Why Its Critical To Know What It Looks Like How To Test For It And How To Get Rid Of It
David: Im doing good Mark hope youre ready to see some pictures of moldy attics.
David: Yeah, so attic mold, this is a huge, huge question I get as a home inspector about, first of all is there mold in my attic, you know, thats probably the number one question when we do a home inspection and we go up to the attic and the two questions I get are is there mice in the attic and is there mold in the attic. Those are the two scary sort of unknowns when you go up to an attic and if you think about an attic and you look at the sort of design of it theyre very, very prone to moisture and humidity problems because they are basically a sealed wood box sitting on top of your house so if you dont have proper ventilation and a waterproof roof membrane above you thats keeping the water out and you arent adding unnecessary moisture into the attic, then youll have a dry attic. If youre ventilating it properly, youre not adding moisture and your roof doesnt leak you will generally have a dry attic. But if you miss any of those points generally youll get mold growth or some sort of growth up there that has to be dealt with so, what I like to do is show you some visuals. Im just going to do a screen share so let me know when that pops up for you, if you dont see it let me know, you should see it come up pretty quick.
David: Thanks Mark, take care.Mark: You too.
How Mold Grows In The Attic
Mold grows in the attic due to moisture issues. One of those is improper ventilation. The attic usually has a system where the warm air from outside comes in through soffit/eave ventsand flows through the attic, rises and goes out through the ridge vents.
However, if attic insulation is covering the vents and the air cannot escape, it continues to warm up and cause moisture and condensation on the colder wood in the attic. Thus causing mold to grow. According to the US Federal Housing Authority, 1 square foot of venting is needed for 100 square feet of attic space.
Alcohol Can Get Rid Of Mold In The Attic
Cheap alcohol, distilled ethanol can do wonders on mold. Vodka is probably best to use as there is not much of a smell and it is antimicrobial- kills microorganisms. It is also better to breathe in than bleach.
If it is a larger area, it could be a condensation issue with high humidity. Investigating what is causing it to be humid in the attic is important. Asking yourself questions such as is the air blowing out? Or is it staying inside and causing moisture issues?
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How Do I Know If There Is Mold In My Attic
Have you started sneezing and coughing but you dont have a cold? Is there a noticeable musty smell coming from your vents or in any particular areas of your home? These are signs of potential mold buildup in your home or attic. When this happens, mold spores can easily spread throughout your home via the ventilation system and trigger all types of health conditions. So if you are experiencing similar symptoms and suspect there are toxic spores in your attic, its important to perform a mold inspection and removal as quickly as possible.
In this article, well show you how to spot the signs of mold and how to address it to create a healthy environment in your home.
We Provide Mold Removal Services
In many cases, attic mold is caused by a roofing issue. For instance, if your roof has ever leaked, chances are there is mold growing out of sight. However, a roof leak is not the only cause of attic mold. Often, the source is far more subtle. What is known, however, is that mold is caused by moisture. If you have attic mold, then you have a moisture problem. Here at Restoration 1, we are committed to resolving both.
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What Are The Tell
- Dark black staining on wood surfaces If the wood in your attic shows any black discoloration, the problem has moved beyond moisture you have mold that should be removed.
- Attic feels excessively hot or stuffy Attics should feel breezy if they are properly ventilated. When an attic is stuffy, that indicates you have a ventilation problem, which often results in mold problems.
- Frost buildup on the underside of the roof sheathing in winter When its cold enough outside, water vapor in an attic with improper ventilation can freeze on the underside of your roof. This makes it especially easy to spot.
- Wet insulation in the attic Not only is this a sign that you may have a mold problem, but when insulation gets damp or wet its ability to insulate becomes significantly diminished, costing you extra money to heat/cool your home.
- Water dripping from smoke detectors, light fixtures, bath fans This is a sure sign that the floor above you has a level of moisture that needs to be addressed.
- The smell of mildew in the attic Trust your nose. A musty or moldy smell in the attic means theres a moisture problem somewhere.
