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Causes of Wood Sweat and Wood Sap in Attic

July 17, 2017

As temperatures outside continue to increase, the heat in your attic also starts to rise. Wood that is located in high heat can cause a few issues, so knowing what is happening and how to prevent it is crucial to protecting both your home and your wallet.

What is attic ambering?

Attic ambering refers to wooden beams in the attic having sap leak out. While there are complex chemical components found in tree sap, it's easy to compare sap to blood. The sap, when in live trees, carries nutrients throughout the tree that helps to keep it alive. Similarly, when a tree is damaged, the sap can "bleed" out.Thinking back to science class, we know that heat rises. As such, all the heat meets in the attic and can cause the beams to bleed out the sap. If you check your attic and see golden colored crystals, you've discovered your attic ambering.

What does wood sap on rafters look like?

Wood sap on rafters can exist in two different forms. Initially, sap sweats out of rafters in liquid droplets that can range in color from yellow to a dark red or amber. If not caught early, sap can harden and crystallize. Wood sap can hang from rafters in a long drop that resembles a long tear drop.

What happens to wood that causes it to sweat?

Much like with humans, heat causes wood to sweat. Wood has many chemical components internally, and higher temperatures cause those chemicals to react with one another. Molecules begin to move around and bump into each other which creates an internal pressure. In an attempt to decrease that pressure, the molecules begin to move outwardly that results in an expansion or wound in the wood. The damage from the expansion allows the wood sap to bleed, or sweat, out from deep within the beam.

How long does it take for wood to start producing sap crystals?

Sap production varies from wood to wood. Some pieces of wood are more prone to sweating sap than others. As such, the timeframe for sap hardening also varies. Wood sap in attic has production rates that vary with higher temperatures.

What are the biggest setbacks of wood sap in attic?

Sap itself is a sticky substance of sugar and water. As the sap leaks out, the stickiness can attract dust and dirt. Attic sap can also bring in unwanted insects and pests such as fruit flies. While more of an inconvenience, sap can also be difficult to remove if not handled properly.

How can attic sap be prevented?

Proper insulation, as well as ventilation, of your attic is the key to preventing those wooden beams from sweating sap! With proper ventilation, you can protect your attic as well as your wallet by cutting down on electric bills.

How do you remove sap?

Wood sap removal depends on whether or not it has hardened.For fresh sap removal, try using an oil soap to remove excess residue. Use a soft brush to gently scrub the surface. Warm water should also be used to rinse the area. Additionally, acetone can help to remove residue.For hardened wood sap removal, a sharp wood chisel is an ideal choice to scrape off the crystals. Apply pressure and gently chip away at the sap until the crystals begin to pop off.If you see the wood in your attic ambering, Call Green Energy of San Antonio today to have your attic properly insulated. Green Energy of San Antonio is the best choice for attic insulation in San Antonio and the surrounding areas.