Finding mold in your attic can be incredibly disheartening. You may be tempted to launch head-on into a cleaning project, bleaching everything and replacing your insulation. But if you take these steps without first identifying the cause of the mold growth, the mold will just come back again. When you discover mold in your attic, the first thing you must do is determine which of these two common causes is to blame.
A Roof Leak
Water coming in from the roof can dampen your insulation and the wooden roof underlayment, leading to mold growth. Many leaks get overlooked because homeowners assume that if their roof is leaking, it will be obvious -- water will be gushing in. This is not always the case. You can have a slow, trickling leak that gets things damp without ever causing noticeable puddles.
So, how can you detect a roof leak? Wait until it rains, and then go into your attic. Look for places where the ceiling appears moist. Trace the trickle of water back to its source, and then note where on the roof it is located. There might be a missing shingle or exposed nail head in that area. Have your roofing contractor repair the area before you address the mold situation so that no more water comes in.
If your attic gets too stuffy and humid in the summer, this can lead to mold growth. If you cannot find a roofing leak, poor ventilation is likely to blame. Warm air is getting trapped in the attic rather than being allowed to circulate through it.
There are two main types of roofing vents: ridge vents and soffit vents. Soffit vents are located under the eaves of the roof, and a ridge vent is located along the peak. If you only have one or the other, your roofing contractor may add the other style of vent to help your attic breathe. If you already have both types, your best bet may be to add an attic fan. This is a large fan designed to exhaust hot air out of your attic. Most modern models kick on automatically when the humidity in your attic gets too high. Once your attic's ventilation system is functioning properly, it should stay drier, and you can clean up the mold without worrying that it will come back.
Do not just clean up mold without first determining why your attic is moldy. Failing to address the main cause of the mold will just make your cleanup efforts a waste of time. For professional mold remediation assistance, contact a company like Servpro Of Washington County.