Friday, May 17, 2024

What Causes Mold In Attic

What Do Mycotoxins Do

What causes mold to grow in attic: Ventilation of an attic.

These chemical substances can cause many health problems ranging from mild to severe. Even if you are not allergic to mold, you can be affected by mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins can be absorbed by the body in a number of ways including: through the skin, the airways , and through the intestinal lining . Detrimental health effects caused by mycotoxins can range from acute poisoning to long-term effects such as immune deficiency and cancer.2 Chronic disease sufferers, such as people with immunosuppressive disorders or underlying lung disease may be more sensitive to molds and mycotoxins in their environment.4

One of the main ways people and pets become poisoned by mycotoxins is through eating contaminated foods. Foods such as apples, cereal grains, coffee beans, nuts, spices, dog and cat food, and more can become contaminated with fungi that produce mycotoxins.

To learn more about mycotoxins in foods check out the World Health Organizations article: Mycotoxins.

Did you know that toxic mold can affect your pets as well? To learn more about how mold affects your pets check out our article: Mold and Pets 10 Things You Most Likely Didnt Know.

Humidity Contributing To Mold In Your Home

  • Sometimes, humidity or dampness in the air can supply enough moisture for mold growth. Indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60 percent ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible. Low humidity may also discourage pests and dust mites.

    Humidity levels can rise in a building as a result of the use of:

  • Humidifiers
  • Reduce The Chances Of Mold With Proper Attic Ventilation

    One of the biggest causes of mold is having improper ventilation in your attic. This is intensified during the winter months when there is a significant amount of air coming in your attic versus going out. There is also a temperature variance that will create moisture buildup if not properly taken care of.

    The heat leaking out of your house and into the attic combined with the already cool or cold temperatures in your attic will cause condensation. This condensation if occurring for a prolonged period of time can lead to mold growth. The worst part of all of this is that how many times a year do you go in your attic? If you are like most people very rarely. This gives the mold ample time to grow and spread. Greatly increasing the likelihood that you or your family with possibly get sick with mold poisoning.

    Another important item to check is if you have a bathroom ceiling fan vent or even a dryer vent running directly into your attic. This will create and instant surge of moisture as the hot moist air is cooled by the attic air.

    Another important step is to seal up any gaps around pipes or chimneys that go through your attic. This is a critical place that air can escape into your attic.

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    Some Of The Symptoms Associated With Mold And Mycotoxins Can Include:

    • Chronic burning in the throat and nasal passages
    • Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
    • Eye irritation red eyes, blurred vision
    • Headache
    • Increased urinary frequency, increased sweating , or increased thirst
    • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating
    • Metallic taste in mouth

    As you can see, the list is quite long! It is also not a list of symptoms that would immediately point a doctor to a specific illness. Some symptoms manifest immediately, but others such as poor color distinction, dizziness, fatigue, poor memory, and difficulty word finding may take months or years to develop.

    Getting Rid Of Attic Mold Professionally

    White Mold In Attic  Why And What To Do Guide

    If your problem is severe, you definitely have to hire a professional to do it for you. First, they’ll inspect your attic and test what kind of specific mold is present. After so, they’ll proceed with the specific treatment that needs to be done to remove the mold and stop it from reoccurring.

    A professional mold remediation company can go far beyond what you can do yourself. Theyll adhere to strict industry guidelines in dealing with the mold. It starts with powerful cleaning agents that not only remove the mold from your attic, but that also prevent it. An anti-fungal agent can be applied that will prevent mold growth in the future.

    WHEN TO hire Professionals

    Also Check: How To Clean Mold On Ceiling

    What Are The Signs Of Mold Growth In The Attic

    Mold is everywhere, and its almost in every home. It grows in any space that gets damp, like a bathroom or an attic, and it can be especially nasty in an old house. Its not the kind of thing you want to mess around with, but knowing what to look for will help you find it before it becomes a problem.

    Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

    • Black Spots: If you notice black spots on your ceiling or walls, especially if they are shiny and sticky when you wipe them off, they might be moldy and in this case you need black mold removal services.
    • Musty Odor: If you smell a musty odor in your home or office especially when the air conditioner/heater is on and in rooms with high humidity and poor ventilation but cannot find the source of the odor, it could be a mold growing inside your walls or under your floors.
    • Stains on The Ceiling: Stains on the ceiling are a sure sign mold is growing in your attic or basement, or anywhere that gets wet. Sometimes there are just a few spots, but more often there are long streaks showing mold has been building over time.
    • Health Problems: If you have been experiencing unexplained headaches, dizziness, or insomnia while living in your home for an extended period, these may be signs that you have molds growing in your residence.

