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Roof Leak vs Condensation: Denver Roofers Explain How to Tell the Difference


December 26, 2018

If you’re like most homeowners, nothing strikes fear into your heart like the thought of a roof leak doing severe damage to your house. Repairs can be costly, damage is often extensive, and when it’s left to sit, the issues only start to grow. Surprisingly, however, spotting a roof leak is a bit more complicated than you might think, especially in attic spaces with higher moisture levels. Believe it or not, some supposed roof leaks are actually condensation collecting on the surface. Wondering how to tell the difference? Your Denver roof repair experts are here to help. Here’s what you need to know.  

Look at the Weather

Condensation occurs when warm moist air hits a cold surface like your attic roof during the winter. Cold temperatures can soak through the roof materials, especially when the weather is extremely cold outside. This then causes condensation to form and, in high amounts, the moisture buildup can start to drip, mimicking a roof leak. If the drip is active during a sunny but cold day, it’s probably just condensation. However, if the drip is happening when you have snow on the roof or when it’s raining, the chances are good that it’s a roof leak. 

How Much Water Is There?

Condensation can create more water and moisture in the attic and cover more surface area than a minor roof leak. Look at the attic roof and see if there are multiple drips or puddles forming across the surface. If the water seems to be isolated, it may be a leak. If the water is spread out, there’s a good chance that it’s condensation. 

Check the Outside

Many roof leaks are caused by damage that’s visible on the exterior of your house. Walk the perimeter of your home and look for missing shingles on the roof and on the ground. Check the roofline to make sure the materials are still lying flat against the surface and inspect your siding for warp or damage. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, that drip in your attic is probably a roof leak. If everything looks okay, it’s likely condensation.

You Still Need to Address the Condensation

Water damage is water damage and condensation can still cause problems in your attic. The best thing to do is schedule a consultation with your roofer to inspect the attic and make sure you have adequate ventilation. If there’s not enough ventilation in the attic, moisture can start to collect. The longer it sits, the more water damage you’ll have in your home. Prolonged high moisture levels encourage mold and mildew growth inside your house, putting your family at risk.

Worried about condensation in your attic or simply want a second opinion on an active drip you noticed the other day? Schedule a free estimate with our experienced contractors. We’ll take care of the problem whether the leak is due to minor roof damage or poor ventilation causing excessive condensation. No matter how large or small the repair is, we’ll make sure it’s taken care of the first time. Call (720) 309-9722 to discuss your concerns with a member of our team.