In most homes, the attic is a rarely visited space that is used for storage and not much else. Because you may not visit your attic for months at a time, a mold problem could have plenty of time to spread before it’s noticed. In addition to the cost of remediation, an attic mold problem could also damage irreplaceable items being stored there, such as old family photos.
Understanding the causes of mold in the attic will allow you to take steps to prevent it. Routine inspection of your attic will give you time to remedy these issues before a mold infestation begins. Here are a few things to look for:
An active or former roof leak is a common precursor to mold. Many times, a leak won’t cause a problem in your home but will, instead, be contained in the attic. In this case, a homeowner may not even know there is a problem with their roof for months. By performing regular attic inspections, you’ll be able to catch roof leaks early and shore them up before further damage occurs.
It might sound like a good idea to seal off any vents during the winter months to help lower your heating bill. The truth is that you need adequate ventilation so that your attic can stay cool during the winter. If there is no ventilation, the warm air is trapped in the attic with no place to go. This, of course, can contribute to the growth of mold. Check your soffits to be sure they aren’t blocked with insulation and that proper venting can occur.
Water Heater and Furnaces
Many homes’ water heaters and furnaces are housed in the attic. Both of those appliances can add to the humidity in the space. You don’t have to move the appliances from the attic to prevent mold, but it is a good idea to have a professional take a look at them to make sure they are properly installed and that there are no leaks.
If water cannot properly drain from your roof, it can freeze and then enter your home through the attic. Properly working gutters are the key to preventing ice damming and the potential mold growth that can result. You should clean your gutters at least twice per year, but they will need to be cleaned more often if your home is surrounded by pine trees. Also, look for pipes that are not properly aligned and ensure the spouts carry the water at least 10 feet away from the foundation.
One of the best ways to avoid mold in your attic is by completing regular inspections—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Green Home Solutions offers mold inspections, testing, and effective, affordable remediation. If you suspect you may have mold in your attic, contact us today. Give us a call, or fill out our online form to schedule an inspection.