Mold in the Attic

It is very common to have mold growth in the attic.  Although it does not normally affect the indoor air quality of the house, it is not a problem that you want to have.  When you think of mold, you most likely associate it with health concerns but since air quality usually isn’t affected by attic mold, it most likely will not impact health.  You may wonder how you can have mold in the attic and it not be a health issue.  This is because warm air rises.  In your home, air will rise from the lower levels up through the attic.  This is called the “Stack Effect.”  Mold spores simply cannot fly around your home against the natural air flow.

Why is mold in the attic an issue then if it does not normally cause health problems?  Mold needs moisture to grow so if there is mold growth in your attic, there is some type of moisture issue going on.  This does need to be addressed.  Having moisture problems and mold growth can eventually lead to more serious issues with the home.  If left, it can cause structural deterioration of the attic and roofing.  The longer these problems go on for the more expensive they will be to repair.

How to tell if you have mold in the attic

  • A musty, moldy smell is present
  • Black discoloring on wood
  • Feels hot and stuffy in the attic
  • Wet insulation
  • The underside of roof sheathing becomes frosted in the winter

There are 3 common causes of mold growth in the attic; insufficient ventilation, roofing problems, and bathroom fans or vents not exhausting properly or efficiently.

Ventilation is highly important in attics.  They should be breezy and circulate air from the outside well.  If the vents in the attic become blocked the air flow ceases causing warm, humid air to become trapped inside.  This humidity can then condense on cool surfaces which provides mold with an ideal environment to grow.

Roofing problems is another common cause.  If the roof is leaking and causing a buildup of moisture, that also creates a good conditions for mold.  Any type of moisture, regardless of the cause is an issue.  Roof valleys should be inspected, as well as chimneys, plumbing stacks and vents as these are common problem areas.

Bathroom fans, kitchen fans and dryer exhaust vents should be pushing moisture out of your house.  Make sure that these fans and vents are not directing the moisture into your attic.  Also be sure to always use your vents and ensure that they are not blocked.

If you find or suspect that you have mold in your attic you should get in a professional.  If you do not know what you are doing, you will probably not be able to remove all of the mold effectively and the mold will grow back.  Also, whatever caused the mold in the first place needs to be rectified or your problem will not be resolved.  Furthermore, going into your attic can be dangerous especially when there is mold present.  You can end up exposing yourself and your family to the mold which can then create health problems.  Walking around in an attic can be challenging as well.  If you are not careful and experienced you could end up stepping in the wrong place and fall through the ceiling. 

Mold remediation companies like Restoration Mate are very knowledgeable when it comes to mold removal in the attic.  Restoration Mate can safely remove all mold and ensure that the problem will not be returning. 

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