Attic Mold can be quite a problem in the NY, NJ and Ct. areas. Improper ventilation among other things is the usual cause.
Mold growth in attics, a common occurrence here in the Northeast, is a result of leaks and lack of adequate ventilation—both of which are preventable.
The most common cause is an improperly vented attic. The attic is designed to have air circulating through it. If it doesn’t as a result of poor design, too much insulation, or incompetence by the builder, problems arise. In the winter, for example, hot air escapes through the ceiling and into the attic. If this hot air is not vented properly, it will come in contact with the cool underside of the roofing and cause condensation. Consequently, you’ll see black mold growing around the roofing nails that protrude into the attic. The condensation then forms water droplets, which can drip onto the floor of the attic or sometimes run down the wall and into the cavities below resulting in “hidden “ mold, which can be the source of health problems.
The second most common cause is a leak in the roof. Homeowners should inspect their attics frequently to check for this. The third most common reason for attic mold is an improperly vented bathroom fan or dryer vent. If warm moist air gets into any area, the overall humidity rises and the chance of mold growth increases. Vents should always be directed outside. Once the mold has taken hold it will start to stain the roof sheeting black. Whether or not this is a toxic strain, any home inspector will call attention to it and stop the sale of a house. The insulation may also be affected and may need to be changed.
Treating the attic for mold should be a three-step procedure. First the attic is sealed off from the rest of the house. Then a hepa vacuum is used to remove the accumulated dust and debris. Second all of the trusses and sheeting are sprayed with a fungicide. We use Calbrite, which has a hydrogen peroxide base, is biodegradable and nontoxic, and has a faint odor that disappears when the product dries. Be aware that while some remediators use bleach, it’s a bad idea because it can penetrate the wood, yet it doesn’t kill the roots of the mold. Finally we use an ozone treatment to reach the nooks and crannies fungicides can’t get to. Ozone pumped into the attic at very high levels oxidizes the remaining mold spores, leaving the area mold-free and sanitized. If your Remediation expert does not use ozone and says he can pump heat into the attic to kill the mold,, look for another company. An attic’s temperature in summer can reach over 125 degrees, and if there is mold, it will thrive—high heat has no effect.