Attics are often relegated as storage space, and we often spend little to no time in the attic. We don’t necessary mean to, but we tend to neglect our attic space. Because of this, attics have become one of the most common areas for indoor mold growth. But don’t freight yet, mold growth is not an inevitable problem. With a little understanding about mold growth and what causes it, homeowners can prevent attic mold growth all together.
What Causes Attic Mold Growth in Ohio Properties & How To Prevent It
The key to mold growth is moisture. Mold spores need an adequate moisture source in order to germinate, root into your building materials and spread. If you are not careful, moisture can easily buildup in your attic and leave you with a serious mold problem.
Leaks & Water Intrusion- Roof leaks are the most obvious source of moisture. It is also the easiest to detect. It is important for Ohio homeowners to conduct regular roof inspections and complete any roofing maintenance as needed. If you discover a roof leak, it should be addressed immediately to prevent additional water damage and possible mold growth. If you suspect a leak has caused a possible attic mold problem in your OH home, a mold inspector in your Cleveland area can help to map out moisture patterns and determine the full extent of the mold problem at hand.
Ventilation- Attic ventilation plays a vital role in preventing moisture buildup. Warm air naturally filters into the home near the bottom of the building, rises through the building levels and ends up in the attic space. A strategic combination of soffit vents, ridge vents and gable wall vents will help to direct warm air outwards and prevent attic humidity. However, insufficient ventilation or poorly planned vents can allow warm moisture air to become trapped in the attic and lead to moisture and mold problems further down the line.
Insulation– Properly rated and properly installed attic insulation will help to regulate the conditions of the attic space. Insulation plays a key role in minimizing heat loss or cool air loss. This will help to regulate attic temperatures and maintain moisture control. When it comes to insulating your attic, it is a balancing act. Installing too much insulation, often in an attempt to cut energy bills, can restrict air circulation and encourage build up of warm, moist air. On the other hand, missing or inadequate insulation in areas like the attic floor or around ceiling fixtures can allow drafts and air leaks. Drafts and air leaks can allow warm, moist air from the living space to escape into the attic and lead to moisture buildup over time.
Vents & Exhaust Fans– Dryer vents, plumbing vents, kitchen or bathroom fans should all be directed outside. This ensures that warm, moist air in the living space is properly removed and directed out and away from the structure. Unfortunately, we see a lot of properties where this is not the case. All to often, we see vents and exhaust fans that have been constructed to empty directly into the attic space. This can become problematic when that warm, moist air collects and moisture begins to buildup within your porous building materials. In some cases, Ohio homeowners can compensate by strategically placing vents to direct that damp air out and away from the attic. However, this is not always effective. The most ideal solution is to re-direct the vents and fans to empty directly outside.
Air Leakage– Air leakage is when warm, moist air from the main living space escapes through the ceiling gaps and holes– i.e: at fixtures, plumbing, electrical outlets and other ceiling penetrations. Air from the main living space can carry moisture into your attic space, completely unnoticed and lead to moisture buildup and severe mold growth that will require professional attic mold remediation. Air leakage can often be solved by the right combination of properly rated insulation and strategic ventilation.
Unaddressed Maintenance Issues- Attic maintenance is crucial to protecting the condition of your property. Unaddressed maintenance issues can worsen with time and snowball into more issues.
- Gutter Maintenance- Clogged or damaged gutters can force water to collect at your roof and lead to roofing damage and water leaks.
- Landscaping- Large, un-kept trees around your property can damage your roof. Trees can also shade your roof and hold moisture against the structure.
- De-Cluttering- Attics are often used for storage. Cluttered spaces limit air flow and can promote moisture buildup (especially in already humid environments).
- Dehumidification- Attic dehumidifiers can help to keep your attic dry. If you attic is especially damp or humid, a dehumidifier can help keep humidity levels below 50%, which is ideal.
Attic Mold Removal Cleveland Ohio
If you discover a mold problem in your Ohio attic, you should contact a professional attic mold inspector in Cleveland OH to help. The experienced and certified attic mold inspectors at Mastertech Environmental have the necessary training and equipment to properly assess your attic for mold and get to the bottom of what caused it in the first place. Following a thorough assessment, your mold inspector will develop an appropriate mold remediation plan to safely and effectively address the mold problem. Your inspector will also provide you with the necessary insight on how to prevent re-growth in the future.