I am the new homeowner of a 1927 Craftsman bungalow and am very
concerned after finding the unfinished attic is extremely moist to the
point that the wood is damp to the touch and has what is now
crystallized material on some. How long until major damage is
caused. I know I need to address some things like the lack of roof
vent ridges and the old drafty windows, but don't know if much can be
done until spring ( I live in Northern NY). Any ideas? I'm afraid I
have ice dams forming.
If your attic floor has insulation, move some of it out of the way
above the bathroom and kitchen so you can see the ceiling. If the
moisture is coming from those rooms - a likely source - then it would
condense first in the insulation and you might have problems starting
in those locations.
There could be a lot of contributing factors such as type and location
of insulation, roof construction, location of the damp areas on the
underside of the roof, etc. If you're really concerned the best thing
to do is get a pair of knowledgeable eyeballs to size up the
Yeah, but you don't know if it has been damp all 80 years. This could be
recently failed flashing around a chimney or vent stack. Sometimes all
it takes is one wind gust or blown branch, to make an old lead boot let go.
We can't see OP's house from here. They need a roof/attic inspection,
not long-distance speculation.
How long has it been like this, a moisture meter can show areas of
roof leaks. An unheated attic needs good insulation on the floor and
venting for fresh air. If nothing is changed in the last maybe 10
years that you had done maybe a roof leak, If moisture was real bad it
would have rotted away 70 years ago.
Whatever you can do to increase ventilation will help. Of course, if
there is a roof leak ventilation won't help much. Perhaps a small
oscillating fan on a timer or a 40w light bulb will work, but I
wouldn't wait until the spring rains to inspect for roof damage.
Ideally the humidity should be below 50%. Anytime wood gets wet,
rot, mold, possibly termites follow and weaken the structure. The
rate of decomposition varies with temperature, humidity, type of wood,
etc. Consider a ridge vent and more soffit vents.
So youre saying that either she is mistaking the crystal stuff for
moisture, or she has moisture but they are two unrelated things.
I've seen amber-colored stuff on the outside of old wood, pine, I
guess. It comes from inside the wood.
Saw on the news that they took down the Rockefeller Center Xmas tree
and in place, the sawed into lumber. The trunk at least.
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