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Old 04-01-2009, 08:42 AM   #1
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


I have been having bathroom celing moisture problems in two bathrooms for the past couple months. The house was built in 2007 and we've lived there for almost a year before it started happening. We originally noticed it when after taking a shower each spot where a nail was just beneath the surface looked wet. A few minutes after the shower was turned off the spots dried up. It isn't a situation where moisture is coming from above as only the nail spots (I figure the coldest spots on the ceiling) are gathering moisture. I've checked the vents in both bathrooms and both seem to be working fine. The flaps open up on the outside of the house when the fans are turned on. I recently repaired a couple nail pops, primed (w/ Zinser 123 primer), and painted (w/ zinser perma white) the smallest bathroom to see if that would help. Now, this morning i noticed after taking a shower (no more than 5-8 minutes) that the whole cieling was wet (4 days after painting final coat). I can't figure out why this would happen and it is getting very frustrating. Before I primed and painted only the nail spots were gathering moisture...Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 04-01-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


What you've described is a normal condition. More evident in small bathrooms then large ones. Warm moist air will always condense on a cool surface.
Ron

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Old 04-01-2009, 09:14 AM   #3
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


Is your attic insulated well?
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


Ron, So are you saying there is nothing I can do? Why would it only focus on the nail spots at first, but now the whole cieling feels moist since i've painted?

As for the insulation question-I got up in the attic originally to see if i could find a problem. It is pretty well insulated as far as i know(I'm not sure how much is enough, but it is pretty well covered w/ white insulation)

...Thanks,
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:31 AM   #5
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


Do you think it is only happening in the cold months, but it didn't happen in the warmer months? Depending on where you live, pay attention to whether or not it's happening when it's cold outside. If it's not happening when it's warm out, that could suggest you need more insulation in the attic.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


I've thought the cold weather could possibly be the reason but we moved in last January and didn't notice anything until this past Dec/Jan (Live in Cincinnati, Oh area). Lately temperatures have gotten up in the 60's and it is still doing it. Maybe it needs to get warmer to test that theory? Once it started getting warmer I thought it might stop doing it, but that hasn't happened yet...Very frustrating.

Concerns me that after priming and painting, now the whole ceiling gathered moisture this morning. What would cause that? Could it be it hasn't had enough time to fully dry?...

Thanks for the responses...
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:30 AM   #7
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


maybe you sealed it up too well and now the moisture has nowhere to escape. Sounds to me like you need to insulate your ceiling.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


It's happening first on the nails/screws because they are cooler then the sheetrock.
It's just like getting condensation on a cold bottle of liquid that is sitting on a table.
The water temperature is 100-110 degrees. The walls are at room temperature, which is 68-72 degrees.
The same thing happens on vinyl siding. Moisture will condense over the nails underneath because metal conducts heat and cold better then sheetrock or vinyl. You can see the nailing pattern of the siding as dirt gets attracted to the moisture over the nail
You can minimze the issue if it bothers you by,as said before, insulating better and by having a higher capacity fan and running it as soon as you get in the bath to take a shower.
Ron
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:40 AM   #9
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


The funny thing is, it didn't happen last year when it was cold. Just started all of the sudden an in both bathrooms. The house was just built a year and a half ago. I can't figure out why it would happen all of the sudden and if the insulation was a problem why it wouldn't have happened last year during the winter months? I would assume with it being a newer house they would have properly installed the insulation? Maybe I shouldn't assume I guess...
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


Thanks Ron,

Do you think i've created a bigger problem by priming and repainting the one bathroom with the zinser primer and paint (since this morning the whole cieling felt noticeably wet)? Could it be sealed too good and will that create a mold/mildew problem eventually?

Appreciate the responses, this problem has been driving me crazy for a couple months now. Thinking I might try to add insulation as you guys have suggested i guess.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:07 PM   #11
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


Can you go up in the attic and find the area over the bathroom ceilings? If you can, measure how deep it is. You said it's white stuff, so I'm assuming it's the blown-in cellulose. Reach your hand down inside of it and feel around for air pockets. Is there a moisture barrier and if so is it placed above or below the joists? If it's above the joists, there could be air pockets where the insulation isn't serving its purpose or isn't as deep.

Does the insulation cover the joists? If the screws are where you first noticed the condensation, and they are secured into the wood, that could mean the joists are getting cold and transferring the cold to the screws. How many inches of insulation are there covering just the joists?

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Do you think i've created a bigger problem by priming and repainting the one bathroom with the zinser primer and paint (since this morning the whole cieling felt noticeably wet)? Could it be sealed too good and will that create a mold/mildew problem eventually?
I'm no expert, but I've never heard of sealing a ceiling too well with primer and paint.

One other thing, when you're up in the attic, check to see if the insulation is compacted in any way above those ceilings.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:14 PM   #12
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


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Originally Posted by DH1212 View Post
Thanks Ron,

Do you think i've created a bigger problem by priming and repainting the one bathroom with the zinser primer and paint (since this morning the whole cieling felt noticeably wet)? Could it be sealed too good and will that create a mold/mildew problem eventually?

Appreciate the responses, this problem has been driving me crazy for a couple months now. Thinking I might try to add insulation as you guys have suggested i guess.
Has anyone or anything been in the attic to disturb the insulation? Did this happen when snow was on the roof or just anytime the showers were used? Is this tied to lower exterior temps or does it happen in warmer weather also?
Ron
Is the heat into that room the same as it was last year? Cooler? What type of heat? Hot air, hot water, electric?

Last edited by Ron6519; 04-01-2009 at 01:03 PM. Reason: added question
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:01 PM   #13
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Bathroom cieling moisture problem!


Nothing has been in the attic to disturb the insulation and it began happening I'd say around December and happens everytime the shower is used. Lately the temperature has gotten into the 60's and it still is happening.

I'll have to get up in the attic to measure how much insulation is in there now. It is the blown in kind and last time i was up there it more than covered the joists. I'll get back w/ specifics once i'm able to get up there and investigate some more.

Ron,
Yes the heat is pretty much the same as last year, right about 70 degrees in the house. Have natural gas heat...

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Last edited by DH1212; 04-01-2009 at 02:00 PM.
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