Is Mold in Attic driving you a little batty? Well, it did me and here are some common areas that can be addressed to keep mold from growing in your attic and providing you and yours a safer environment in which to live and breath in.
Home ownership has many advantages but it poses some challenges as well. To make the most out of your investment, you are gonna want to keep your home free of mold and in the best condition possible.
One such challenge of home ownership is the likelihood of mold growing in your attic at some later date. And, the resulting removal of the mold growth and mold spores is absolutely necessary to protect the health and well-being of your family.
Attic mold is most often caused by moisture build-up in a poorly ventilated area. You can check your attic space for moisture by looking at the nails; if there is excess moisture in the atmosphere there will be rust around the nails.
This indicates there is a ventilation problem in the space, which may be caused by improper venting from your bathroom, kitchen, and dryer fans.
You can avoid this issue by checking to make sure all vents are directed outside of the structure instead of terminating in the attic space.
The heat flow from these sources will already naturally rise, and when this warm air meets the cool air of the attic space it condenses creating moisture.
Additionally, weaknesses in the barrier between the roof and attic space(s) may increase the amount of moisture in the attic from ice damming or a failing barrier and allowing prevalent moisture to seep into the ceiling and walls adding to the potential for mold growth in the attic space.
As a general rule, you will not experience significant mold growth in your attic during the summer months due to the high temperatures that are NOT conducive to mold growth.
And, short of any major leaks going on upstairs, the heat generated from the roof will generally dry out any rising moisture and push it back to the interior of your home and/or out through your roof vents.
The biggest way to help prevent the growth and build up of attic mold is to eliminate or reduce the amount of moisture in your attic space. Here are a few helpful tips to help ensure you’re reducing the amount of moisture allowed to enter the space:
While far from being an exhaustive list this should provide you with the more common causes of excess moisture. By eliminating these potential problem areas you’re giving yourself the best shot at Attic Mold Prevention.
There is a plethora of mold in the environment every day. Most of the time it goes unnoticed until it causes a problem; here are a few of the more common types of attic mold you may encounter: pink molds (such as aureobasidium), white molds, yellow molds (including serpula lacrymans), blue-green molds (like our good friend penicillium), and black molds.
You may very well encounter any of these types of mold, but black and white molds tend to be the most commonly seen attic molds.
Black mold occurs where there has been excessive moisture build-up without proper ventilation. Often called “toxic black mold”, the toxic label is a mischaracterization of this type of mold.
While black mold is linked to a variety of allergy-like symptoms, it is not truly “toxic” and mostly just causes poor indoor air quality.
The poor air quality can lead to some discomfort such as skin irritation (if skin is exposed to the mold), eye irritation, nasal congestion, wheezing, upper respiratory tract symptoms, and cough.
People with allergies, lung disease, or who are immunosuppressed may be more sensitive to these symptoms and can be more susceptible to fungal lung infections.
The mere presence of black mold doesn’t mean you need to vacate your home, but you may wish to seek the advice of your physician if you fall into one of the more susceptible groups.
White mold is also a common mold you may find in your attic. White mold can be difficult to differentiate from efflorescence, which is a common, mostly cosmetic, build-up of salt deposits from water seepage.
To distinguish between the two first, check the type of material you see the build-up on. If it is on concrete or masonry it’s efflorescence; a similar looking pattern on wood or drywall is likely to be white mold.
Much like its biological cousin black mold, this type of mold is associated with some minor health problems, including, allergy-like symptoms, coughing, and eye or skin irritation.
Should you encounter white mold in your attic removal is of paramount importance, but rest assured that you shouldn’t face any lingering ill-effects once the problem is removed.
Now that you’ve confirmed you do in fact have mold growing in the attic; getting rid of the attic mold is the first priority. In many cases of minor growth and where the infested materials do not need to be completely replaced; it is possible to use Earth-friendly methods to naturally remove the mold in an eco-friendly manner.
Here are a few tips to try to rid your home of attic mold without using harsh chemicals.
This technique will help to kill molds that are already there, but is equally effective to prevent mold growth in the first place. If you dislike the smell of tea tree oil you could also try grapefruit seed oil for the same effect without the tea tree aroma.
Can be a costly endeavor. And, particularly if the mold growth has damaged the underlying construction material.
One of the main things to keep in mind when removing mold from your attic space is that the mold is there because of an underlying moisture problem; therefore, the first step should be to locate the source of the issue and repair it accordingly to avoid future growth.
If the mold has penetrated deep into the host surface you will need to remove and replace the building material, but be sure to then pre-treat the new surface to prevent future mold growth.
There are many methods to remove the mold if the underlying material doesn’t need to be replaced. All with varying benefits and associated costs.
One such method is power sanding and wire brushing. This technique works well in smaller areas where the mold has not penetrated into the underlying material. And, if the mold growth is in difficult to reach areas such as in joints, then dry ice blasting is a useful method. Just make to sure to gear up safely with the appropriate mold removing PPE or personal protection equipment before diving in).
The equipment for this technique can be very costly in time and money. And, it may even be prohibitive to the best of you DIY’ers. It is useful to keep in mind that getting rid of mold in your home, may very well be worth the cost of hiring a professional.
Other blasting methods use various media to remove mold from attic surfaces including sand, soda, corn cob, dry ice and walnut shell.
These are effective methods and the equipment costs far less than dry ice blasting though the technique can sometimes be harsh to the existing surface.
Here is a short video of some mold in attic removal techniques using dry ice pellets to blast away the mold on the interior of the attic space.
Attic Mold Remediation Cost can be expensive, ranging anywhere from as little as $500 to as much as $4,000; but if the mold damage is extensive and runs throughout the entire home, it could easily end up costing up to $20,000 to $30,000.
Having a sound mold prevention and maintenance program in place will go far in keeping mildew and mold growth out of your attic. Also, by reducing mold in attic spaces, you will breathe healthier air on that next trip upstairs to dig through those old boxes!