Check Your Attic, You May Have Mold Growing Up There

When was the last time you were in your attic? If you are like most people, you only go up to the attic once in a blue moon. It’s a good idea to head on up there and check things out. You may be surprised to find a problem up there, such as the growth of mold. If you do, by chance, find mold growing in your attic, here’s several important tips to help you figure out the source of the problem.

What Causes Mold to Grow In Attics?

Attics are a prime location for the growth of mold, especially when the attic is not ventilated. The reason for this is because an unventilated attic creates an environment that is perfect for mold to grow—one that is warm, dark and humid.  Attics are warm because heat rises, dark because they have limited windows (if any at all), and humid due to the condensation that may form underneath the roofing material. Moisture can come from any rain or snow that enters into the attic from cracks or holes in the roofing.

Find & Repair the Cause of the Moisture

You’ll need to do an investigation to find the source of the moisture. If your attic is sealed tight and is not ventilated, condensation in your attic can easily build up. If the mold is growing throughout your attic, this is likely the problem. Consider installing an insulation that provides a moisture barrier on the flooring of your attic. This will help reduce the amount of moisture that can permeate through from your living areas into the attic.

If the growth is focused in certain areas only, the problem may be due to faults in your roofing. If this is the case, look for obvious signs of roofing damage, such as small pinholes from roofing nails or cracks in the structure of the roofing. Of course, you’ll need to repair any roofing damage you find.

Ventilate the Attic to Prevent Future Mold Growth

Soffit and fascia are components of a good attic ventilation system. These are the building materials you see when you stand outside of your home and look up at the eaves of your roofing. The soffit is the horizontal material and typically has holes placed in even increments to ventilate the attic.

The fascia is the material that is vertical and creates the edge of your roofing. The fascia is what helps keep water out of your attic, but is an important part of the ventilation system because it holds the soffit in place. If either the soffit and fascia are damaged, it can cause problems such as mold growth in your attic.

Additionally, your attic may need a vent or two placed in other locations, depending on whether or not your home’s stack effect causes negative air pressure. A roofing contractor or an HVAC technician can determine if your home has this problem.

More on dealing with mold here.

Remove the Mold After Repairs Are Done

After you’ve figured out what caused the mold growth and made those necessary repairs, you’ll need to have the mold professional removed. Contact a mold remediation service. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover the costs of the repairs and mold remediation.  Since mold is toxic, it may be a good idea to stay elsewhere until the mold is removed from your home. Your insurance may cover the costs of several overnight stays in a hotel if the mold is determined to be at toxic levels. Your mold remediation service can determine this for you.

In the future, be sure to inspect your attic regularly so any mold that may grow can be quickly stopped. That way, it won’t have a chance to take over your attic again.  

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