If you are in the process of purchasing a new home and have had a home inspection, chances are there were some hidden moisture problems and one of these could be in the attic. No one usually goes into an attic unless there is a need to service alarm systems, check on a leak, to access or install ducting for HVAC systems or some such reason. Every trip into the attic compresses insulation.
Mold in attics is a very common homeowner problem which of course can and should be cleaned up and professional treated with appropriate mold cleaning agents and removed by vacuum. This is NOT a DIY homeowner repair for a variety of reasons. Skilled and trained mold removal technicians will know how to properly control mold from entering the interior of the home…absolutely the first and most important step. Skilled mold technicians know how to set up a negative pressure system and prevent mold contamination of an uncontaminated area.
The reasons for mold in attic areas include but are not limited to:
- Inadequate or no ventilation in all areas of the attic
- Ducting from dryers or bathrooms venting directly into the attic
- Moisture then condenses on the cold roof sheeting allowing mold to grow
- Missing insulation allowing moisture laden air to condense on cold surfaces
- Cold water lines which can provide a cool condensing surface
No matter the cause or causes, repairs such as installing ridge vents, power ventilation, clearing blocked bird block vents, insulating cold pipes or installing more insulation need to be done to keep the problem from reoccurring. Often insulation in the attic is contaminated and needs to be removed before cleaning, HEPA vacuuming and mold remediation are done.
Many homeowners will have the contractor apply a non-pigmented durable mold resistant product which prevents mold from growing on the surface of the sheeting and framing. DO NOT go up there and spray bleach on the sheeting and use pigmented shellac and call it good. That is in fact BAD. Let a skilled and trained technician do the work properly.