When there are drips on the ceiling or water marks forming on the ceiling, the first thought is usually that the roof is leaking. What else could it possibly be? The truth of the matter is that adding new recessed can lights to an interior remodel, can be the culprit. How can this have anything to do with water entering your home? Here’s an explanation.

When new can lights are cut into the drywall or plaster ceiling, air gaps are left around the circumference of the new can light, no matter how precise of a cut the installer made. Studies have shown that a family of 3 typically releases 2 gallons of condensed vapor into the home’s interior. Warm air rises, so it makes its way to the ceiling, and it will find air gaps which the new can lights have now created. The long hot showers, daily cooking, the boiling teapot all
send condensed air into your home’s interior. The warm condensed air then seeps through the gaps and makes its way into the attic.

As we travel to the attic, it’s plain to see several hundred roofing nails protruding through the roof deck and into the attic space. In the winter, each of these nails are as cold as the outside air.

Now the warm, condensed air that has escaped into the attic heads in the same upward direction. Once it hits the ice, cold nails there is a strong possibility that the nails will begin to condensate. Think of an ice cold can of pop sitting in the sun on a warm summer day. Eventually, the ice that has formed on the nails will begin to melt, causing the drips and damage to your ceiling. So, what’s the solution? Once it’s determined that the source could be the new
can light cut outs it is time to apply spray foam insulation around each of the lights from the attic. A healthy attic should be a priority for all homeowners, yet often gets neglected.