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Old 05-12-2007, 07:57 PM   #1
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Ceiling condensation


Hi Guys, new here and am looking for advice. I own an ice arena and it is a wooden constucted building with trusses. Our ceiling is covered with a heavy plastic vapor barrier and we recently insulated the ceiling with fiberglass insulation.
Here are my problems:
a) before insulating we would get large condensation on the ice level side of the ceiling when it became very cold outside, I suspect this was because the attic air was colder and made the ceiling a great condensor for the interior water vapor that is produced (flooding and players sweating etc). During the cold temps the dehumudifier often does not run (designed not to run when temp is below 32 degrees) the water vapor would freeze to the cold ceiling and when the outside temp warmed up so would the attic air and the ceiling vapor barrier, and then the ceiling would drip excessively. We also would have some condesation on the attic side of the ceiling as the warm moist attic air in the early fall would condense as the cold air in the building cooled the ceiling down.
This water on the attic side would then evaporate the next summer as the ceiling heated up.
b) Now that we have insulated the ceiling, during the early fall days (we often get 20 degrees and moist air) the attic air condenses on the attic side of the vapor barrier below the insulation as now that vapor barrier is colder as the building has the ice plant operational. The ceiling shows signs that there are water puddles that actually are drooping the ceiling in spots ( this is good in that the water is not up around the insulation or trusses) I suspect that if I seal the attic up better when the ice is in and try and keep the hot humid air from entering the attic I would reduce the condensation a lot. Presently the attic has good normal airflow with vents, however with the use of the building I am thinking that the air should be better controlled.
I am hoping that during the summer as the roof temperature increases the water puddles will evaporate and I will start fresh agin next year.
Would it be advantages for me to put down a vapor barrier on the other side (attic side) of the insulation to try and hope that the attic water vapors would condense on the attic side. Then in the summer it would just evaorate without getting my insulation wet.
If I put down large "collector pads" of vapor barrier instead of all over the whole ceiling would the water condense on them?

Sorry for the long story but am trying to give as much detail as I think will be needed to give a sound answer back,
All comments and suggestions welcomed.

Thanks
Ellery

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Old 12-15-2009, 05:16 AM   #2
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Ceiling condensation


I think you have changed your dew point within your system. Think of your build roof, attic, arena as systems to solve the problem with a good hvac/refrigeration engineer. The problem is one of not venting the moist air out of the attic and therefore it condenses and "rains" inside. Very simply put, the problem will be solved if you move the dew point outside instead of inside. There can not be an unsealed place in the plastic vapor barrier on your roof insulation or the moist air will enter and condense on the roof and form drooping puddles in the barrier. It all has to be sealed and the attic has to be adequately vented. You can also reclaim some of the exhausted heat to preheat your air in the intake vent of the hvac system.

Talk to your engineer about systems .....insulation roofing, hvac, heating, exhaust systems and how they can be better controlled to achieve your goal.

Hope this helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by icemand View Post
Hi Guys, new here and am looking for advice. I own an ice arena and it is a wooden constucted building with trusses. Our ceiling is covered with a heavy plastic vapor barrier and we recently insulated the ceiling with fiberglass insulation.
Here are my problems:
a) before insulating we would get large condensation on the ice level side of the ceiling when it became very cold outside, I suspect this was because the attic air was colder and made the ceiling a great condensor for the interior water vapor that is produced (flooding and players sweating etc). During the cold temps the dehumudifier often does not run (designed not to run when temp is below 32 degrees) the water vapor would freeze to the cold ceiling and when the outside temp warmed up so would the attic air and the ceiling vapor barrier, and then the ceiling would drip excessively. We also would have some condesation on the attic side of the ceiling as the warm moist attic air in the early fall would condense as the cold air in the building cooled the ceiling down.
This water on the attic side would then evaporate the next summer as the ceiling heated up.
b) Now that we have insulated the ceiling, during the early fall days (we often get 20 degrees and moist air) the attic air condenses on the attic side of the vapor barrier below the insulation as now that vapor barrier is colder as the building has the ice plant operational. The ceiling shows signs that there are water puddles that actually are drooping the ceiling in spots ( this is good in that the water is not up around the insulation or trusses) I suspect that if I seal the attic up better when the ice is in and try and keep the hot humid air from entering the attic I would reduce the condensation a lot. Presently the attic has good normal airflow with vents, however with the use of the building I am thinking that the air should be better controlled.
I am hoping that during the summer as the roof temperature increases the water puddles will evaporate and I will start fresh agin next year.
Would it be advantages for me to put down a vapor barrier on the other side (attic side) of the insulation to try and hope that the attic water vapors would condense on the attic side. Then in the summer it would just evaorate without getting my insulation wet.
If I put down large "collector pads" of vapor barrier instead of all over the whole ceiling would the water condense on them?

Sorry for the long story but am trying to give as much detail as I think will be needed to give a sound answer back,
All comments and suggestions welcomed.

Thanks
Ellery

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