Condensation Problems on Underside of Metal Roofs

Condensation Problems on Underside of Metal Roofs

Condensation Problems on Underside of Metal Roofs Condensation is a natural process that involves the transformation of water vapor from its gaseous state to its liquid form. This process occurs when 2 things happen in the environment. First, when the air has reached a saturation limit. This means that there is too much water vapor in the area and the air can no longer hold it. Second is when the vapor is cooled off. You can observe this when you notice a cool water bottle with water droplets outside of the bottle.

This can be a problem on metal roofs because as the weather gets cooler, metal roofs tend to experience condensation on the interior surface. This brings moisture to the internal structure of the roof, which could then cause leaking, mold growth, and other problems. You might wonder why there is leaking on your roof when there has been no signs of rain for a while. While this could also be caused by leaky pipes, metal roof condensation is also a culprit.

Condensation occurs on the underside of a metal roof because metal, as a conductor, heats up and cools down faster than other materials. Condensation is likely to occur on the metals first, with warm air trapped internally while the exterior of the roof is exposed to the cool temperatures of the season. With the metal cooling because of the external temperature, it causes the hot water vapor exposed to the metal roof on the inside to start to condense into liquid moisture. The water vapor is likely to have come from items in the house such as showers, humidifiers, heaters, etc. This problem might seem alarming but, in truth, it is actually a simple fix.

Effects of Condensation on the Underside of Metal Roofs

A minimal level of condensation under your metal roof is normal. However, when the condensed water vapor tends to pile up and starts to cause the formation of large water droplets, that is when problems become evident. The outcome of having moisture trapped in the internal space of your roof and walls can cause these situations.

  • Metal corrosion. Even the metals that have been treated with anti-corrosive coating can be affected by moisture, which can cause oxidization and rusting of metals. 
  • Negatively impacts thermal control. Effectivity of thermal insulators and insulation layers are reduced.
  • Growth of fungus, mold, and milder. This can be detrimental to both the house’s structure and the health of the occupants because the accompanying odor and decay can lead to allergies.
  • Insect or Parasite infestations. 

Condensation Prevention

The main thing that homeowners can do to shield their homes from metal roof condensation is to implement ways to prevent it. The right contractor should have the know-how to implement proper systems into your metal roofing to ensure that condensation is minimized. Here are a few things that could be done.

  • Increasing insulation and adding on a moisture barrier which should work to prevent warm and moist air to pass through the insulation layers.\
  • Install a roof ventilation system which should act as a vapor barrier. This would be more effective if the insulation is also moved and not in contact with the metal roof.
  • Incorporating an additional layer of insulation on the exterior surface of the metal roof can prevent it from cooling and causing the water vapor inside from condensation. 
  • Make sure that the roof is ventilated well. The opposite process of condensation is evaporation. With good airflow, the water droplets could evaporate back into water vapor.
  • Higher roof pitch. A higher roof pitch would allow vapor to slide up to the ridge and escape. A high slope would also allow water droplets that do form to slide down and out of the roof interior.

Spotting Condensation Problems

If you are worried about metal roof condensation, these are a few steps that you can do to prevent it. It would be best to contact a professional roofing contractor to help assess weak points for metal roof condensation.

  • Look around your home and check that vents provide proper airflow into the attic and out of the house. It is also important to note that the air vents should always empty out of the house.
  • Flat roofs are a problem since it does not allow water to drip down.
  • Short circuited wiring and unsealed light fixtures are not only electrical hazards for your home, but they also cause the formation of moisture indoors. For your safety, get rid of broken items or fix the wiring.

On Time Roofing can help you develop a plan that best fits your needs, desires, and budget. With years of experience replacing roofs in New Rochelle NY, the roofing professionals in the team are here to give you a comprehensive roofing inspection, a detailed discussion, a tailor-fit plan, and quality workmanship.