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Old 10-30-2009, 07:57 PM   #1
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Condensation


My house was built in 1975, recently started to remodel the living room which has vaulted ceilings, 10 ft at the wall and 12 ft ceilings in the center. There will be at times water droplets on my ceiling and also in the northwest corner the facing of the paneling has peeled back due to condensation. I am wanting to put sheetrock up but don't want any moisture or mold problems in my walls. There are 2 layers of shingles and the west end of the living room has all glass that gets full sun in the afternoons. Any suggestions?

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:32 AM   #2
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Condensation


What else can anyone say apart from "you have a leak" - so fix it. There are a hundred reasons why water enters a home and what it'll take to resolve this issue is someone on the spot who knows what to look for. Whether that person is a building inspector, a roofer, a water damage guy doesn't matter but someone has to get his Sherlock Holmes hat on and investigate why you have water on the inside of your home and what it'll take to stop it. Now whether that's a $20,000 new roof, or a $500 vapour barrier no-one here can tell you.

It may be snow and ice damming, it may be 90% RH inside your home and the AC is pumping out cold air full blast...but since you don't bother offering where you are located on this planet, it's even harder for anyone looking at a screen to tell you where to start. Sorry to be so obtuse; there's a lot to the adage "garbage in = garbage out"...the more you give us the more we can help.

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Old 11-01-2009, 03:36 AM   #3
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Condensation


I am located in south Georgia, and i assure you I don't have a leak. These water droplets only form on the 1X4 exposed beams and again you only see them at the very peak of the ceiling. My house is 3800 sq. ft. with a 5 ton unit to cool it. It could be a humidity problem????
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:39 AM   #4
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Condensation


Ah-ha...so it's not ice damming! See how vital your location is?

Well it sounds like a high humidity/low air circulation problem up there; what may be happening is that warm moist air naturally rises to the top of your vaulted ceiling and collects there. When it hits the relatively cooler wood beams, the water in the air condenses out and drips down on you. Wood is a good conductor of heat/cold that's why you don't get the drips everywhere.

Now your AC may be appropriately sized for your home area, but the air circulation may not reach high enough to reduce the condensation problem. Do you have a ceiling fan that could move that air out of there?

I don't know if your local building codes specify any vapour retarder in the construction of your walls and ceilings in Georgia, nor what type of construction you have where you are, but in theory, you should prevent any humid air from even entering your house apart from through the AC system and also in theory your house shouldn't leak air in or out. But that's in theory only. In practice, the envelope around your house is letting humid air in and this air is condensing, as you see. Leaks are everywhere...Incidentally, built in '75, the codes were quite different then.

A ceiling fan directed up there would solve the problem but the longer term solution is sealing all leaks to prevent air coming in that hasn't gone through the AC. Hope this makes sense.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:45 AM   #5
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Condensation


WoooHoooo, busybusy: I am also in S. GA., Albany to be exact, so I believe I understand your problem a little better. Some keywords here for this area: trayed ceilings in a '75-ish era home, about the time builders around here started doing these. Paneled walls: also an older building technique around here. Two (2) layers of shingles: which means a roof-over. I have been taught that this is not very good around here as the heat we get will cause the older layer of shingles to buck under the newer layer due to heat. I've heard this from more than a couple of quality roofers. "The west end of the living room has all glass that gets full sun in the afternoons." I read this as "The living room gets awful hot during 6-8 months of the year". "My house is 3800 sq. ft. with a 5 ton unit to cool it. It could be a humidity problem????" My direct answer to that would be YES! Face it, we have high, really high, humidity problems year round in S. Ga. I'm not an HVAC person, but from experience I would say that with a 3800 sq. ft. home around here a five (5) tone unit would be adequately sized. "ccarlisle" is dead-on with the suggestion of ceiling fan(s) IF you do not currently have them. Another suggestion, and I have one: do you have or could borrow a de-humidier? It is not unusual for me, in a 2000 sq. ft. home to remove four to five quarts of water within an eight hour period, running the unit at night along with the A/C. It certainly does sound as if you have a high humidity problem and not a leak. Another trick I've seen, and used, around here: find a couple of vertical reading thermometers that hang, usually in the garden centers. Hang one of them in the extreme height of the ceiling you can safely get to. Hang one about half-way between the ceiling and the floor level, and another at floor level. You will be surprised at the temp difference IF you do not have fans to circulate the air around constantly. You are at the right place to obtain information as to your problem. Take it one step at the time and you will solve it. Good Luck, David
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:10 AM   #6
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There you go - by telling people where you're from you find an expert in your own back yard!

(Thx Thurman!)
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:34 PM   #7
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Careful there "ccarlisle", the last time I was accused of being an expert, I had to deny that I was an expert at anything--BUT, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express the night before.
Thanks for the compliment. "busybusy" IF any of this helps you, please post your results here for others to learn. If I can be of further help, just send me a note.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:02 PM   #8
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Condensation


At the time (due to remodeling) I didn't have a ceiling fan. This answers alot of questions I had. I have noticed some buckles in my shingles and thought it was a poor job (thanks Thurman). I will try the de-humidifier. Do you think running my duct work through the attic and have my living room vents come through the walls would help or hurt? Apparently in 1975 they didn't do much of that either.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:15 AM   #9
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Condensation


LOL David...!

I cannot speak to your newest ducting question, busybusy, and I won't even try; not because I don't want to - but up here, I'm on a different planet, building code, insulation and venting-wise...

'Thurman' makes a good point. Some here may be more expert than others but the whole point of this bb - and it's lifeblood depends on - people helping others. It's a resource we all learn from...no matter how obtuse some posters like me can be!


Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:50 AM   #10
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Condensation


Thanks ccarlisle and David. Your input has been very helpful.

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