceiling, causing it to collapse.

Is It a Roof Leak or Attic Condensation?

Roof leaks always have a visible and particular source—a crack, hole, or gap on the roof.

This means that you can track down the leak from its origin to the water path that it follows.

When it comes to attic moisture, identifying the source is only the beginning.

You may see that the ceiling is moist but find no apparent damage in the interior and exterior of your attic roof.

Summary

Although condensation in your attic in winter is considered the norm, you don’t need to go through it every year.

There are plenty of practical ways to prevent and resolve this household dilemma. You need to be proactive and get to work quickly!

Make changes the very first time you observe moisture building up in your attic to prevent recurrence of the issue.