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Old 02-20-2013, 04:30 PM   #1
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moldy, damp attic ceiling.


Hello, i am a first time homeowner in Michigan and have a moisture problem in my converted attic and i need help. let me give you all the information that i know.

i apologize in advance for how this is written, i am new to construction and don't know how to properly explain what i'm seeing.

my house was built in the '40s and someone previously converted the attic into a bedroom. so now there are three cavities that run the length of my house. one on each side of the room and one in the peak.
there are access panels to the side cavities. in one cavity i noticed that there is white mold blotches all over the ceiling / backside of the roof (my roof is made of planks and not sheets) and much of the wood is very damp and parts are frozen.
the previous owner had these cavities insulated with blown in insulation but there is no insulation attached to the ceiling areas.
they added two vents to the roof in the one cavity but only one small vent in the other and i am unable to view the peak cavity but i do not believe it is vented at all.
upon checking the cavity on the other side of the house (the cavity with only one small vent) i notice that the wood there has hardly any dampness and only mold in a few spots.

my brother tells me that these spaces need to be ventilated better and the air inside this area has to be the same temperature as the air outside and that i need "soffit vents" but my soffits are very small and i do not know if i can even add them.
my dad tells me i need to add a vent to each of the end walls to allow the air to move through.
my dad also tells me that an even better idea might be to seal of the added vents completely and heat the cavities since this is what he has done in his house and since the one cavity that is in better condition has fewer vents.

so as you can see i'm stuck in the middle. one option presented to me is to add more vents and the other is to remove vents.
also could this problem be caused by a leak somewhere? and if it is a leak how is it getting across my entire ceiling/roof?

thank you very much for taking the time read this mess.

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:03 PM   #2
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moldy, damp attic ceiling.


Best thiing you can do is post some pictures of the inside the areas in trouble and the outside so someone can see what your seeing.

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
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moldy, damp attic ceiling.


Are the exterior walls in your house insulated?

Baloon Construction?

Your Brother is correct. You are getting an influx of warm air into the area behind your knee walls. The warm air is hitting the back of your cold roof deck and condensing. You need to stop the warm air flow to this area, and ventilate it so it is close to the same as the outdoor temperature.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:01 AM   #4
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moldy, damp attic ceiling.


Hi Charlie

Jagans sounds right.

We have an article that walks you through steps to assess

Last edited by TheEplumber; 03-11-2013 at 04:05 PM. Reason: link removed- Please review posting and advertising rules
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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moldy, damp attic ceiling.


so the question is: add more vents or to remove vents?
the answer is simple: if there is a great difference between inside and outside temperature condense occurs. So you need to get these two intune by:... more vents
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