Frequently Asked Questions About Attic Rain

Home School Care & Maintenance

Have you ever wondered about those water stains you might see on the ceiling in your home? Those leaks on your ceiling are caused by attic rain; the result of excessive accumulations of moisture in the attic or walls of the home, which freezes during cold weather and melts when warmer temperatures hit (like the Chinooks we see in Calgary). Here’s a few frequently asked questions that will help you navigate attic rain:

What kind of homes does attic rain affect? Attic rain affects most homes but is more common to the environment surrounding Calgary due to Chinooks. Whether you’re in a brand new home or a home that is 30 years old, you may experience attic rain in your home.

When looking to see if my home has attic rain, what am I looking for? Attic rain will show as water staining. Homeowners are encouraged to monitor their attic regularly for excessive frost build up indicating that there is a leak in the building envelope.

Is attic rain covered under warranty? Attic frost and water staining are not covered under warranty but the water leaking through the building envelope (up to 5 years) is covered under Alberta New Home Warranty’s 2014 edition (refer to your edition of ANHW coverage to clarify your coverage).

If my home has attic rain, what should I do? If water spots occur on the ceiling of the second floor, homeowners can go into the attic to see if they can find the gap or hole in poly and use tape to close it. A solution of 4 parts water and 1 part bleach can then be used to pat the water spot on the ceiling. This may require more than one application until desired colour is achieved.

How can I prevent my home from having a case of attic rain? Nothing can completely prevent attic rain from happening; it’s just something that naturally occurs with the drastic swings in temperatures. Homeowners have a responsibility to mitigate damage by reducing humidity levels in their homes during cold weather. Although builders can minimize the moisture reaching the attic by ensuring the air/vapour barrier is as continuous as possible, air leakage into the attic cannot be completely eliminated. Even a small air leak can deposit a significant amount of moisture over a long cold spell if the moisture content of the air is high.