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Old 03-07-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
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Condensation and frost in attic

I recently went into my attic to check out what I thought might have been a bird or rodent trapped in there. When I got up there, I saw something I have never seen before, but don't know if it is normal.

When I looked at what would be the underside of the roof, I saw a coating of frost and what looked like condensation that had melted and refroze in big drops. The insulation does not appear to be wet, but it's blown insulation, so I don't know if it was or not.

Only living in Minnesota for about 18 months, I am not sure what normal conditions in an attic should be during the winter, and we had a rather warm one last year, so I have nothing to compare this to. So my question is this: Is what I am seeing normal? The frost/condensation looks like the frost you get on grass when it is starting to turn cold, as I can still see the OSB that makes up the roof structure. I am surprised at the drop formations, which is my main concern. If this is not normal, what could be the cause, and is it something to worry about?


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Old 03-07-2013, 02:10 PM   #2
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Yes it is definitely something to be concerned about. You are loosing heat into your attic, and your attic is not properly ventilated. What is the temperature and RH in your attic compared to the outdoor temperature and RH?

Where is your insulation, in the floor of the attic?


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Old 03-07-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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The temp when I checked was in the 20s. This was coming off a cold snap that didn't get above 0 for 48 hours and the temp had been in the single digits for at least a week, if not 10 days. Don't know the relative humidity, but it has to be relatively low.

I keep the internal temp at 68, and I control the humidity with a whole house humidifier. It has a label on it that states where to set the dial based on the outside temperature range. I had it set appropriately for each day.

The insulation in the attic is blown insulation that sits on the floor.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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Warm air hitting cold air!
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:17 PM   #5
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do you have any exhaust fans in the bathrooms, or kitchen? do they vent to the exterior of the structure or directly into your attic?

"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:01 PM   #6
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Lack of insulation, attic needs to be air sealed, and not enough venting as already mentioned.
Plan and simple.

Do a search in the insulation area. It's been discussed hundreds of time here.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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IMO, your attic MAY (hard to see from here) be properly vented but the attic is not air-sealed, nor the insulation enough;

Zone 6,7, R-49 required;
How thick is the insulation, blown fiberglass?

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:51 AM   #8
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Air Seal, insulate, and vent.

All as mentioned above.


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