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Mold can often be apparent in many areas of your home, however, there is one place it can build up that most homeowners do not often check: the attic.  Silently growing toxic attic mold can spread through the air of your entire home and, in the worst cases, cause otherwise unexplained colds or flus.  Regular inspection for attic mold is important. 

Early formations of mold can appear as a light powdery coating or skin in small splotches or speckles in one of many colors – white, green, brown, or black – on the surface of your attic’s wood or insulation.  In whatever form it appears, mold forms in damp environments where condensation forms, and not from roof leaks. Most roof leaks drip into the living area of your home, and as such, are typically noticed and fixed immediately. Rather, attic mold growth from condensation occurs when the air in the attic is 100% saturated and cannot hold any additional water molecules.  When this happens, condensation forms on anything that is less saturated, such as the house’s roof framing.

If attic mold and condensation does not come from roof leaks, where does it come from?  Sometimes it comes from a poorly sealed ceiling when there is excessive moisture from the living space below the attic, such as steam from the kitchen, or hot showers in the bathroom.  It can also be caused by insufficient ventilation in the attic, such as improperly installed ventilation components that allow air from the home to be vented into the attic instead of outside.  In either case, the warm, moist air condenses on the cold roof sheathing, creating the perfect condition for mold growth. These air leaks also make your home less energy efficient, putting more strain on your home’s furnace or air conditioning.

Attic inspections are just one of many aspects of a home inspection with Building Insights. And, don’t forget to regularly inspect your attic after you’ve moved in to catch mold growth early, improve air quality, and keep your home energy efficient!

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