Cause #3 Bath or Kitchen Exhaust Fans Vented into the Attic
Exhaust fans should be vented directly to the exterior of the home, and surprisingly we often find this is not the case. When an exhaust fan is missing its exhaust duct, or if the duct has become separated, the exhaust is then vented directly into the attic space, similar to the situation above meaning the warm damp air is trapped creating the ideal atmosphere for microbial growth. In this case, it’s important to correct the issue an re-route the vents to the outside.
Cause #4 Missing or Inadequate Attic Insulation
Attic insulation is key in not only energy conservation, but proper levels can also reduce the chance of mold growth in attic areas. As air travels up through a structure, insulation provides a barrier slowing the rate of conditioned air loss in an attic area. When an attic is missing insulation, the air movement increases significantly, and the influx of warm air can, once again, cause condensation on cold roof sheathing. This type of moisture condition resulting from condensation is a catalyst for mold growth. It’s important to check your insulation and make sure that you have even and adequate coverage throughout the entire attic, especially in the lower-north-side areas.
Cause #5 Gaps or Ceiling Openings
Unsealed openings in ceilings around exhaust fans, can lights, speakers, and other fixtures can allow warm conditioned air to escape into attic areas. It’s important to ensure all gaps and openings are properly sealed to help reduce the chances of mold growth in attic areas.
We frequently get asked why mold in an attic is a big deal. And, while it is true that attic areas are not generally considered living space, and air communication from upper attic areas to living spaces below is relatively uncommon – in most normal situations – attic mold should still be a concern. Why? Because it is possible for air containing mold spores to be drawn from the infected attic space to an inhabited living space if a potential negative pressure condition exists or occurs in a property.
In addition, attic mold is usually an indication of other defects or conditions that could lead to costly repairs down the road, such as water damage, mold contamination in the finished living areas, wood-destroying organisms, and other moisture-related conditions.
We highly recommend regular inspections and maintenance to see if you, or a specialist, notices any unusual staining or mold-like conditions. And, if you need help determining what’s really impacting your attic area, get in touch with a licensed (Non-Texas: certified) mold professional for a full assessment and appropriate testing.