Getting Rid Of Mold In The Attic If Large Section Or An Entire Attic Is Contaminated
I personally wouldnt even attempt to do it myself, so my suggestion is:
- For getting rid of mold in a heavily contaminated attic use a professional mold remediation company check their background and check it manually by calling their clients! Ask for clients who had their attic mold remediated approximately 1-2 years ago it usually takes a winter for the mold to start growing again if the job wasnt fully completed.
Insist on removing the attic black mold completely instead of encapsulating it . Encapsulation is simply a process of covering the mold-contaminated surface with paint that contains mold killing chemicals.
The video below explains getting rid of mold in the attic with the soda blast mold remediation process, and you can immediately see the results of this procedure.
After properly getting rid of mold in your attic and having all of the issues responsible for black mold growth corrected, which is even more important than mold removing, it will not re-grow / no need for encapsulating.
- Hire a different contractor for mold testing and mold remediation to eliminate conflict of interest
- Make sure that you perform an independent clearance test after the mold remediation process completion. The clearance test is to determine if there are any mold spores remaining in the previously contaminated area.
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How To Kill Attic Mold With Vinegar
- Pickle the Walls! Well, not exactly pickle, but that wonderful kitchen cleaning stand-by white vinegar is a natural antimicrobial making it a perfect all-natural way to remove mold from your attic.
- Simply mix half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle and spray onto the moldy surface. For stubborn molds, you may wish to use a stronger dilution of vinegar to water. Much like the essential oils, this method will begin to kill mold that is already in place and helps to inhibit future growth.
We Recommend Consulting With A Mold Removal Specialist If You Have Mold In Attic
If you have mold in the attic, we recommend consulting with a mold removal specialist because:
- Insulation is often affected.
- Wooden beams and plywood may be affected and it can be difficult to remove all traces of mold from wooden surfaces.
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts may also be affected.
- Mold removal specialists will have all the necessary equipment to do the job properly, including a negative air machine.
- Mold removal specialists know how to do the job safely, without exposing you and your family to additional mold spores that may be hazardous to your health.
- Most mold removal specialists offer free consultations, during which you can gather important information and advice even if you opt to handle the mold removal yourself.
Follow this link for a list of mold removal specialists offering free consultations in your area.
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Need For Attic Mold Removal
Removing attic mold can be costly, time consuming and troublesome and since its in the attic where few people will see it, you might be tempted to just leave it alone. Dont. It will spread. It wont stay confined in the attic but will eventually spread to other areas of your home. Its unsightly, causes an unpleasant musty odor, and can also lead to a wide range of health problems.
Contact Your Local Puroclean Office For Professional Mold Remediation Services
PuroClean offers mold remediation services to stem the tide of mold, as well as cleaning, including addressing the source of your mold problems to restore your home to its pre-loss condition. Professional remediation of mold can be a serious endeavor, and PuroClean has the expertise and technology for the job. Call to get connected with your local PuroClean office if you have an issue with mold in the attic, and our team of professionals will expeditiously work to remediate the attic space.
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Common Causes Of Mold Growth In Attic Areas
- Mold growth can occur in the attic when there are roof leaks, inadequate ventilation when bathroom exhaust fans discharge moisture into the areas of the attic, or when clothes dryers and other moisture-generating appliances are vented into the attic space.
- Areas packed with insulation allowing little to no airflow are prime locations for mold growth. Densely packed insulation can provide the perfect environment for mold growth, especially if the insulation material gets wet.
- You might also find mold growth in the soffits and eaves . There are lots of nooks and crannies that allow water to pool in these areas, leading to dampness. Dampness can cause roofing materials to start rotting. When this happens, theres a good chance that mold has begin to infest the area if you dont take care of it fast!
- Its always better to be proactive with mold prevention than reactive when there are already signs of an issue. Inspecting your attic often to make sure there are no problems will probably take less time than it would to do a mole remediation.
