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Condensation Issues Can Cost You!

The longevity of a roof structure – whether it’s commercial, industrial or residential – depends on how well it’s maintained, which requires regular inspections. The most important reason for inspections is to check for leaks. Ignoring even small leaks can lead to massive damage over time since leaks tend to grow. You need to look under the roof. During an inspection, a contractor will also look for signs of roof condensation on the underside of the roof structure, which can also lead to costly structural damage.

How Condensation Develops

Roof condensation occurs when moist warm air rises indoor toward a cold roof. When humid air makes contact with a cold or cool surface, vapor turns to liquid. Any type of moisture can be devastating to a roof over time. The problem of warm air rising within a building is prevalent in restaurants and other businesses that use high temperatures. Other buildings that have a high risk of developing condensation include gymnasiums and large factories.

Industrial tilt-up buildings are prone to condensation issues due to the use of foil insulation as a radiant barrier. The problem with this design is that it can restrict air ventilation beneath the roof’s framing, trapping moisture. Condensation trapped in the foil moves through stages of oxidation, corrosion and rust before it manifests into wider roof condensation.

Another way in which condensation develops is due to a buildup of frost below the roof, which can be caused by improper insulation and ventilation. Condensation is common in climates with low temperatures dropping below 35 degrees F. Excess humidity inside a building can add to the problem and lead to water spots on high ceiling beams. Issues with humidity often affect older buildings since newer buildings are designed with modern insulation and ventilation that controls indoor humidity. Adding fans can help reduce condensation.

The solution to condensation depends on how severe the damage is. White marks on hangers can indicate condensation is in the oxidation phase, while rust on metal hangers suggests the problem needs serious attention. Slowing down the corrosion process is essential to protect your roof, which can be accomplished by removing or venting the foil.

If rust has already developed, the contractor will scrape off rust and repaint the hangers. The roofer may also add hangers or modify existing ones. In extreme situations they will need to replace damaged roof framing members.


Roof condensation or any type of prolonged moisture in the roof area can become an expensive problem if not caught soon enough. Contact us at Saunders Construction, Inc. to learn more about protecting the lifespan of your roof.

Posted Under: roof condensation