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Tips for Preventing Mold in Your Attic

man in attic
Juice Verve/Shutterstock.com

While attic mold won’t usually cause health issues, it can bring an array of home improvement projects ranging from minor cleaning to roof repair. Attic mold means there is a moisture issue in the building and, when left untreated, can lead to structural deterioration. Mold staining can also turn off prospective homebuyers in the future, so it’s best to take care of it as soon as possible. These tips will help you prevent mold in the first place.

Repair Roof Leaks

Attic mold is most commonly caused by a moisture problem in the home and an unattended roof leak can mean an easy way for moisture to enter the attic. Keep an eye out for missing roof shingles or noticeable damage and contact a roofing contractor for any roof repairs.

Discolored rafters or stains inside may indicate moldy or rotten wood, which can be another sign of attic mold. Minor leaks can be fixed quickly and inexpensively, so it’s best to check often to make sure the damage doesn’t spread and turn into a major project.

Properly Ventilate Your Attic

Poor ventilation will quickly lead to high moisture and humidity in your attic, which is the perfect setting for mold to grow. When warm air rises in the home, it gets caught in the attic if there isn’t proper ventilation and forms condensation. This happens most often in the winter when hot air meets a cold roof.

Improve ventilation by ensuring no vents that blow into the attic can properly moderate the air and water blowing through. All ventilation should have a fan that properly circulates air and moisture. If your attic is not properly ventilated or you are having issues with moisture, contact a roofing expert to help you get it fixed.

Vent Appliances Outside

Part of proper ventilation is not only making sure there is adequate airflow around your home, but that moisture is not being directed to your attic. Many appliances, like clothes dryers and bathroom exhaust fans, release moisture into the air. If these appliances are vented into the attic, the high humidity will cause mold to grow. Make sure they’re properly vented outside of your home.

If you find that many appliances vent into your attic, call in a professional to help you reroute the ductwork. While you may be able to do it yourself, many people would benefit from professional help.

Malco DK6S Double-Sided Smooth and Serrated Duct Knife

This knife will help you cut through old ductwork if necessary when rerouting it away from your attic.

Improve Insulation

Proper attic insulation will help you avoid many house and roof repairs in the long term. Attics should have enough ventilation to stop warmer air from entering the cooler attic, which reduces the risk of condensation.

However, there should not be so much insulation that it blocks all airflow to the attic, as there needs to be enough ventilation for moisture to escape. It can be a tricky task to properly insulate an attic, so contact a housing or roofing contractor to make sure it’s done correctly.

Don’t Overstuff Your Attic

Filling your attic with stuff makes it harder to ventilate and regulate moisture.  If you must store things in your attic, leave enough space for proper airflow and ventilation. Attics are also a common place for pests to nest, so the less clutter there is, the better.

Many people use their attics as storage, and it may be impossible to find somewhere else to store your stuff. If that’s the case, consider decluttering your home and getting rid of the things you don’t need. If you do really need everything in your attic, keeping things organized will help avoid mold and pests.

Rubbermaid Roughneck️ Storage Totes 14 Gal

Keep your things safe and stored away.

Inspect Your Attic Regularly

Several times a year, perform a thorough inspection of your attic to look for mold growth, leaks, moisture, and other problems.  The sooner you catch a problem, the easier it will be to fix. Signs of mold include black or dark green spots, a musty smell, or discolored wood.

If you do find mold in your attic, you’ll need to clean it and make necessary repairs to prevent it from coming back.  Attic mold is a nuisance but, with proper care and attention, it can be prevented. If you do find mold in your attic, contact a professional to have it removed and make sure to fix the underlying moisture problem to prevent it from coming back.

Mold can be a serious issue, but it’s often easy to prevent. From ventilating your home to getting rid of clutter, these tips will help you avoid ever needing to deal with a mold problem.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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