If you've had mold in your living space, you can take sensible steps like running a dehumidifier to make the space less friendly to moisture-loving mold. But the same steps may not work in the attic space, so if you're hoping to prevent a recurrence of roof or insulation mold in your attic, you'll need to take into consideration the unique needs and characteristics of that space.
Here are three steps you can take to prevent a recurrence of attic mold after a mold cleanup.
1. Get a Roof Ventilation Upgrade
When your roof doesn't have sufficient ventilation, it can more easily accumulate condensation on the underside of the roof deck, leading to water damage and a mold-happy environment. Hiring an experienced roofing contractor to help inspect and upgrade your ventilation can make a huge difference in this tendency.
You may need a ventilation upgrade even if your roof technically has the required amount of ventilation space for the amount of square footage. The required amount is intended to be considered a minimum for adequate ventilation function, and you can get increased ventilation function by adding more.
Existing vents may not to function adequately for several other possible reasons, such as:
- Attic floor insulation blocking soffit vents
- Bird or rodent nests in the eaves blocking the vents
- Termite-proof mesh, which is so dense it could hamper airflow slightly
- Unbalanced ventilation; more ventilation at ridges than at soffits can create a short circuit effect
An experienced contractor can help you root out these and any other possible causes of inadequate vent function before deciding if you need to add or enlarge vents.
2. Boost Attic Floor and Duct Insulation
One of the reasons for attic insulation is to save you money on energy that would otherwise escape from your living space. An even more critical reason, though, is to keep the warm air out of your attic so it won't enhance condensation problems and encourage mold and rot on your roof deck.
Your attic may already have a typical layer of insulation, but there's no reason why you shouldn't bulk it up with an additional layer. You should also check to make sure that any ducts taking moist air to the roof (typically from the kitchen fan and bathroom fan) are well-insulated so they don't leak warmth into the attic and are airtight so they don't leak moist air into the attic.
3. Seal Air Gaps in the Attic Floor
Actual air gaps can be even worse than low insulation levels because they can allow not just warmth, but also moisture into the attic. You can look for these air gaps in places such as:
- Around light fixtures hanging from the ceilings below
- Around ductwork from kitchen, bathroom, and other vents
- Around holes designed to allow wires through
These holes in the ceiling are called attic bypasses, and together they can create a large area of open space between your attic and your living area. These are often small gaps, which you can fill with spray foam insulation (excluding things like chimneys and furnace flues, which can be a fire hazard if insulation is too close).
You can fill in larger gaps with fiberglass insulation batts. Or, to be on the safe side, you can hire an experienced contractor who can help you find all the bypasses hiding under your attic insulation and plug them safely.
These three steps can help you make sure that your attic environment is conducive to roof health and not likely to encourage regrowth of mold.
If you have any more questions about mold restoration and prevention or if you need help dealing with mold and water damage in your home, get in touch with ANR Restoration Inc. today and let us know what your difficulties are, and we'll be only too happy to help.