Attic Mold Removal: Do You Need a Professional?
Everything you need to know about Attic Mold Removal.
In this comprehensive post, we'll go over;
- The Warning Signs of Attic Mold.
- If Attic Mold is Dangerous.
- What causes Attic Mold and how to get rid of it.
- Attic Mold Removal Costs.
- Tips to Prevent Attic Mold.
So if you've ever wondered if you might have mold in your attic, you'll love this post!
Attic Mold Removal in Rochester, NY
Warning Signs, What to Look For
Warning signs let you know there may be an issue with attic mold in your home. Even though many people don’t go into their attic often, the attic should be checked periodically if there may be any issues. Here are some signs of letting you know you might need attic mold removal:
When mold starts to grow, it can begin as a dark-looking stain. You may also notice a brownish color that looks like a water stain on wood surfaces. Stains on wood that should not be there are common warning signs of a possible mold issue.
If you find that the attic feels hotter or stuffier than usual, there may be an underlying problem. Some lofts are not adequately insulated, and there could be moisture within the insulation. If you notice any wet areas, this can lead to a mold issue. If anything is dripping anywhere, this is an immediate problem that needs to be addressed and usually indicates a more severe problem.
The most obvious sign of an attic mold problem is the odor. If you smell anything that resembles mold or mildew (musty odor), it is highly likely that attic mold currently exists somewhere in the attic.
Is Attic Mold Common?
Some people have asked or wondered if attic mold is common. Attic mold removal is a standard service provided in all-season areas like Rochester, NY.
With the constant change in weather, it is almost inevitable for a home to create the conditions necessary for attic mold to grow. Mold comes in thousands of varieties and species. The most commonly found mold in an attic will be black or white.
- Black Mold needs conditions with high levels of moisture to colonize. Attics are perfect breeding grounds if there is poor ventilation and high humidity. If you notice dark stained areas within the attic structure, it could be black mold.
- White Mold is also commonly found in attics. It can be powdery in appearance and can be mistaken for mildew or efflorescence. Efflorescence is usually found in basements and results in moisture seepage and drying, leaving behind salt and other mineral deposits.
If you are unsure if it is mold or something else, it is best to have a professional determine if you need attic mold remediation!
Can it Be Dangerous?
Another question we hear often is those who wonder if attic mold is dangerous. The answer to that question is YES! Attic mold can cause health issues to those who live in the home, but it can also cause damage to essential functions of the house like the air quality, HVAC systems, and overall structure of the home! Hot air rises, and so does moisture, which is how it is easy for mold to grow in attics with poor ventilation.
But, as stated before, many people don’t go into the attic often. Sadly, mold growth can be left unnoticed for months wreaking havoc on the attic plywood, walls, floors, and HVAC systems. Mold spores need airflow to move and transfer.
So, imagine having an attic full of mold spores, and then the door opens…the mold spores are now being circulated and will begin to transfer to other areas of your home. Health risks of mold can include allergies and respiratory problems.
What Causes Attic Mold?
We all know that mold needs moisture to grow. How does water get into the attic? Moisture buildup can occur for various reasons.
The most common situations will require professional attic mold removal and repairs.
When homes are built, the addition of vents is essential to keeping airflow moving through the attic. If the vents become blocked either with insulation or other items stored in the attic, the air can become stagnant, and any moisture will begin to condense in the small space.
*One rule of thumb for proper attic ventilation is to have at least 1 square foot of vent to every 100 square feet of attic space.
Exhaust Fans or Vents
For the same reasons that we need exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens (which often have a higher humidity level), we need them to keep the warm moisture-filled air from rising to the attic level. It is imperative to ensure that exhaust fans and dryer vents are getting the air outside the home.
A leaky roof isn’t always prominent. Maybe after a rainstorm or high winds, shingles may come off the top. You check but don’t see any significant issues. Over time, there could be leaks in the roof. More severe damage can be noticed right away. Before any type of attic mold removal, fixing the roof leak issue first will be essential.
Attic Mold Removal Methods
When it comes to attic mold removal, it is crucial to find the root cause of the mold. Is it improper ventilation? A leaky roof? Something else?
Some companies offer attic mold removal treatments. These options may sound great and easy. Treatment options include wire brushing and dry ice blasting, HEPA vacuuming, and chemical sprays.
The issue with these treatments is that they only treat the mold problem; they do not eliminate or repair the cause of mold in the first place. Aside from the “treatments,” there are two other options for attic mold removal: DIY and professional Mold Remediation services.
DIY Attic Mold Removal
Essential Oils – Using oils such as Tea Tree oil or Grapefruit Seed Oil are natural remedies to kill existing mold growth. Adding a few drops of the oil into a spray bottle with water can be effective in killing mold and preventing re-growth.
Vinegar – Many people have asked, "does vinegar kill mold?" It does because it is another natural antimicrobial cleaning agent. Mixing a solution of half white vinegar – half water into a spray bottle can be effective in killing mold and can prevent it from coming back.
Ethanol Alcohol – That’s right, bottom-shelf vodka is a DIY remedy to get rid of mold. Congener is a natural byproduct created during the fermentation process of vodka, and it is lethal to mold and other fungi. You can effectively put this into a spray bottle to kill existing mold growth. This method cannot guarantee that mold won’t come back.
Bleach – Does bleach kill mold? A mixture of bleach and water is commonly used as a cleaning product in many homes. You can use this mixture to kill the mold; however, it cannot prevent it from coming back.
Professional Attic Mold Removal
How do you know when the attic mold issue goes beyond a DIY job to a professional attic mold removal job? Depending on the method used, DIY can take care of surface mold and prevent it from coming back. A professional should be called when the mold area is large or has begun to spread to other home areas.
Most importantly, a professional should be called in if serious issues are causing the mold, like poor ventilation, excess moisture, or leaky roofs. If the root cause is a leaky roof, then a DIY is just a quick fix, and the mold will likely return until the roof issue is fixed.
Cost of Mold Remediation for your Attic
Professional attic mold removal costs can vary depending on the originating cause of mold growth and how severe the damage is. As of 2020, the average cost of mold removal in your attic can range from $1500 - $3500. If a professional is needed, finding the right company is imperative.
Some companies can provide multiple services, like Rock Environmental. One company that offers an array of services can help cut down on costs. Additionally, Rock Environmental will work with your insurance company, so you don’t have to!
Tips to Prevent Attic Mold
- Check the attic for moisture problems or musty odors periodically. If either is detected, locate the issue immediately to get a mold remediation plan in place.
- Make sure all exhaust fans and vents can properly ventilate (bathroom and kitchen fans, dryer vents)
- Ensure the attic vents are not blocked by insulation or other items in the attic.
- Install an attic fan to help keep moisture levels down
- Keep the attic dry, and if moisture or water leaks have been detected, dry out right away to prevent mold growth
- Fix any roof or window leaks right away
- If any mold is present and has been remediated, spray a fungicide or other mold prevention product to help prevent mold from coming back.
- Keep the attic clean and clutter-free. The less clutter, the better!
If you are ever in doubt about your DIY attic mold removal, or if you are unsure if you do have attic mold, call Rock Environmental. Our expert team can provide a basic mold inspection and work on removing mold from crawl spaces, roof sheathing, and your entire attic if necessary! We are available 24-7-365!
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