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Attic Condensation vs. Roof Leak: How to Identify and Fix

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Pat in Illinois finds The Money Pit on WYLL. What can we do for you today?

    PAT: Hi. I’m calling – I have a question regarding radiant – my radiant heating system. It’s hot water radiant. The pipes are in the basement floor. But my concern is up in the ceiling. I’ve been having a – I had the house winterized and the people who were out here, they said they could not add any insulation up into the attic, which is a crawl space, due to the fact that there was a leak in the roof. Now, my question is with the thin layer of insulation that’s up there right now, when the pipes up there start heating with the cold ceiling, could that cause enough condensation to drop on the floorboards up there to appear like there’s a leak – leaks in the roof?

    TOM: Not likely. Not likely. But you know, you could insulate the pipes if you like.

    PAT: Is that right?

    TOM: Yeah. Just insulate the pipes with some pipe insulation.

    PAT: OK.

    TOM: I don’t think you’re going to have enough to cause a heavy condensation issue. First you’d have to have a lot of humidity up there and, in the winter time, the air is going to be drier. So that’s not …

    LESLIE: It’s going to be the same as it is outside.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s not going to be likely to cause condensation.

    PAT: So I have to look – have to go to a roofer then and find out where …

    TOM: Yeah, fix that roof leak. That’s your number one problem.

    PAT: Yeah.

    TOM: Because you know, you’re going to have all kinds of hurt if you don’t get that fixed. You’re going to – you’re talking about structural issues and mold issues and all kinds of things. So get that roof addressed first.

    PAT: OK, well thank you so much for your advice.

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