cracking paint

amgaFebruary 11, 2007

Had the house about 6 mo and there has been kind of a continual problem of the ceiling paint cracking and peeling off from the drywall in most of the rooms in the house, a 1-story ranch with unfinished attic - no water pipes in the ceiling. I asked a guy at the paint store if he knew why and he said he only knew of moisture - makes sense - but then said you would be able to feel if it was wet. Nothing seems wet to the touch, but I suppose it could be a ventilation problem in the attic?

Not sure what to do. Thanks!!

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Sounds like a definite moisture problem in the attic. You cannot feel it because the problem is water vapor being drawn throught the ceiling, not liquid water. Is there adequate ventilation in the attic? Are there heating/cooling ducts up there that are leaking due to sloppy installation? Are there lots of unsealed holes in the top wall plates for wires, and plumbing vents, that are leaking conditioned air into the space? What kind of insulation is in the attic? If there is a constant meeting of warm/cold between the ceiling sheetrock and the attic air, there is going to be water vapor issues, and even liquid condensaton if the conditions are right.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 6:09PM
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Did the cracking/peeling start with the cold weather (do you live in a cold climate?)? Just looking for more symptom details, seems moisture is the problem, now we have to find the source.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 11:36PM
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I wonder if the excess moisture in the attic is coming from the bathroom fans? Are the bathroom fans vented to the outside or just vented into the attic? If they are just vented into the attic that would be an excellent source of excess moisture in the attic.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 8:39AM
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You may find the thread on the subject of venting of help, see on this forum:

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 10:51AM
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Thanks for the help! No overhead lights in the house so that isn't it. There is a fan in the bath, but it does vent to the outside - may not do it well. And the cracking didn't start with the cold weather but it has made it worse. The insulation in the attic does need to be beefed up, our home inspector suggested that. The house was built in 1959 for whatever that's worth. Thanks for the link for venting help, I'll check that out!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 8:54AM
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Do you have louvered vents on the gable ends of the home? Second, do you have any roof turbines? The real issue is to take built up moisture out of the attic. If you have good access to the attic, walk around to see if the interior walls have open access into the attic. If this is the case you need to give special attention to insulating these gaps. Once the air circulation is improved, you need to blow enough insulation into the attic to bring it up to at least R-24. An excellent and very cost effective insulation is cellulose. Check with your local power company to see if they offer any rebates to help with insulation costs. A few years back we added 14" of cellulose to our attic and Texas Utilities picked up half the cost.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 9:17AM
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