Mold Growth in an Attic
Many of our clients come to us because they are concerned about mold growing in their attic. Many times a general home inspector does a visual inspection, sees some potential growth and notifys the customer but can not tell them much more because they are not an expert. While it most certainly is a good idea to take care of a serious mold problem in your attic, we are here to tell you that it might not be quite as bad as it seems.
First and foremost it is important to know that there is a normal amount of mold growth in every attic. In fact, we typically do not recommend taking an air sample from within an attic because it is considered a non living environment. While it can be beneficial to see the results of these air samples, they will just about always come back at least slightly elevated according to the guidelines that are set by the industry..
We prefer to do a thorough visual inspection of the attic and if we identify something that looks to be a problem, we’ll recommend a surface sample to identify the species of that fungus. We are most concerned about uncommon species of mold like Stachybotrys or Chaetomium and more common species like Penicillium Aspergillus at a high concentration. Seeing problems like this in the areas means there must be a source for all these issues.
In order for mold to grow there must be some sort of moisture or water intrusion in some way shape or form. As you may imagine, the number one culprit of mold growth within an attic is a roof leak of some sorts, that should go without saying. Improper ventilation is another that you may suspect. The area is very humid and if there are no vents to properly release this humidity it can cause serious issues. You may not suspect this, but these types of issues actually start most during cold times like winter. The extreme temperature difference can cause the roof shearing to sweat, combine that with the high humidity due to poor ventilation and you will have likely widespread mold growth on your hands.
Removing mold from an attic is actually a less expensive fix from a mold professional than you would deal with otherwise. Once again, because it is a non-living environment, we can handle this area differently. When there is a problem inside your home, a mold removal professional will need to take extra precaution like setting up containment areas and using negative pressure to ensure the mold does not spread throughout the home. Essentially the attic is already contained so all that really needs to be done is a removal of all contaminated building materials and a thorough cleaning with anti-microbial solutions.
If you or a home inspector has recently found mold growth within your attic or of an attic that you are interested in potentially buying, don’t run for the hills just yet. It could be that it is a very common amount of growth that has been seen or it is a problem that can be handled. At the same time, it is possible for these issues to effect the indoor living environment and if the situation is bad enough to call for professional remediation, we highly recommend having an air sample taken from within the home to see if it has spread. If you are in need of this service, give us a call at 855-600-6653 to speak to a customer representative.