Common Winter Attic Issues
The weather in 2020 is off to a mild start. While it hasn’t been overly cold just yet, we had best not underestimate. We should continue to expect that the extreme cold is on its way. Enjoy the mild temperatures while you can. We all know that in South Jersey, you can never be sure when the weather is going to switch up on us. It’s like the old saying, ‘Hope for the best, but expect the worst.’ It’s a good motto to live by, and this includes your home maintenance routine. Winter can be rough on your home’s attic. The most common of all winter attic issues to be aware of is frost. A frozen attic can cause a whole slough of issues for your home. From mild water damage to severe mold growth, do your best to avoid any of it.
What Causes An Attic To Develop Frost?
The key factors that contribute to a frozen attic are extreme cold temperatures paired with elevated moisture levels. It may seem like common sense. Water plus freezing temperatures equals ice. This ice in your attic may seem like a non-issue, or something you don’t need to worry about. However, when the temperatures begin to warm up, this is a recipe for disaster. Again, common sense – ice melts, causing water damage. Water damage causes moisture issues in porous building materials. Many homeowners don’t even realize that their attics are experiencing elevated moisture levels in the first place.
A frozen attic indicates that your attic has an underlying moisture issue. You may not have previously noticed this because it wasn’t as visible before it was frozen. Attic frost is a common occurrence in New Jersey homes during the winter. Many attics in NJ properties suffer from excessive moisture issues. This may be due to lack of ventilation, air leaks from the main living space, or something else altogether. Whatever the cause of the moisture may be, elevated attic moisture is always the source behind a frozen attic. Your attic is most likely experiencing improper ventilation or insulation. The area is trapping warm, moist air that, when met with freezing temperatures, turns water vapor to ice. This ice condenses onto building materials.
How To Prevent A Frozen Attic
Frozen attic prevention may sound rather intimidating, but it is necessary for the wellbeing of your home. Luckily this winter has been relatively mild by South Jersey standards thus far, so there’s still time to prevent issues. It can be as simple as monitoring your attic’s humidity levels, or providing proper ventilation. The ideal humidity level for one’s home is between 35% and 50%. If your attic exceeds those levels, consider employing the use of a dehumidifier.
Potential Dangers of A Frozen Attic
While the frost itself may be harmless, it only stays that way when frozen. When that frost begins to melt is when problems can arise. The water will begin to infiltrate your attic’s porous building materials and even other areas of the home. This can lead to mold if not treated promptly. If left to its own devices, this moisture can cause severe property damage. In the right conditions, mold can develop in as quickly as 24 to 48 hours, so act quickly.
When your frozen attic inevitably melts, that moisture from excess humidity is no longer just in the air. This moisture now saturates your porous building materials. It now has the potential to cause your attic’s building materials a great deal of trouble. This moisture can also collect and leak into other parts of your home, potentially causing more damage that will require expensive repairs. A frozen attic from excess moisture buildup can damage your home’s building materials and create the perfect environment for mold growth. Mold development from water damage in your attic can compromise your home’s structural integrity. Not only that, this mold growth can diminish your property’s value and even pose a potential health threat to you and your family.
In the event that you discover a frozen attic, don’t hesitate to contact a professional to assess the damage of the area. A professional will have the proper tools and training, and will be able to determine the original source of moisture. In order to prevent a frozen attic and the damage that comes with it in the future, moisture control is key. In order to ensure the area is free of damage, contact a professional attic mold & moisture damage remediation company in your area.