    What Is White Mold

    Actually, several variations of mold in the attic which can be met in your house including Cladosporium, aspergillus or penicillium are sometimes white, but they can also have another color. The following review will give you information about white mold in attic and in other spots of your house and how to deal with it.

    White color is typical for mold when it is appearing for the first time, and after some time it changes its color. Some other types can stay white because of the fabric on which it lives.

    In fact, the color of the mold is not important since you should remove any kind of mold you have in your house. Black mold in attic is also harmful as any other mold.

    The mold affects your house, possessions and your and your familys health as well. So we recommend everyone to not hesitate and call for an attic mold remediation company just at the moment you notice it in your living place.

    In several states, before calling a group of specialists you need to invite an unbiased organization to hold a mold inspection.

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    Please Remember That This Blog Is Not Intended To Replace Medical Advice Diagnosis Or Treatment

    Always talk to your doctor about symptoms of any medical condition you are experiencing. It is unlikely to experience all the symptoms listed, but many of these symptoms could be cause for concern. An open dialog with your doctor is important for any medical condition. Ask questions to be sure you understand your diagnosis, treatment, and recovery process.

    To learn more about our sources of information, please check out the For More Information section at the end of this article.

    What Causes Mold To Develop In An Attic

    Mold in the Attic

    The causes of mold in the attic are varied, but attic moisture can be a primary culprit. A humid environment, with high levels of moisture in the air, can increase the chance of mold growth. Mold spores travel thru the air, where humidity levels are high, and this causes mold to grow. The most common causes of moisture in the attic are:

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    Option : Professional Attic Mold Remediation

    Getting rid f black mold in the attic is far from an easy task, and this is why you might want to consider hiring a professional.

    We have already listed out the dangers involved with climbing up there, and why it is a job best left for seasoned pros.

    Besides the dangers involved, it is really a complex job, especially if the mold infestation is really bad. A person with little to no experience who decides to do the job on his or her own will probably get it wrong the first time.

    In this instance, the mold situation could actually go from bad to worse, as the household may become further exposed to the hazardous effects of mold.

    Hiring a professional will indeed cost you a decent sum in mold removal fees, but you can rest assured the job will be properly done.

    One thing you can expect a professional to recommend is abrasive blasting. Here, the contractor will blast off the top layer of infested wood via dry ice, sand, or soda ash.

    As you can imagine, this procedure is expensive, and that is why it isnt such a popular option. It is also a very noisy and labor-intensive method of attic mold removal, so you can expect some inconveniences at home while work is ongoing.

    However, it is a very thorough approach and it guarantees that the mold in your attic will be gone.

    If you want the mold gone today, then you have to make moves today.

    Roof Leak Vs Condensation Determining The Cause Of Attic Mold

    Despite what your roofer would like you to believe, roof leaks rarely cause significant mold problems. Why? Roof leaks are obvious. Its pretty hard to miss water dripping through your ceiling. Because of this, people usually address their roof leaks quickly long before mold growth can occur. Also, roof leaks occur in one area . They do not leak en masse. Even if a roof leak goes undetected long enough to cause mold growth, the problem will be localized to a small area directly around the leak. 95%+ of attic mold growth issues are due to condensation.

    Why the confusion? Heavy condensation can look a lot like a roof leak.

    During cold periods, condensation can become so severe that moisture will drip from the sheathing. This can often fool home inspectors and homeowners into believing they have a roof leak. The moisture in the image below is entirely due to condensation. Yet many inspectors and roofers would point toward a roof leak. Unfortunately it is a costly error. Once a roofer is called to investigate, you can rest assured they will determine you need a new roof

    Water from a roof leak? Nope condensation.

    Even a moisture meter cant differentiate between the two. During cold weather, a poorly vented attic can easily turn completely saturated, as shown in the image below. No leak, just humidity interacting with the cold roof sheathing.

    Is the moisture and mold growth systemic or limited?

    Roof leak with localized damage.

    Check above the garage

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    Common Causes Of Mold In The Attic

    Most people assume that mold only occurs in the bathroom or basement until they head into the attic only to gasp at the state of mold in the space. Mold, especially if extensive is unsightly but this isnt just an aesthetic issue.

    Exposure to spores from the mold when inhaled can cause various health issues including headaches, coughing, respiratory problems, trigger allergic reactions or cause digestive issues among other problems. Health risks aside, it is important to point out that not all mold in the attic is toxic. Apart from the possible health issues mold indicates underlying issues that need to be resolved as soon as possible.

