Mold spores can be found in the air around us, but they won’t grow unless they can attach themselves to a moist surface. At home, attic molds are common because the place is often damp, which is ideal for the growth of this fungi.
Why Do Molds Grow in Attics?
Molds love humid places and these usually characterize many house attics. Additionally, the place is normally made of wood which is a rich food source for molds.
Most homeowners also hardly ever go up to their attic except perhaps to store old or broken items. This allows potential mold growth to go undetected. The only time attic problems like mold growth are discovered is during a home inspection.
Are Molds in the Attic Dangerous?
Molds can produce allergens and irritants and reactions to these can be immediate as in the case of sneezing or having a stuffy nose. For those suffering from asthma, exposure to a mold in the attic can lead to a sudden attack.
Going up an attic filled with molds can also cause irritation to the eyes and throat while people suffering from lung disease will likely have an infection. In short, mold exposure presents a variety of risks, some of which can be serious. Mold growth in the attic should not be underestimated.
Signs that You Have a Mold in Attic Problem
Unsurprisingly, many homeowners get to find out about a mold in their attic only when they put their house up for sale. It’s the house inspector who normally takes notice and this consequently affects the prospects of selling the house.
Below are the common signs of a mold in the attic that you’ll need to look out for:
1. Dark Stain
Most attics have plywood walls and flooring; a slight discoloration could be due to moisture. However, if it’s a dark stain that never seems to go away, the likelihood is that mold has made your attic its new home.
2. Mildew Smell
Mold has a distinct smell so trust your senses. If your attic is beginning to be filled with a musty odor, it could be a sign of unwanted moisture. Check the area to look for mildew, a fungus that can turn into a full-blown mold.
3. Hot and Stuffy Environment
If properly built, attics can be a fun place to be in as they will have good ventilation. The problem is, not all attics are made this way, and when this is the case, you will eventually feel that the place is stuffy. This is a sign that you have attic ventilation issues, a condition that will set the stage for mold growth and the start of your attic problems.
4. Frost Buildup on Roof Sheathing
Again, this has to do with the ventilation of your attic. During the cold season, water vapor can freeze on the underside of your roof. Without proper airflow, this will cause the attic to remain damp and for mold to grow.
5. Water Drips from Smoke Detectors
If water is dripping from your smoke detector, it means that your attic has excess moisture. If left unaddressed, you’re inviting a mold in attic condition that can eventually become serious.
What Causes Mold in the Attic?
1. Poor Ventilation
Attic mold is commonly due to poor or inadequate ventilation. A common attic mold remediation is to install a passive ventilation system where the outside air enters through a soffit or eave vent located beneath the attic floor. This warms up the attic then escapes through the can or ridge vent found at the top.
The process normally gives way to a pleasant and fresh airflow in the attic. Unfortunately, this ventilation system can malfunction, and when it does, the warm and humid air will stagnate. In winter, the same air will undergo condensation and linger in the wood sheathings. This will result in wet wood-based attic, an ideal place for mold to grow and multiply.
2. Improper Fan Exhaust Installation
Exhaust fans for dryers, kitchen, and the bathroom are all designed to remove moisture from your home. Make sure that these are installed correctly; otherwise, the moisture that needs to be removed could end up in your attic, moisture that will be the starting point for mold growth.
3. Plumbing Stack in the Attic
The plumbing stack or vent is designed to regulate the pressure inside your plumbing system apart from removing gas and odors. At the same time, it lets fresh air in through the roof vent, allowing water to flow easily through the pipes.
However, when your plumbing stack is obstructed, pressure will build up inside. Since gas and odors are also trapped inside the vent, these will find a way out and could eventually end up in the attic.
During the cold season, an obstructed plumbing stack could lead to condensation of the trapped gas inside. This will serve as an invitation for attic molds to grow.
4. Roof Issues
Over time and due to exposure to the elements, your roofing system will wear out. A few small holes will eventually come out where roof leaks will occur. There will often be a small portion of your leaky attic roof where molds will find a home.
To locate leaks on your roof, check the roof valleys, or the area where the two roofs of your house meet at an angle. Also worth inspecting are the chimneys, the attic windows, and any area of the roof where different materials are joined together (including flashings). These areas are potential hotbeds of moisture intrusion.
How to Prevent Mold Growth in the Attic
Since mold growth is often attributed to moisture issues, the simplest way to do an attic mold removal is to get rid of any excess water in the area. This maybe true, but there are a few other things you’ll have to do to keep molds out of your attic permanently. These include the following:
1. Keep the place dry.
If you go up the attic every now and then to enjoy a snack or have a few drinks with friends, just make sure that you clean the place before you go. Having a safe and dry attic will always be a sight to behold even if you rarely use it.
2. Do regular inspection.
Just like other areas of the house, the attic needs to be regularly checked just to be sure that there’s no sign of damage. Inspections need not be thorough; a quick look around to see if something is amiss or strangely different should be sufficient, especially when done regularly.
3. Install attic vents.
The plumbing stack or vent is a vertical pipe attached to your roof vent and keeps sewer gases from gaining entry to your home while permitting wastewater gas to escape. If you still don’t have this in your attic, perhaps it’s time that you have one installed.
Just make sure that the vent installation is done correctly and that this does not get blocked. Otherwise, you’ll likely have problems with trapped gases in the vent.
How to Get Rid of Mold in the Attic
The attic is probably the most hazardous area in the home, especially when it comes to making repairs, cleanups, or upgrades. Even experts who are asked to perform attic mold removal work admit that the job is dangerous if not difficult because falling through the floor joists is common and can cause serious injury.
Nevertheless, the best way to remove an attic mold is still by calling a professional mold removal company. Depending on the kind of mold that grew in your attic, they should have qualified personnel who can ably take on the job.
Contact Deep Water Emergency Service and Restoration to Handle Your Attic Mold Problems
Molds can be a problem wherever they grow, but with Deep Water Emergency Service and Restoration, you don’t have to worry about them. Whether they are up in the attic or down the basement, we have mold removal experts who can get rid of them.
We have a Mold Mitigation Denver Co specialist who will be more than happy to provide you attic mold remediation if you have serious mold problems. Contact us today and find out what other services we can offer you. Call us now!