Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 by Emma Niemi
Attics are a perfect habitat for mold growth, and oftentimes, excess moisture within a home reveals itself in the form of mold.
Mold needs three things to grow and thrive: moisture, oxygen, and organic material (food.) Something as simple as a bath fan vented into the attic instead of outside the house can start the moisture problem and subsequent mold growth.
Having mold present anywhere in your home is extremely hazardous to the health of you and your loved ones. When mold is present and growing in your attic, it can cause bigger problems later on. Mold in the attic will continue to grow if left untreated, and it can cause wood decay that compromises the structural integrity of your roof. If you are experiencing attic mold, this is an indication that your home needs attic work.
The true problem begins with a lack of proper air sealing. Larry Janesky, owner and founder of Dr. Energy Saver breaks down how mold in the attic is formed.
“Heated air – the air that you pay to heat your home – rises and leaks into the unconditioned attic through all types of gaps, such as holes around pipes and wires, canned lights, unsealed attic hatches, and bathroom fans that vent into the attic instead of the outside. During the winter, an unconditioned attic is usually just as cold as the outside, and so are the roof and wooden structures,” said Janesky. “When heated, humid air infiltrates the freezing cold attic, it will cool down and per each degree, it is cooled, the relative humidity rises 2.2%, often bringing the RH levels in the attic up to 100%, at which point condensation occurs all over the cold surfaces. The wood will soak the moisture and create the perfect conditions for mold to develop.”
Proper insulation, ventilation, and air sealing will all help to alleviate and eliminate moisture problems within the home and make the home healthier overall. These types of projects also possess energy-saving opportunities due to less heat loss. If you’re not sure if whether your attic has the possibility of growing mold, a Dr. Energy Saver technician can run an energy evaluation to detect any gaps that may be leaking air. If your attic does have a mold infestation, our process is to first kill any mold present and then go ahead and seal up those gaps that encouraged the mold to grow in the first place.