If you own a home, you already know that mold is a serious consideration. Left to its own devices, this sneaky invader can cause problems with your physical health, your property value and your bank account. Most people look for mold in common places like the basement or bathrooms, where the presence of moisture can encourage mold growth.
There’s a lesser-known place where mold is known to cause problems: The attic. During warmer seasons, attics trap humidity and heat, leading to ideal conditions for mold growth. On top of that, many homeowners rarely visit the attic, meaning that mold growth can go unnoticed for weeks or even months before it’s discovered. The attic is also a common place to store cardboard boxes and stacks of old paper, all of which provide an ideal surface to nourish mold as it continues to grow.
So why not simply let it grow? Is mold in the attic really that much of a problem?
The answer is clearly yes. When mold develops in any area of the home, the chances of it spreading to other areas is much higher. There’s also the question of your HVAC systems, which can disperse mold spores throughout the air in your home. Breathing these spores can be highly detrimental to health.
Given these facts, the importance of controlling and eliminating mold in the attic is important to say the least. Here are some pro tips on preventing mold in your attic and overhead crawlspaces!
Check for mold often
By conducting regular checks for signs of attic mold, you’ll be able to discover and treat mold problems while they’re still minor. Waiting too long can result in big problems. Many homeowners go months without visiting the attic, which gives mold plenty of time and space to grow unchecked. Learn how to recognize signs of mold, and upgrade your storage (e.g. old magazines in covered plastic bins) to stay ahead of the curve. If you think you may have mold in your attic, but you’re not entirely sure, it may be worth a phone call to your local mold remediation specialist.
Clean the attic regularly
Attics are often in disarray and full of old, musty items. Mold loves these conditions and will be able to grow easily. Take a few hours every season to clean up your attic, sweep, dust, and remove unneeded items that may attract mold. Pay special attention to porous materials like cardboard, paper and softer varieties of wood. Let in as much light as possible and open windows for ventilation when you can. These simple cleaning measures will go a long way toward keeping your attic mold free.
If you happen to discover signs of mold growth in your attic, be methodical about any cleanup measures you undertake. It’s common for people to scrub and clean mold without getting to the root of the problem. In most cases, items will be present that effectively cannot be cleaned and must be thrown away. Mold also tends to grow in unseen areas—so if you notice it out in the open, the problem may be bigger than you think. A mold cleanup specialist will be able to shed light on the extent of the problem if you aren’t sure.
Consider your attic’s construction and ventilation
Some attics are more conducive to mold growth due to bad insulation, cheap drywall and other construction-related concerns. Poor ventilation can also be an issue. Many homeowners find that a preventative call to a local mold specialist helps identity any unique risks and establish an effective mold prevention strategy.
Beating mold in your attic
Keeping mold out of your attic is a question of understanding how and why mold tends to grow there. When your attic is clean, clutter-free and well ventilated, mold will have a much more difficult time setting up shop.
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