Why Is My Bathroom Fan Dripping Water?


A ventilation fan is an important feature in any bathroom that ensures your bathroom is sufficiently ventilated, free from nasty smells, and free of any excess moisture in the air.

This will ensure that water is unable to accumulate and cause damage to the building. These devices are highly effective, but only if installed correctly and properly maintained.

A bathroom fan could be dripping water for several reasons. It is usually due to condensation in the duct which causes water to drip back down through the fan. Other common causes include accumulation of ice on the roof, or rain that leaks through the roof and into the vent due to incorrect installation.

To ensure that your leaking bathroom fan does not cause further damage to your home or its contents, it’s important that you are able to find the cause of the leak.

Fixing the leak as quickly as possible will ensure that no further damage is caused and that your fan is able to continue doing its job efficiently.

Why Is My Bathroom Fan Dripping Water?

Your bathroom fan could be leaking for numerous reasons, all of which present in a similar way, but with completely different root causes.

A leaking bathroom fan can cause a host of issues including a stained ceiling, moisture damage in other ways, or the growth of mold in the ceiling.

A bathroom fan exists mainly to get rid of moisture that tends to accumulate in the bathroom after somebody has had a shower or bath.

These fans can also remove bad odors from a bathroom, making them a doubly useful and somewhat essential addition to a bathroom.

1. Condensation

Condensation is most often the primary cause of a leaking bathroom fan.

To understand how condensation works, we must remember that water droplets moving through the air will tend to condensate when coming into contact with any cold air or colder surface.

Water turns to vapor at a certain temperature, and if its temperature drops below this level it will return again to a liquid form, bearing in mind that as air becomes colder, it will hold less moisture.

Condensation usually occurs when moist and warm air begins to condense in an uninsulated or poorly insulated vent duct.

As the condensation forms on the walls of the vent duct, it then begins to drip down into the bathroom through the fan.

2. Snow & Ice

Another possible reason for a bathroom fan to drip water can be due to an accumulation of snow or ice on the roof of your house.

This snow or ice begins to melt, causing leaks to occur in the bathroom fan.

This happens either when the snow begins to melt naturally, or when the hot air moves up through the vent and out through the vent cover situated on the roof, melting the snow as it passes by. 

As this snow begins to melt, the water will flow through the vent cover, into the air duct and down into the bathroom, dripping out of the extraction fan. 

3. Heavy Rainfall + Incorrectly Installed Vent

While it’s normal for rainwater to accumulate on your roof, a properly functional exhaust vent system should prevent rainwater from entering.

If, however, the vent cover is incorrectly installed or it is damaged, it becomes easy for rainwater to flow into the vent and down through the fan.

There is also a possibility during intense rainstorms, where rain is blown in different directions, for the rain to enter into the roof vent.

4. Old Exhaust Fan

Bathroom exhaust fans tend to have a lifespan of between five and ten years. As they become older, these fans begin slowing down and start to have trouble extracting moisture out of the space. 

As a result, the warm air can remain inside the air duct, creating further opportunities for condensation to take place.

How To Fix a Leaking Bathroom Fan

There are several ways to fix your leaking bathroom fan. This depends, however, on what is causing the leak to begin with.

Firstly, insulation is an important feature of the air ducts in bathroom ventilators.

What the insulation does is keep separate the warm air flowing out of the bathroom from the cold air in the attic, ceiling, walls, and crawl spaces. 

By keeping the cold air and warm air separate, the warm water vapor is not forcibly cooled down before it has the chance to escape, and condensation is thus prevented. 

If the leaking of the bathroom fan tends to happen only when there is heavy wind and rain, it is highly likely that the cause of the problem is the roof vent cover.

By inspecting the roof vent cover, you will be able to determine if this is indeed the issue.

The roof vent cover can easily be damaged by a multitude of factors, including wind, falling trees, and flying debris. If it is damaged in this way, it will need to be replaced.

Sometimes, however, it may simply have been installed incorrectly, meaning that water might be leaking from outside the vent duct.

If the insulation and roof vent cover are not the issue, then you may need to replace the fan with one that is better able to extract all the moisture from the air in the bathroom. 

It is also highly recommended that after having a shower, the fan should be left running for around 15 minutes to ensure that all the moisture is properly extracted from the space.


Whatever may be causing your bathroom fan to be dripping water, it is important that you get to the root cause as soon as possible.

By identifying what is causing the drip, you will be able to address the issue before it causes any long-term damage to your home and its contents.

Water damage can cause a whole host of problems when it comes to your home, and so it is imperative that you are able to fix any leaks before they turn into major problems further down the line.

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