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
Not every home has an attic, just like not every home has a basement. Then there are some homes that have both or neither.
Regardless, basements and attics are commonly used for the same types of things: storage. Attics can be a perfect space to use for storing those holiday decorations, or family mementos, maybe old family heirlooms that you’re unsure what to do with.
Since most attics are rarely visited, it can become the perfect spot for this silent invader: attic mold!
Warning Signs, What to Look For
There are warning signs to 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, it should be checked periodically just in case there may be any issues.
Here are some signs to let 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 quite common warning signs of a possible mold issue.
If you are finding that the attic feels hotter or stuffier than usual, there may be an underlying problem. Some attics are not properly insulated and there could be moisture within the insulation.
Or if you notice any areas that are wet, this can and will likely lead to a mold issue. If there is anything dripping anywhere, this is an immediate problem that needs to be taken care of and usually indicates a more serious problem.
Odor of Mold or Mildew
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. In fact, attic mold removal is a common 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 either black mold or white mold.
- Black Mold needs conditions with high levels of moisture to colonize. Attics are perfect breeding grounds if there is poor ventilation and excess moisture present. 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 and can also 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 are those who wonder if attic mold is dangerous. The answer to that question is YES!
Attic mold can not only cause health issues to those who live in the home, but it can also cause damage to important functions of the home like the air quality, HVAC systems, and overall structure to 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, like stated before, many people don’t go into the attic often.
This means that mold growth can be left unnoticed for months wreaking havoc on walls, floors, and HVAC systems. Mold spores need air flow 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. This stands true for attic mold growth as well. But how does moisture get into the attic? Moisture buildup can occur for various reasons.
The most common situations below will likely require professional attic mold removal and repairs:
When homes are built, the addition of vents are essential to keeping air flow 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, we need them to keep the warm moisture filled air from rising to the attic level. It is particularly important to ensure that exhaust fans and dryer vents are getting the air outside of the home.
A leaky roof isn’t always obvious. Maybe after a heavy rainstorm or high winds, some shingles may have come off the roof. You check, but don’t see any major issues.
Over time, there could be leaks in the roof that will eventually seep into the attic. More severe damage can be noticed right away. Before any type of attic mold removal, it will be important to fix the roof leak issue first.
Attic Mold Removal Methods
When it comes to attic mold removal, it is important 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 offers may sound good and easy. Treatment options range from wire brushing and dry ice blasting to 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 2 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 in a few drops of the oil into a spray bottle with water can be effective in not only killing mold, but also in 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. This can be put into a spray bottle as well to effectively 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. This mixture can be used to kill 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? DIY can take care of surface mold, and depending on the method used, can prevent it from coming back.
A professional should be called when the mold area is large or has begun to spread to other areas of the home. Most importantly, if there are serious issues causing the mold like poor ventilation, excess moisture or leaky roofs, a professional should come take a look.
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.
How Much Does Attic Mold Removal Cost?
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 on homeguide.com for attic mold removal 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 provides an array of services can help to 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 or musty odors periodically. If either are detected, locate the issue right away to get a mold remediation plan in place.
- Make sure all exhaust fans and vents are working properly (bathroom and kitchen fans, dryer vents)
- Make sure 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
- Once all mold 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 at 585-340-6799, or click the button below! We are available 24/7/365.
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