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Cold Cellar Wet Ceiling

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 8th, 2018 10:54 am
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 29, 2007
13 posts
2 upvotes

Cold Cellar Wet Ceiling

Hi Everyone, hoping someone in here can give me some insight.

In my cold cellar I am having a water issue with the ceiling. It is either from condensation or a leak. The cold cellar is in the basement located below my front porch.

I have noticed that the piece of plywood in the ceiling is constantly wet, is it safe to remove the plywood? I think it is just a matter of time before mold will appear. I have read older postings that the wood in the cold cellar is not structural and are used to only make a form so the concrete can be poured.

So I have a few questions.
1. Can the plywood in the ceiling and the rest of the 2x4 be removed?
2. What solutions would I have to mount the ceiling light after all the wood is removed?
3. How can I find out if the water from the ceiling is from condensation or a leak?

I have attached some photos of my cold cellar.

Thanks!
Images
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11 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
8266 posts
6764 upvotes
Oakville
Is your front porch covered? If not, does it pool water when it gets wet and does it have any large cracks?

It's most likely condensation, so in the short term you could reduce the humidity in there by running a dehumidifier and sealing your sump pit.
If it's condensation, then removing the wood won't help. You'll need to insulate the ceiling. Install Rockwool batts with a vapour barrier under it and it should solve your condensation issues and keep your cellar temps more stable.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 29, 2007
13 posts
2 upvotes
My front porch is covered and I don't see any pooling water on the porch.

I was going to remove the wood to prevent the growth of mold and wood rot.

I am afraid that the water running off the porch is somehow seeping into the ceiling.
Images
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Jr. Member
Apr 19, 2018
134 posts
129 upvotes
Is there any venture to the outside to allow humidity to dissipate? My cold cellar has two small vents and I have never had problems with condensation. Something else that could be happening is water filtering in from some other source, running through walls and cracks. Those situations would be hardest to trace, but removing the wood may make the exact problem easier to identify.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
8266 posts
6764 upvotes
Oakville
pezz wrote:
Dec 7th, 2018 8:54 pm
My front porch is covered and I don't see any pooling water on the porch.

I was going to remove the wood to prevent the growth of mold and wood rot.

I am afraid that the water running off the porch is somehow seeping into the ceiling.
It looks well sealed, so unlikely water is leaking in, unless your rain gutter is pooling water there. If it is, you should extend it further so it doesn't pool there.
If it isn't then it's likely condensation/humidity so you should seal your sump and dehumidify the cellar. Then insulate the ceiling and air seal it.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 9, 2006
9535 posts
3533 upvotes
Brampton
Who ever the genius's idea it was to put a sump Inthe cold room should be smacked over the head.

You going to have a ton of humidity in there and it's going have condensation like you've seen. Your best hope is to use a dehumidifier.
Last edited by tebore on Dec 8th, 2018 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
12932 posts
3231 upvotes
Here 'n There
Cold cellar is, um, cold, & humidity condenses in cold air if it has nowhere to go. Plywood is definitely not holding up the porch and is indeed there merely as formwork as there is rebar reinforcment in the concrete porch. Vent the room and/or dehumidify and insulate the walls and ceiling.
Deal Addict
Feb 11, 2018
1052 posts
800 upvotes
1) Remove all the wood.

2) Go HD and rent a tool so that you can drill two 4" or 5" holes in the concrete so your cold storage room can 'breathe'. Make the holes as far as you can from each other.

3) connect a bathroom fan to one of the hole in order to pull air in.

4) Once you have no more condensation (maybe after a few days) get the bathroom fan on a timer. No need to get it to work 24 hours per day. Overnight will be plenty.

And install a piece of door screen to the exhaust of the fan (use tie wrap to hold in place) otherwise you'll be pulling a bunch of bugs in the room. Clean the piece of screen twice a year.
Always try to think outside the box!
Member
User avatar
Jul 1, 2005
444 posts
24 upvotes
It's most likely due to condensation. Put rigid foam insulation on the ceiling and wall. It's an easy DIY job because foam board are easy to cut. Use PL 300 ahesive specifically for foam board. Also check that the vent is not sealed off. Add a small fan put on timer to help circulate the air to the vent.
Last edited by napoleonz on Dec 8th, 2018 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 19, 2004
7938 posts
1280 upvotes
Cambridge, ON
Is there an interior or exterior door? Often builders just place an interior door. The cold cellar should be considered an exterior place.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 16, 2008
6305 posts
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Maple
I think it's condensation. The cold room should have vents to outside. The cold should can be insulated and door is opened.

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