- Additionally, condensation can occur if hot air in the attic encounters uninsulated HVAC ducts and other cold surfaces. Mold growth inside attics on the underside of the roof sheathing can be difficult, if not impossible, to remediate effectively, mainly because the areas are small or when it is inaccessible.
- Water damage and mold growth on wood in attic
- Picture of mold growth in attic
Making A Mold Removal Spray
According to, HowToRemoveBlackMold.com, to make a mold removal spray, mix half white vinegar and half water in a spray bottle and spray down the mold colony. Tea tree oil and white vinegar are both completely natural and safe for wood and have strong fungicidal properties.For larger mold jobs, vinegar and tea tree oil may not be strong enough.
You can also try hydrogen peroxide, which is a strong but safe and natural alternative. Mix 1 part peroxide with 2 parts water and spray it on the moldy area, letting it dry for an hour. Scrub the area with a firm wire brush and allow it to dry one last time. Remove the plastic sheeting and repair any leaks to prevent new mold spores from emerging in the future. If your attempts at attic mold removal still don’t work, contact a mold remediator for further advice, as some mold infestations are so large, they are better handled by a professional.
Things You Will Need
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I Just Had A Roof Replaced On My House New Osb Sheathing And Added On Deck Intake Vents For Ventilation Along With Ridge Cap Vents Has Not Been A Month And Went Into The Attic And Noticed Almost All New Osb Has White Fuzzy Mold Growth Roofing Company Is Supposed To Come Out Next Week To See Whats Going On
The amount of regrowth is high for only a month. Is there any chance the OSB was saturated during the reroof? I.e. was it rained on prior to install? This certainly would explain the regrowth in an otherwise dry attic. Also, I see signs of past growth on the adjacent framing. This indicates a long term moisture issue in the past.
Here are a few items I recommend investigating:
What Causes Attic Mold & How To Remove It
Attics are one of the most common areas of mold growth in the home. Attics tend to have the perfect conditions for mold growth . Furthermore, most homeowners dont ever go up in their attic, so the mold problem is allowed to grow undisturbed often for years!
Lots of folks first learn about their problem right before they sell their home. The buyers home inspector notices the mold in the attic right before the closing date, which causes both buyer and seller to panic, often putting the whole deal in jeopardy.
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How To Remove Attic Mold By Power Sanding
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 DIYers. 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.
S For Professional Attic Mold Removal Or Remediation
1. Define The Scope
The work begins with an Indoor Air Quality Assessment. Your inspector will define the extent of the necessary work and what may or may not need to be done. The inspector should talk you through all your options and tailor a plan that fits your needs and your budget.
Be sure to ask a lot of questions at this stage. The company you hire for an Indoor Air Quality Assessment should charge you for this service. Never expect a company that offers a free inspection to do a good job getting all the mold!
Not all mold removal and remediation companies are created equal. Before hiring anyone you should ask questions, a lot of questions. If they cant answer these questions or answer them to your satisfaction Dont hire them! For all the details check our our post: How to Choose the Best Mold Removal Company. We help you know all the questions to ask and all the correct answers!
2. Protect The People
Keeping your family and the work crews safe is our top priority. This means preparing your home for the work that needs to be done. Branch Environmental uses methods such as containment walls and negative air to keep your home safe, and well let you know if you can or cannot be in the home during the work. Check out our post Branch Environmental Keeping You Safe to learn more.
3. Correct Moisture Problems
Roof leaks are not always this dramatic. Small leaks over time can be just as damaging.
4. Remove The Mold
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Common Types Of Attic Mold
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 , white molds, yellow molds , blue-green molds , 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.
Improper Exhausting Of Bathroom Fans Or Dryer Vents
Dryer exhaust vents, kitchen exhaust fans and bathroom exhaust fans are designed to pump moisture OUT of your home. So make absolutely sure that they terminate outside your home and NEVER in the attic. Also plumbing stacks in the attic can be a source of condensation, which can lead to attic mold growth. Plumbing stacks can also emit hazardous gases, so make sure that they too do not terminate inside the attic.
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