Bathroom fans improperly vented

I'm buying a townhouse, and the home inspector found out that the bathroom fans are vented into the attic, causing damage to the roof sheathing in the area above the bathroom fans. The home inspector suggested an easy solution, which would involve connecting a 4" flexible plastic exhaust hose to the fans and then running the hoses underneath the attic's roof-exhaust-fan, and nail the ends of the exhaust hoses immediately below the attic exhaust fan and having them pointed upward toward the exhaust fan. The idea here is that the moisture will escape through the fan's opening whether or not the fan is running.
I just wonder if the solution suggested by the home inspector is actually going to vent the moisture from the bathroom properly. I'm worried that, with such a setup, in the winter, the moisture from the bathroom would simply condense on the attic's exhaust fan causing damage to the fan. What do you think?
Wouldn't venting through a gable end of the townhouse be the ideal solution? The path to the gable end might be 20 feet long though...is that too far a path?
Please advise on the best solution.
If I'm unable to get the condo association to approve a proper correction of this problem, then would it be okay simply to avoid using the fans when taking a shower. The home inspector things that not using the fans is going to be a problem (since it could cause mold/mildew problems in the bathroom, or paint to peel in the bathroom, etc.) but my thoughts are that this may be less problematic than the ongoing damage to roof-sheathing caused by the existing setup. In other words, is my not using a bathroom fan really going to cause major damage to the bathroom?
What do you think?
Thanks.
Jeff
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the
hose
up isnt good enough. it needs to point out. it needs its own hole. sounds like right below the fan might be a good place.

What
i simply dont think it will even be flowing outside. it will condense right as it leaves the hose, possibly even dripping right back down into it if its facing straight up. it needs to be vented outside directly. but if it did somehow find a path outside, i doubt it would hurt the fan.

solution?
its unclear how far it already goes, but i doubt the extra 20' will prevent it from functioning.

vent it directly outside.

of
thats all you need to know about the condo association. you have a house being damaged and in need of a proper fix. if they wont let you properly fix it, politely tell them to go to hell.

ok? probably. for a while. depending on how much moisture is already in the house.

that
probably, eventually.

it needs to be fixed properly. as i said before if the association wont allow a proper fix, you would be foolish to buy into it. that said, i wouldnt buy into ANYTHING where some association could tell me what i can and cant do to my own house.
randy
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bathroom
below
sounds
I well realize that venting to the attic isn't done any more and I also understand why.
BUT the reality is that most of the time in most places, it doesn't do much harm.
OTOH, venting through the roof provides yet another place where rain can come in.
Overall, the main reason to "correct" your "problem" is to keep it from being "red flagged" by another inspector when you finally sell the unit.
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jeff wrote:

Give it its own vent. Besides, the fan in not going to be on in the winter.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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If you have soffet vents (the bottom side ofthe soffet has lots of little holes in it - kinda like a coarse screen), you can simple attach a 4" flexable duct to the existing vent, and put the other end up againts the soffet vent (pointing down). When the fan is running, it'll vent through the soffet vent.
A better solution is to remove one (or 2 0r 3) of the soffet vent panels, and replace it with a real vent...
--JD

the
hose
What
solution?
of
that
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I read an article in the home section of the local paper that recommended against venting a bathroom fan out or near the soffit since these vents draw air into the attic which is then exhausted out the gable or ridge vents (through a natural convective action that occurs when the attic heats up). Moist air vented at the soffit could just be pulled back into the attic.

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I had the same suggestion made to me during some remodeling work that required a bath fan to be re-routed. I think as long as you get the duct into the roof fan opening, it will work.
However, I came up with what I think is a real problem. In the summer, the attic fan will be running. That will create a vacuum that will draw cool inside air up from the bathroom and pump it outside, whether the bathroom fan is running or not. This could be a considerable energy loss.
The best solution is to put in either a roof or soffit vent for the outlet. They are cheap and easy to do. The condo association can't stop you from fixing this the right way. If necessary, just bring in the local code enforcement officer.
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My house has a couple of whirl-a-jig wind powered vents, plus gable end vents. One bath fan vents up into the base of a wind powered vent and the other bath fan vents horizontally out a gable end vent. Both were the closest outlets. I was originally concerned that the horizontal run would be a problem, thinking condensation water buildup before exiting would cause the vent hose to sag, but it never happened. Been that way for 25 years with no roof/vent/fan problems.
Bob S.
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the
hose
What
solution?
of
that
Time to walk away, if the association is punchy now then they will be a pain later. If it is not up to code now how do you know the extent of the damage. Tell the seller to fix it and then you want to have an reinspection.
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jeff wrote:

i would look for another place for sale.. its gonna be a problem down the line when the sheeting has to be replaced... what other defects did the inspector not find??? cant expect someone to find all the falts that places get over the years....
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<<i would look for another place for sale.. its gonna be a problem down the line when the sheeting has to be replaced... what other defects did the inspector not find??? cant expect someone to find all the falts that places get over the years....>>
True, but don't all places have problems that come up here and there?
Jeff
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jeff wrote:

Is this a code violation? If so, you may have to get the law to investigate the HOA for denying corrective action. --Mike
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