Attic Mold Removal
Attic mold is common and when testing any attic (or home, for that matter) you will find some mold. However, having visible mold growth in your attic is a sign of unhealthy moisture accumulation. In addition, if you notice an increase in allergy symptoms every time you visit your attic, you may have an unhealthy level of mold that isn’t easily visible.
What causes attic mold? The three most common reasons are:
- Leaking roof: You can usually tell if a leaky roof is causing mold, as it is localized to a very specific area (where the moisture is) and the wood will be discolored. Check around chimneys and pipes as they are common culprits.
- Improper attic ventilation: By far the most common cause of mold in your attic is improper ventilation. Ideally, your roof will have vents along the ridge as well as along the soffits. Having one, but not the other, creates poor air flow allowing moisture to accumulate and mold to take hold.
- HVAC unit not draining properly and/or leaking: If your heating and air system has a unit in the attic (not always the case), then it has a pan around it to collect any moisture and a drain to the outside. Pans can rust and leak, they can overflow, pumps can fail, and the drain pipes can become clogged and create leaks. Once this water overflows the system, you can get moldy ceilings or it can drip down into walls and infect the wall cavity as well.
How to Get Rid of Attic Mold
Once you have identified and corrected the source of the moisture, you can begin treating the mold. Please read our article on MOLD REMEDIATION so that you can understand the basic risks and safety equipment needed. Also check out removing MOLD ON WOOD, as the protocols used are designed specifically for wood.
If the wood is rotten or structurally unsound (mold digests wood), it will need to be replaced. If it is still solid, then you may treat with one of the solutions from our MOLD CLEANERS article.
My favorite product for moldy wood is a borax-based solution which you can buy or make at home. It impregnates the wood to kill its roots and helps to prevent any future growth from occurring. Bleach will only appear to remove the discoloration and will not get to the root of the problem.