Wet celing in bedroom

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Posted by: from Regina
2/24/2008 at 10:47:42 AM

The upper corner of a bedroom ceiling is damp to the touch. My house is 2 levels with the bedrooms on the top floor so I can't use an extension ladder to look into the eaves. It is also the area where the downspout is located. Is this ice build up? And if so, how can I prevent it? The ceiling doesn't appear to be moldy - yet.

Also - how come I have frost inside my basement near the electric panel? Is air coming in somewhere? The 2 feet about the top of the cement in the basement has been insulated and wrapped?

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In Home Details in Guelph
Date/Time2/25/2008 at 8:30:40 PM

Hi Tracy,

How old is your house?

About the bedroom corner dampness -- could be ice -- it's certainly been a problem again this year with the amount of snow we've had. If you can, shine a flashlight in your attic at that corner, you will have an idea if it is ice build-up on the outside or if it is condensation dripping down from the underside of your roof. Either way, and if you can, blowing air into the area where your leak is will help. Set up a fan to run directed at that corner and you should see an improvement.

It doesn't sound like you'll be able to remove the snow from your roof, so call someone who is reputible in roofing and consult with them.

As for mold -- mold hates air that circulates, so again, a fan anywhere you find mold is likely to grow will be stopped when the air is moving. Fans, ceiling fans or running your furnace ventilation fan will help deter mold growth. If you do see mold, bleach it (100% strength) using rubber gloves and cloth -- it will turn the mold brown (usually), kill it and then keep the air moving to stop it from growing back.

About the frost in your basement -- could be snow buildup on the outside as cause, but the electrical panel may also contribute (maybe lack of adequate insulation behind panel, etc.). Could be air leaking along rim joists. But again, aiming a fan and running it at the spot will help. If it persists, call in someone who specializes in basements/foundations.

But all this greatly depends on the age of your house -- if less than 5 years old, your concrete foundation is still getting rid of a lot of moisture, then when encounters cold, freezes.

I'm sure other contractors will have more to add -- hope you find it helpful,


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Scott in Toronto
Date/Time4/19/2008 at 3:02:41 PM

The age of the house is important in this case. Try to get it looked at as soon as possible or else a lot of damage can be done just from even slight moisture . . . . causing wood warping or damaging the electric lines.

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John in Ottawa
Date/Time4/20/2008 at 5:11:47 AM

Wet ceilings are important. Contact an expert immediatedly, Tracy. As Scott said, this could cause a lot of damage that may go unnoticed.

Good luck,

John White

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Spidy in Whitecourt
Date/Time4/21/2008 at 12:47:13 PM

seriously, find someone to check your house as you have your electric panel close to ice. and we all know that ice is easily conducted by electricity.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time6/8/2008 at 11:25:47 PM

Chances are you have a draft coming from the outside, near the panel. you need to find it and fix it fast. Summer or winter. I would take a look at the roof before you wasting money on anything else. If you see moisture up on the ceiling tear it down and if you have a hole in the roof get it fixed. and redone. Make sure they sheet the roof and don't do a patch job because it will cost you more latter!

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