As a homeowner, discovering mold in your home can be one of the most inconvenient and scary things to experience. Mold can be a dangerous addition to your space and poses both structural and health risks for your home and family. One of the worst places to find mold is in your attic. Because this space isn’t commonly used, this means that mold can exist there for a long time without being discovered. Over time, mold will quickly grow and spread to become a much larger issue.
One of the best ways to avoid mold growth in your home is to know what causes it, and fix those issues before they become a problem. Mold is most commonly tied to moisture, and the two often go hand in hand within your attic. There are a few different causes that can lead to high moisture and humidity in your attic space – let’s explore them below.
If you are curious about what can cause mold buildup in your attic, here are 6 of the most common causes of attic mold:
1. Ventilation Issues
A well-ventilated attic is key to keeping moisture and mold out. Ventilation in your attic should work by having air come up through the bottom vents, warm up, and escape through the top ridge vents. This allows for good air movement and keeps the space dry. Unfortunately, sometimes this ventilation process cannot keep up with the outside temperature, or the vents become blocked with insulation or debris. When this occurs, the air within your attic becomes warm and humid, but cannot escape. This causes stagnant air and condensation within the attic.
2. Improper Exhaust
Exhaust vents for your dryer, stove, and bathrooms are there to move moisture from the inside of your home to the outside. Unfortunately, not all exhaust vents are installed properly, so it is important to make sure that they do not end in your attic instead of outside. Even properly installed exhaust vents can break without regular maintenance, allowing moisture to build up inside your attic.
3. Missing or Improper Insulation
Insulation is a key part of your attic as it helps to retain warm and cool air and keep your energy bills low. Sometimes, insulation in the attic is installed either improperly, or the wrong kind of insulation is chosen, which causes moisture from the lower levels of your home to become trapped. When your attic is not properly insulated, you can have warm moist air travel from the warm spaces in your home to the cold attic, where condensation will form and mold will grow.
If you are planning on adding more insulation to your attic space, avoid placing any insulation with a plastic or foil backing between your attic and the below rooms, as these materials can easily trap moisture.
4. Roof Damage
If your roof is missing shingles or has damaged flashing, it is likely that these spots will leak when it rains. Water will build up in your walls and attic, and soon this creates the perfect conditions for mold and mildew growth. Here on the west coast, rain happens often so it is important to fix a leaky roof as soon as possible.
5. Water Heaters or Furnaces in the Attic
While many homes have the water heater and/or furnace in the basement, recently some newer homes have been built with these appliances in other locations, including the attic. This is mainly due to requirements relating to the square footage of the home, multiple heating and cooling zones, and spa-style bathrooms with soaker tubs. Sometimes, placing these appliances in other areas of the home can lead to moisture buildup.
If your home has a water heater or furnace in an usual spot, it is a good idea to put a maintenance contract in place with a local service provider to inspect the appliances once or twice a year. The money spent on these inspections can save you lots of money in costly repairs or renovations due to mold later on.
6. Ice Damming
When water on your roof can’t drain properly, it freezes and backs up into your home – often through the attic. This process is known as ice damming. Once the water leaks into your attic, it will no longer be able to drain away. As we have mentioned above, the water present in your attic creates the perfect opportunity for mold growth!
The best way to prevent ice damming is to clean your gutter system regularly and inspect gutters and pipes for misalignment or cracks. Lastly, make sure that your downspouts carry water at least ten feet away from your home’s foundation.
Professional Mold Testing & Removal
If you suspect that mold may be present anywhere in your home, our team of trained professionals provides efficient and accurate mold testing services. If our team’s report shows mold growth in your home, it’s time to take action as soon as possible. We provide comprehensive mold removal services that guarantee a mold-free space in just a few hours for most homes.
Mold is a common problem, especially here on the west coast where there is a lot of moisture present. Remember that if you require mold removal services, you will also need to fix the source of the problem, otherwise, you may be calling our team back again in a few months’ time. Our team is happy to help look for potential problem areas that could cause mold buildup in the future.
Mold is a serious issue that needs to be addressed quickly and safely. Don’t wait around for your mold problem to get worse.