    Can I Remove Mold From My Attic Myself

    Attic Mold: Is it a Big Deal?

    More than one do-it-yourselfer has tried to handle their own attic mold remediation. While some have come close to effectively eliminating mold from their attic, most lack the training, tools, and professional-grade equipment to completely remove a serious mold infestation from their attic.

    Worse still, most do-it-yourself mold remediation attempts end up disturbing active colonies in the attic. This causes them to release an abundance of mold spores into the air, to land and populate multiple mold colonies in other parts of the house.

    Ultimately, its best to have a serious attic mold problem professionally remediated. This way you know that industry-best practices were used to eliminate the mold presence as well as remove any severely compromised materials. A mold remediation specialist also has the skills, experience, and highly trained eye to identify the underlying cause of your attic mold problem, and can advise you on what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again.

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    Vents And Fans Stop Working Properly

    Every fan or vent in your house, whether theyre in the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room, is designed to pump moisture out of your home. As a result, when these stop working the way they should, it can cause the moisture to linger in your attic. Like those noted above, this condensation can lead to dangerous mold growth.

    Option #: Do It Yourself

    Attics are probably the most dangerous area of your home. They are extremely dangerous even for experienced mold technicians who have done countless attic mold removal jobs. One wrong step and you could fall through the floor joists and cause yourself serious injury.

    Besides falling through the ceiling, you can also step on a protruding nail, hit your head on a rafter or nail, run into nesting animals or electrocute yourself, among many other dangers if you are not careful.

    Furthermore, respiration and breathing can be very difficult in attics due to their usually being small and hot confined spaces and even doubly so when the small confined attic space is filled with mold spores.

    Lastly, even if you avoided all the dangers mentioned above, attic jobs can be complicated and require things like negative air setup, containment, creating temporary flooring, and other variables that take time and experience that can only be accrued from many attic jobs to learn and do properly.

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    I Purchased A Home And My Home Inspector Found Mold In The Attic Is It Dangerous What Should I Do

    Attic mold is the cause of a deficiency on the ventilation of the attic, depending on the extent it can be easily corrected and return the wood into new condition. In some rare and extreme situations the only solution is to replace the roof sheeting. Lets face it no one goes into the attic so most people are an ware that this condition exists. In fact the condensation that creates the attic mold only happens in very cold days and not year round. Both buyer and seller can address the issue by fixing the source and remove the mold using a specialized mold remediation company like ours.

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    Does This Look Like Something I Should Be Concerned About And Getting Tested Thank You

    How to Handle Attic Mold Problems

    Its a bit difficult to determine from the photo. It appears you have light/moderate mold growth appearing on the framing and sheathing. Attic mold should be considered a building failure issue, not a health concern. Due to the stack effect , mold issues in an attic do not impact the indoor air quality in the occupied area below.

    I would further investigate your ventilation, air sealing, bathroom exhaust fans/ducts etc.

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    Is This Mold Harmless To Humans What Happens If I Don’t Remove It Maybe Just Paint Over It With A Sealer

    Mold growth in an attic will typically not affect the indoor air quality in the rooms below. This is due to the stack effect, which moves air upward through a home. Attic mold should be approached as a structural issue. Left unattended, the moisture and fungal growth will eventually degrade the roof sheathing. Painting or sealing it will not address the problem. The mold will simply grow on top of the layer of paint. You must address the underlying moisture issue in order to stop the mold growth. Often this is a combination of increased ventilation, air sealing the ceiling, lowering the indoor RH, etc.

    S For Professional Attic Mold Removal Or Remediation

    1. Define The Scope

    The work begins with a paidIndoor Air Quality Assessment. A thorough Indoor Air Quality Assessment takes time and resources. The inspector should ask a lot of questions before they come and when they arrive. These questions along with visible inspection of the property, help the inspector pinpoint the source of the problem. If a company shows up and gives you a free air quality assessment, youve probably found a scam artist.

    Not all mold removal and remediation companies are created equal. Before hiring anyone you should ask questions, a lot of questions! For a detailed list of questions to ask 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! If a mold removal company cant answer all the questions or answer them to your satisfaction Dont hire them!

    Once the inspection is complete, your inspector will define the extent of the necessary work and what may or may not need to be done. You should receive an Indoor Air Quality Assessment Report that details all the work to be done. The inspector should talk you through all your options and tailor a plan that fits your needs and your budget.

    2. Protect The People

    3. Correct Moisture Problems

    Roof leaks are not always this dramatic. Small leaks over time can be just as damaging.

    4. Remove The Mold

    5. Restoration

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