Wet ceil­ings aren’t al­ways from roof leaks!

The Family Handyman - - DIY ESSENTIALS -

Wa­ter stains on the ceil­ing don’t al­ways in­di­cate a leak up on the roof. Many times the stains come from, or are caused by, prob­lems up in the at­tic. Here are three of the main culprits:

AT­TIC-MOUNTED A/C COM­PRES­SORS. Clogged con­den­sate tubes will cause col­lec­tion trays to over­flow. And im­prop­erly sealed or in­su­lated ducts can cause con­den­sa­tion to form and drip into the house. A quick look around the at­tic will help you track down this prob­lem.

BATH AND KITCHEN VENTS. Th­ese vents are of­ten vented di­rectly into the at­tic (or be­come de­tached from roof vents). They can pour gal­lons of wa­ter va­por into the at­tic, where it’ll freeze or con­dense and drip back into the house. Again, a visit to the at­tic will lo­cate it. Even an unin­su­lated ex­haust vent that is vented through the roof can cre­ate con­den­sa­tion on the duct. That mois­ture then leaks back into the house, usu­ally around vent grilles. Those ducts should be re­placed with in­su­lated ones.

ICE DAMS. Ice buildup on eaves, cou­pled with wa­ter com­ing in along out­side walls, is a sure sign of ice dams. They’re usu­ally caused by some com­bi­na­tion of im­proper at­tic vent­ing, at­tic by­passes and in­ad­e­quate at­tic in­su­la­tion. To learn more, search for “at­tic by­passes” and “ice dams” at fam­i­ly­handy­man.com.

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