Your place of abode should be a healthy and comfortable environment where you can fully relax and enjoy your weekends. You might think that your house is safe as there are no visible signs of mold inside your home.
However, do note that your attic, basement, and crawlspace if you have any, are also a part of your home that needs care. Most people commonly neglect these areas of the house and as a result, this small oversight eventually leads to more disastrous and even potentially dangerous problems. If you haven’t checked your attic in a while, this might be the best time to do so.
Attic mold is one of the most commonly overlooked house problems. The thing with mold that is growing in the attic is that it’s difficult to sense without actually inspecting the area. It’s hard to tell without checking the surface first because unlike the mold that grows inside your house, you would not be able to immediately sense the strong musty smell that’s coming off from mold contamination. The reason behind it is that the air circulating inside your home moves upward, in turn, mold spores do not have the capacity to go against that airflow and as such, it remains stuck in your attic. Even though attic mold does not directly affect your indoor air quality, it is still of utmost importance that you keep this area in check because you’ll never know if the mold growing in your attic is harmless or toxic.
Black mold, for instance, is a common type of mold that poses health hazards. It releases allergens that can cause nasal congestion, skin irritation, watery eyes, and others. In more serious cases, exposure to a certain type of black mold that releases a toxic substance called “mycotoxin” can trigger health complications that can even potentially lead to death. Hence, proper house maintenance is a must. It doesn’t hurt to be mindful of your home’s present state and to conduct regular inspections. Nonetheless, if you are already dealing with black mold in your home, always seek the help of professionals for black mold removal.
All types of mold are a result of a moisture problem in any area inside the property. The first thing to look at if you’re already struggling with mold in house is to find the source of moisture. The moisture that can be found in the attic is caused by a lot of factors but is usually a byproduct of condensation. When the warm air from your living area rises through the holes and gaps of your ceilings and lighting fixtures, the warm air cools down and the moisture condenses and drips into your insulation.
Now you probably have a clearer idea of how moisture can travel up your attic, it’s time to identify the various factors that cause excessive moisture so that while you can’t prevent natural condensation, you can install preventive measures to reduce condensation buildup.
Causes of Moisture in the Attic
Having adequate insulation is an essential component of every attic because it helps mitigate the effects of condensation. A well-insulated attic also helps keep normal temperature levels in your home during extremely hot or icy cold seasons especially during times when the ice from your roof’s edge starts to melt. In fact, you should be aware that melting ice is one of the key elements that create a moist environment for attic mold to thrive so having sufficient insulation is indispensable if you want to keep your home in top shape.
A poorly ventilated attic space prevents good air circulation thereby trapping moisture in one place. Like your living area, it is necessary to make sure that your attic is well-ventilated otherwise, all the water vapor produced from your regular domestic activities such as cooking, showering or bathing will get trapped in your attic creating a damp atmosphere for mold to grow. So unless you do want to encourage mold growth, make sure to double-check your ventilation.
As an additional note, you may also want to install vent fans for further preventive care. Vent fans are specifically designed to remove moisture buildup and keep the air circulating.
Mold can also be a sign that there is roof damage. Leaking roofs is a surefire way to invite mold infiltration. Check for discolorations in your roof particularly in the rafters, sheathing, and joists. Also, do an inspection on the areas where two varying materials are joined because these spots could have gaps where moisture can enter. And finally, repair or replace your roof if you’ve noticed that it has started to deteriorate. It’s better to do a full replacement rather than to try to salvage your roof because the repairs would just cost you even more in the long run.
Structural Gaps between the Roof and the Attic
Check out for structural gaps between the roof and your attic. Typically, windows, skylights, plumbing vents, lighting fixtures, and walls and ceilings should be your main areas of concern. The gaps from these places allow the warm air and the cool air from the lower levels of your house to escape through the attic. You have to make sure that your attic is air sealed where moisture cannot penetrate. Caulk or weather-proof these areas to make it tightly sealed.
Structural Flaws in Pipes and Vents
A faulty heating or plumbing system is a strong cause for concern. Your pipes and vents are meant to pump out moisture away from your home and not in any area inside your home. If you’ve noticed that all the excess water vapor ends up in your attic instead of pushing it out of the house, it is worth checking if it is due to a structural flaw or if there is a leak in your pipes or vents that needed repair. Either way, it pays well to inspect them to ensure that your home is in its best condition.
Keep in mind that untreated mold can not only affect your health and well-being but can also lead to structural deterioration of your attic and your roof. Worse, it can also crawl to your HVAC which would then cause more serious troubles. For mold inspection, testing and removal, contact mold inspection Williamsburg VA.