Attic Mold Exposed: 10 Potential Causes that Can Compromise Your Roof
Mold is something every home owner does not want to find. There are some areas of the home where it is easier to go undetected for a long time, like in crawlspaces or attics. While it may be obvious that dark damp spaces like crawlspaces are susceptible to developing mold, your attic can be at just as much risk. It is important to inspect your attic spaces to see if you have mold, and remove attic mold immediately to avoid further damage, or if there are risk factors that should be addressed.
What Causes Attic Mold?
There are several potential reasons you may find mold in your attic:
It may be obvious, but one of the most important ingredients to mold growth is moisture. If you had a poor roof installation, a damaged roof, or an old roof, your attic may not be protected from exterior moisture getting in. If this goes unnoticed, you may have spots develop mold. Over time this can spread and become a major problem that can be hazardous to you. Even after fixing a leak, mold can still be present. As such, it is important to keep monitoring the area to ensure there is not an ongoing problem.
High Humidity Levels
We will probably mention this a few times, but high humidity levels in the house can contribute to attic mold growth. This is because mold thrives in moist environments. When there is excess moisture in the air, it can seep into the attic and create a damp environment. This, combined with warm temperatures, provides the ideal conditions for mold to grow and spread. Controlling humidity levels in the house is crucial in preventing attic mold growth.
Plumbing Leaks or Pipe Condensation in the Attic
Unnoticed plumbing leaks or pipe condensation in the attic contribute to mold growth because they create a moist environment, which is ideal for mold to thrive. Mold spores are present in the air and can easily settle and grow in areas with high humidity and moisture. When plumbing leaks or condensation occur in the attic, the moisture can seep into the surrounding materials such as wood, insulation, or drywall. This creates a perfect breeding ground for mold, as it feeds on organic matter and thrives in damp conditions.
If left unnoticed or avoiding to remove the attic mold, growth can spread and cause significant damage and potentially affect the indoor air quality of the entire house. It is important to regularly inspect and address any plumbing issues or condensation in the attic to prevent mold growth and maintain a healthy living environment.
Inadequate or Missing Ventilation
Attics need to breath, and ventilation is how you attic breathes. Without proper airflow, warm moist air can become trapped. This type of environment is the perfect breeding ground for mold. You may be surprised to know, mold spreads faster in winter than in summer. The optimal temperature range for mold to grow is between 40 and 90 degrees. In the summer, your attic is often too hot for mold to thrive. In Chicago, the blending of the warm air from inside the house meets with the cold roof. If there is not proper ventilation this temperature mixing will cause condensation that likely will cause mold.
Improper Insulation Installation
Just as important as missing or not enough insulation, is insulation that is improperly installed in the attic. Mold needs moisture and a food source to survive, and insulation that is not properly installed can trap moisture and create a damp environment. As a result, mold can start to grow on the insulation itself or on other surfaces in the attic, such as wood or drywall
Improperly Sealed or Poorly Insulated Attic Access Points
Improperly sealed or poorly insulated attic access points can contribute to mold growth. This is because they allow moisture and warm air to enter the attic space. Attics are prone to high levels of humidity, and if there are any gaps or cracks around the access points, this moisture can seep into the attic and create a damp environment. Mold thrives in areas with high moisture levels, so these access points provide the perfect conditions for mold growth. Additionally, access points with improper insulation, warm air from the living spaces below can escape into the attic. This will then lead to condensation further increasing the humidity levels. This combination of moisture and warmth creates an ideal environment for mold to grow and spread.
Storing Wet or Damp Items in the Attic
Mold thrives in moist environments. When wet or damp items are stored in the attic, the moisture from these items can seep into the surrounding area. This creates a favorable environment for mold spores to grow and multiply. Additionally, attics often have poor ventilation, which further exacerbates the moisture issue.
Improperly Installed Bathroom or Dryer Vents
There are parts of your home that require ventilation from your home. Vents are mean to expel hot air, moisture, or odors. Homes need vents to protect the interior from things like the dryer, shower, and toilets. If these are not vented outside, but instead vent directly into the attic, you will be encouraging moisture and mold growth. Another area of concern is where these vents meet the roof. Any roof vent needs proper flashing and sealing to make sure they do not expose your attic to the outside elements.
Clogged or Malfunctioning Gutters
Issues with the gutters can contribute to attic mold growth because they prevent proper drainage of rainwater. When gutters become clogged with debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt, they cannot effectively direct water away from the roof and foundation of a house. This can lead to water seeping into the attic, creating a moist environment that is conducive to mold growth. Additionally, malfunctioning gutters that are not properly installed or maintained may allow water to overflow or leak into the attic, further increasing the chances of mold growth.
Lack of Regular Maintenance
Lack of regular attic maintenance and inspections can contribute to attic mold growth due to several factors. First, without regular inspections, any potential issues such as leaks or water damage in the attic may go unnoticed. Moisture is a key factor in mold growth. Any potential leaks or inadequate ventilation can create a damp environment that is perfect for mold to thrive. Additionally, without proper maintenance, any existing mold growth may not be addressed or treated. This allows it to spread and further contaminate the attic space. Regular inspections and maintenance, on the other hand, can help identify and address these issues promptly, preventing mold growth and ensuring a healthy environment in the attic.
What Should You Do To Protect Your Home?
Mold is hazardous to your health from exposure to high quantities over time. If you do not remove attic mold in a timely manner, it will encourage growth and spread throughout your home. This makes it crucial to fix anything that may lead to mold, and remove any discovered mold. Areas of your home like the attic are not easy for most home owners to monitor, therefore it is important to partner with experts.
Davis Roofing, an Arlington Heights roofing company, has been helping keep homes safe for over 70 years. Our experienced staff will provide you with a comprehensive inspection. We will identify any areas of risk or already compromised spaces and work with you on a plan to address the area/s. Please keep in mind that an inspection may not find any current areas of concern. However, it’s important to create a schedule to monitor your attic over years to make sure problems do not develop.
If we identify any mold, it is critical to take care of it quickly. Depending on how severe the case is, you will have different options to fix it. Because of how dangerous it is, you should not try to remove attic mold yourself. When you work with us, you can be rest easy that you will not have to worry about the dangers of mold. Contact us today to schedule your roof inspection.