How to Keep Your Attic Mold-Free
Mold issues are the everyday nightmare of homeowners. From the highly-toxic black mold to the common green, this allergen can creep up in any humid space. Many associate molds with bathrooms or kitchens, but it can also cause major issues in your attic! Save yourself the headache of a mold removal project by keeping this fungus out of your attic.
What Leads to Mold?
The number one cause of mold in attics is improper ventilation. Mold tends to grow when warm, humid air travels up through your house and becomes trapped in the attic. With nowhere to go, the moisture condenses onto surfaces. Another major offender is having any bathroom, kitchen, or dryer vents feeding into the attic instead of the out of doors. Inadequate floor insulation and improper roof and wall insulation can also add to the problem, especially if your roof becomes damaged and leaks. Finally, poorly vented plumbing vents and uninsulated air ducts can foster mold growth in an attic.
Luckily for homeowners, mold growth can be prevented by addressing these issues before they lead to more costly damage.
Remember: if you aren’t comfortable working in your attic, it’s OK to hire a professional service.
Pick a cool day to work in your attic and ensure that you have proper foot support before you traipse all around. The first step is inspection: do you have any of the aforementioned issues? You can inspect yourself, or you can hire a house inspector to come take a look and let you know what you’re working with.
The first thing to check is bathroom, dryer, and kitchen ventilations. If you can’t find the vents for exhaust fans or stove hoods, turn the fans on one at a time and follow your ears. You should find a galvanized pipe; make sure it leads outside! Following a dryer vent tends to be simpler. If your dryer is venting into your attic, you can either continue the vent through the roof or hire a contractor to create a vent through your wall to the outside and eliminate the attic access.
Next, replace any missing insulation in your attic: all ducts, floor space, and roof/wall space. If you have an oddly shaped space or small and hard-to-insulate areas, consider spray foam insulation instead of a blanket or loose fill. While upgrading insulation instead of patching can be costly, mold removal can be even more expensive and require your family to temporarily relocate.
Finally, check your roof for any damage and ensure you have no leaks. Not all moisture comes from rising heat; leaking rain can be just as offensive.
Vigilance is Key
Don’t wait until you start to suffer from mold exposure to worry about your attic. Prevention is the best action when it comes to fighting mold.