Attic frost is a common problem during the cold winter months. If you don’t take the necessary steps to prevent frost from accumulating in the attic, you may have to face considerable emergency repair costs in the near future.
What is attic frost?
Frost forms in the attic because warm moisture-laden air rises from the interior of your home and gets into that cold space. The moisture condenses and forms frost on the roof sheathing.
While frost won’t do any damage, the water that is left when frost melts is another thing. This water will pool, soak through your ceiling, and leak into your home. It will cause wood to rot, ruin your electrical wiring, leave water stains on your walls and ceilings, and cause mold and mildew to grow.
Noticed frost in your attic? Don’t worry, you can still stop it from getting worse. Here’s what you can do to prevent attic frost.
Install a fan
An attic fan can help keep frost from forming in your attic. Some even use solar power, which means they won’t add to your electric bill. There are also ones that are automated and ones that power on and off based on the air pressure in the attic.
Control the humidity indoors
If you use a humidifier during winter, it may be contributing to your frost problem. The more humid it is inside the house, the more frost forms in the attic.
Make sure that your bathroom exhaust fans are working properly. To ensure that the fans are blowing out all the hot air from the bathroom, install timers that will have the fans running for an hour. It usually takes this long to get the humidity levels back to normal after a hot shower or bath, so ask everyone in your house to run the exhaust fans for an hour after they use the bathroom.
In winter, always turn on the kitchen exhaust fan when cooking or baking. Check that your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans don’t vent into the attic or are aimed at a roof vent.
Fix air leaks
Warm, humid air gets into the attic through air leaks. One of the best ways to avoid frost buildup is by sealing off all sources of air leaks to the attic.
This can be difficult because small air leaks may be hard to detect without removing the attic insulation. But once you’ve found all those leaks and sealed them, your attic will finally be frost-free.
To do this, use an infrared thermometer to detect heat rising from underneath the attic. You can also simply inspect the attic and try to feel around for heat escaping from the living spaces beneath. Once you’ve found a likely air leak, seal it with caulk and insulation.
Don’t add more attic insulation
Adding insulation will not solve your attic frost problem. Don’t do this until you’ve sealed all air leaks. Doing so will only make the attic colder and speed up the formation of frost.
Attic frost isn’t something you can ignore or wait until next year to fix. Call a reputable roofing services company in your area and schedule an attic inspection to get rid of attic frost once and for all!