An attic is an ideal environment for mold. The typical attic is unairconditioned, inadequately ventilated, uninspected, past or presently leaky, and home to unwelcome critters. Unless your HVAC unit is in the attic or you store Christmas decorations up there, chances are that you may have never even been inside your attic.
We at Branch Environmental want you to know how to prevent attic mold, and to discover a few reasons you should inspect your attic or have it inspected by a professional.
Ventilation is Key
Mold needs moisture to grow. An inadequately ventilated attic will allow a buildup of warm, stagnant, moist air, especially in summer. The number one way to prevent attic mold is to ensure proper ventilation. Not only will proper ventilation help prevent attic mold, it will also extend the life of your roof. An inadequately ventilated attic will cause excess heat buildup in the summer and reduce the lifespan of your roof.
To properly ventilate your attic using passive ventilation, you need a way for the hot air to escape and a way for cooler makeup air to enter. Ridge vents, turbine vents, and/or gable end vents allow hot air to escape as it rises in the attic. The rising hot air will draw cooler air in through soffit vents by convection.
Powered attic ventilation fans are available, but should only be used with caution. Powered fans may overheat when they run for extended periods of time, which could lead to an attic fire.
Early Detection of Roof Leaks
A roof leak may go undetected for days, weeks, months, or even years before it shows up inside the home as a water stain on the ceiling or mold growing on a wall. A quick attic inspection after high wind or heavy rain may prevent costly repairs in the future. The longer a roof leak goes undetected, the greater the risk of further damage and mold growth.
Is Your Attic Home to Unwelcome Critters?
Mice, squirrels, birds, bats, and other rodents may be living in your attic. An attic stays dry in the summer, relatively warm in the winter, and the ceiling insulation makes for nice soft living quarters for rodents. Many rodents carry diseases and the urine and feces they excrete pose a health hazard. Exposure to a fungus associated with bird and bat guano can lead to a lung disease called Histoplasmosis.
To prevent unwelcome critters in your attic, ensure that all unnecessary exterior openings into the attic are sealed and that necessary openings, such as gable end vents, are covered with wire mesh or screen.
How Branch Environmental Can Help
As part of our comprehensive mold inspections, indoor air quality inspections, and home environmental assessments, we inspect the entire home, including the attic, living space, and crawl space/basement for mold and other indoor air quality concerns.
Do you know what’s in your attic? If not, contact us today to set up an inspection.