If you suspect there’s mold hiding out in your attic, there’s no need to panic, but it is a good idea to get the problem taken care of right away. When left unchecked, attic mold can present a serious health risk for you and your family. In addition, it can do plenty of permanent damage to your home. As with so many home improvement considerations, when it comes to attic mold, the sooner you sort it out, the better. In order to do that, you need to know what you’re up against and why it matters.
Understanding the Health Risks of Mold
While a small amount of mold is present in the environment naturally, letting mold build up in your home can harm your health. The most common health impacts are allergy-like symptoms, such as sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, and even itchy skin. If your seasonal allergies don’t fade when the seasons change, or your allergies seem worse inside your home than out, there’s a good chance mold is to blame. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. In particular, the elderly or very young, as well as anyone immunocompromised, should take particular care to avoid mold. The bottom line: mold can make everyone in your family’s health worse.
Toxic molds, such as black mold, are also reported to cause some neurological symptoms, including dizziness, headaches, and even memory loss.
That’s a good reason to get rid of any pesky attic mold, but in order to do that you need to understand the cause.
Is The Problem Your Roof?
Mold thrives on moisture, so when you find attic mold, you want to look for water problems. The most obvious risk is a leaking roof. If you’ve been putting off roofing repairs or a roof replacement, and moisture is getting into your attic, it will probably lead to mold eventually. Remember that even if rain water isn’t exactly pouring into your attic, there could still be a less noticeable “slow leak.”
But what if your roof is in great shape? Well, while mold in your roof can contribute to attic mold, a leaky roof isn’t actually the most common cause.
Causes of Attic Mold
So, what’s the biggest cause of attic mold? Improper ventilation.
That could mean something as simple as your roof being poorly ventilated. In some cases, people even put insulation over their vents. If your home was previously owned, it’s a good idea to check it out. Warm, moist air rises in your home, and then when it hits the cooler air in the attic, if it isn’t well ventilated, it quickly turns to condensation.
But sometimes simple mistakes can have big consequences. For example, exhaust fans, like kitchen and bathroom fans, as well as dryer exhaust fans, should pull moisture out of your home. Check to make sure that they actually do that, and that the moisture is making it outside, rather than depositing somewhere in your attic.
Whatever the cause of the attic mold, you’ll want to correct it before mold remediation begins, otherwise the mold will return. Also, since oftentimes more mold may be lurking where you can’t see it, a mold detector may prove useful in identifying all of the mold in your attic.
When to Clean Up the Mold Yourself
If you catch the mold early, it’s a relatively small amount, and it’s on surfaces you can clean, you may be able to handle the mold removal yourself. However, if you’d feel more confident bringing in the pros, that’s fine too.
If you’re attempting to remove the mold yourself, remember that you first need to address the cause. Next, you’ll want to completely dry out the area, and then get to cleaning. There are many commercially available cleaning products that clean mold, as well as some all natural cleaners, such as white vinegar and alcohol, that may do the trick.
When to Call for Mold Remediation
Professional mold remediation helps in cases where the mold has penetrated the building material. In many cases, sections of walls, ceilings, or floors may need replacing. Professionals also have access to high-quality tools and cleaning agents, as well as and more experience with both locating and removing mold, than homeowners do. If you think your mold problem is too extensive to tackle on your own, or if you’ve tried the DIY method and the mold keeps coming back, it’s time to make the call.
If you’re looking for mold remediation in Terre Haute, Rogers Home Improvement is an excellent choice, with deep roots in the area and more than 25 years of experience serving the greater Wabash Valley. For home mold remediation, including attic mold, we’re here to help. Get in touch for a free estimate.