- Signs of Mold
- Types of Mold You Can Find
- Potential Causes of Mold
- How to Get Rid of Mold
- Should You Be Concerned About Mold?
- How Much Does It Cost to Remove Mold?
The attic or roof space is an often-overlooked storage space in the home. A rarely used attic can begin to contain something more sinister than your average holiday baubles and old toys; it can become a breeding ground for mold. Next time you’re up in the attic and notice that the area is humid or musty, be on the lookout for signs that mold may be growing in your home.
Signs of Mold in Your Attic
The presence of mold is an indication of moisture damage or rotting material within your home. If you are worried you might have mold in your attic, watch out for any of the following signs:
- Smell of mildew – When you are inspecting your attic and notice a musty smell, there may be mold present.
- Leaks or moisture in the insulation – A major sign that you may have mold is finding leaks in the roof of your attic. Be sure to notice if any of the insulation is damp as it can often absorb leaks and cause them to remain unnoticed. The excess moisture can lead to extensive damage to your home and create conditions that are perfect for mold growth.
- Discoloration of wood surfaces in your attic – In your attic, the wood may have dark spots that have developed over time due to exposure to moisture and humidity.
- Frost buildup – In the winter, frost may buildup due to improper ventilation. Once it thaws, this can cause mold to grow in the moist setting.
Types of Mold You Can Find in Your Attic
You may be wondering what mold in the attic looks like. In fact, there are various types of mold that can be lurking in your home. Mold types vary widely in colour and toxicity, but there does not have to be a relationship between the colour of mold and how dangerous it may be to you and your home.
While molds can vary in color from pink to blue, you are most likely to see black mold or white mold in your home. One of the most common molds you may see in your attic is black mold. This mold usually grows in damp dark places with poor ventilation. What is dangerous is not black mold itself, but the mycotoxins that it produces, which can cause illness and suppress the immune system.
Another common household mold that can be found in your home is white mold. White mold is characterized by being white and splotchy but is rather dry. White mold can be confused with efflorescence also known as salt deposits. However, there are ways to test this simply by using a spray bottle with water and a rag. If the white spots wipe away, then you know you are dealing with salt deposits. If not then you might have mold in your roof space. In these cases, it would be wise to seek advice from a professional specializing in attic mold removal.
Potential Causes of Mold
In the home, a mold problem is usually an issue with moisture whether it be from poor ventilation, roof leaks, or exhaust vents.
- Poor ventilation – Improper ventilation causes an issue with moisture due to blocked or poorly vented soffits making the attic the ideal place for mold to grow. It is also possible that your home may not have enough vents for air to escape and needs to be inspected and corrected.
- Roof leaks — A roof leak can cause moisture to pool in your attic, and this leads to mold growth. You can recognize a roof leak with discoloration in your ceiling. You may also notice damage to the wood in your home in areas such as the rafters, joists, and fascia boards. You may not notice a leak until you see water damage on your floor. But once you do, it’s important to check your attic or roof space for signs of mold.
- Improper exhaust– In your home, your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans or dryer vent may be incorrectly installed or not performing correctly. These fans are made to take moisture out of the home. If the exhaust vents are put in incorrectly, moisture is retained within the attic, making it possible for mold to grow and thrive in the damp environment.
So, how can you prevent mold to grow in your attic or roof space? Regular inspection of your attic (and your house) is a sure way to prevent mold growth. If there is water damage, excessive moisture, or poor ventilation, taking the proper steps to easily fix the problem will prevent mold from taking hold in your attic and home.
How to Get Rid of Mold?
When you see mold in your attic, your first instinct is to get out the cleaning supplies and scrub. While this may be tempting, cleaning up mold yourself should not be your first step.
Health Canada offers advice for those who wish to remove mold from their attic themselves. However, if the affected area is greater than 1 square meter (11 sq. ft.), it is recommended that you seek professional help to identify the cause of your problem, determine the extent of the damage and suggest the appropriate attic mold removal process.
The proper attic mold removal process includes:
- Containment of the affected area to prevent the movement of mold spores from one location to another in your home.
- Removal of all contaminated materials.
- Thorough destruction of mold spores on framing and sheathing.
- Removal of any dead mold using a spray process.
- Application of a borate-based inhibitor to prevent the possibility of mold growth.
- Applying an ozone shock treatment to the entire attic to ensure that mold spores and any other airborne bacteria are destroyed.
Should You Be Concerned About Mold in Your Attic?
Mold thrives in damp and dark environments, making the attic the perfect home for mold to settle in. If you find mold in your attic, it’s an issue of utmost importance.
Risks to Your Health and That of Your Family
Having mold in your home can cause illness and be very harmful to your family. The attic of your home is a space that needs to be properly ventilated or it can cause a deterioration in air quality and lead to a myriad of issues. Some of the health concerns you may face when dealing with mold exposure are the following:
- Mold infection: Mold exposure can cause fungal infection. You may exhibit symptoms like coughing up blood, fever, chills, skin lesions, joint pain, and chest pain.
- Respiratory issues: Mold spores can be inhaled and cause deterioration in your respiratory tract that can be observed with symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, congestion, wheezing, allergic reaction, and itchy/watery eyes.
- Mycotoxin Exposure: The presence of airborne mycotoxins in certain types of mold has been linked to severe illness. These illnesses include heart disorders, cancer, kidney and liver issues, fibromyalgia, and various immune disorders.
Risks to Your Property
Mold found in the home is not only a danger to your family, but it is also a danger to your home. If left untreated, the consequences could be dire, and you will be left with a home that may not be easily salvageable.
Attic mold can grow and cause structural damage to the sheathing. Mold can damage the structural integrity of your roof as well. Mold can cause issues in your timber, framing, drywall, and even your ceiling. All of this causes more structural damage to your home. The result is that more repairs are required and the costs to repair the damage have increased significantly.
Mold is a fungus and can easily spread, moving from the damp dark of the attic onto your personal belongings. You may have to replace items such as furniture, clothing, and flooring. These are costs that can rack up to expensive amounts if you leave mold unchecked. Your best option if you find mold in your attic is to contact a professional to assist you with timely and correct attic mold removal.
How Much Does It Cost to Remove Mold from the Attic?
The cost of mold remediation depends upon a few different factors. Every circumstance and job is different and varies in severity. There are no two homes that are the same. Many companies price per square foot. However, we give the estimate and consultation based upon the extent of the damage. You are an individual and deserve to be treated as such with a plan that caters to your needs.
Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Mold in the Attic?
Homeowners’ insurance may help but it depends upon the policy. You should always check your policy and see what is covered and what isn’t. Unfortunately, most policies only give coverage for loss and will only cover mold if it is associated with that loss.
In situations with flood damage, it’s possible that the mold may be covered. This is why it is important to know and understand your policy, so you are prepared if your home is affected by water damage and subsequently, by mold. If your insurance doesn’t cover mold in the attic, we offer reasonable pricing that is tailored to your home.
If you are dealing with an issue with mold in your home we can help you with mold removal in your attic and other places in your home. No matter what type of mold you may have in your attic, black or white, you can trust a specialist like Steri Mobile to get rid of it. In addition to removing the mold from your attic, we’ll also explain the causes, so you can fix the problem permanently. Contact us for more information or request a free estimate online.