SUMMERTIME IN THE SOUTH!!
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
It’s definitely summertime in the South! Now is the time where it’s so obvious to both engineers and home inspectors why houses in the South have requirements totally different than that of our Northern neighbors. The problem of condensation in attics, especially in hot-humid climates, is caused by humid outdoor air coming in contact with cold surfaces in the attic. Any duct or plenum leakage creates a cold surface for the hot humid air to condense upon. Any kinks in the ducting or the use of a duct hangar without a saddle can create a less insulated surface allowing condensation to form. This condensation can not only damage the wood in the attic, but also reduce the R value of the insulation in the attic. Finally, this condensation creates an ideal environment for microbial growth. In the south, it is critical in the design phase to consider how to insulate the building and how to transport moisture out of the building, as well as how to keep the temperature comfortable. It is also very important that the insulation of the attic, ducting, and walls be kept in good repair during the life of the home. As your home inspector, these are issues that I am thinking about as I walk the roof, roam the attic, and check the cooling and heating capabilities of the home.