Do these pictures look similar to what you have found in your attic?
Unfortunately, if you have said yes, you should know that you are not alone. 10% of the requests for mould removal services we receive are related to some type of attic mould problem. Before we discuss a solution it is important to understand and determine what caused the attic mould problem in the first place.
There are several common problems that can be identified that can cause extensive moisture to occur in your attic, this also will allow mould to develop and grow in your attic.
- Ventilation Problems (The number one cause)
- Poorly installed or insufficient insulation
- Incorrect venting of bath fans and dryers
Planning for and making repairs to prevent the attic mould from returning are an important step in the mould removal process. While this initial process of conducting deficiency identification and rectification with qualified consultants will cost you more as compared to the solutions other firms will recommend to you, it will save you a great deal of money and prevent you from unnecessarily wasting your hard earned money. GMS has a network of multi-disciplined experts providing distinct services in all matters relating to residential, commercial, industrial and institutional mould assessment and remediation. We draw our expertise from an extensive network of consultants including architects, engineers, building scientists, specialized contractors, lawyers, quantity surveyors, construction experts, testing laboratories and medical practitioners.
Attic Ventilation Problems
Attic ventilation requirements are usually specified in local building codes, and in many cases these requirements are followed during new house construction. Ridge vents, soffit vents, or gable vents are some of the methods used to provide for attic ventilation. There are also power ventilators that can be installed to supplement poor ventilation. Proper attic ventilation requires air to move in an upward direction of travel. The problems occur when insulation is stuffed into the soffit area closing off the vents, The ridge vent is installed, but the roof was never cut sufficiently to allow proper air flow to occur, or incorrect vents are installed that permit air to flow, but do not remove the air from top to bottom such as installing gable style vents and ridge vents without soffit venting. These ventilation problems allow for insufficient air flow. During the winter months heat rises from your living space into the attic space causing a warm on cold condition to occur that results in condensation on roof rafters or trusses and the roof sheathing material. When the temperature is extremely cold you may even find ice or icicles in your attic. This leads to the next problem.
Poorly Installed or Insufficient Attic Insulation
Insufficient insulation allows excess warm air to travel upwards into the attic, instead of being kept in your living space, this not only allows condensation to occur, but dramatically affects your energy cost. In the summer months just the opposite can occur, and you may even have condensation that occurs in the living spaces near the ceiling areas. Building codes provide the proper type and R value necessary to reduce this heat loss. The old saying “That more is not always better” is the next problem, many times homeowners will have additional insulation added, unfortunately this can turn an attic that had good ventilation into one that now has poor or no ventilation. Typically when this situation occurs the insulation whether it be blown in or batted is fitted incorrectly and shuts off the vents located in the soffit area of the house. Many times even the vent chutes used to allow air to flow into the attic are crushed or completely covered rendering them useless.
Incorrect Venting of Bath Fans and Dryers
This problem should be very self explanatory, hot steamy air is pumped into the attic causing an excess moisture problem. Many times home owners don’t even know that these item are not vented correctly. They should be vented through the gable end or out through the roof. We commonly see these vents stuffed out near the soffit area, occasionally this works, but more then likely the hot steamy air never makes it to the outdoors.
Attic Mould Removal
GMS can effectively clean and remove the mould from your attic, unfortunately there is no miracle method. Attic mould removal can involve a multiple step process depending on the severity of the contamination. HEPA Vacuuming, Mechanical Abrasive Cleaning, Dry Ice Blasting, and or post remediation treatment of antimicrobial products are a few of the methods that may be used. This can only be done by physically getting up and into the attic. Typically GMS will set up a negative air flow to mitigate possible cross contamination to the living spaces, this may be done using existing attic vents or by extending a flexible duct from the attic to a window on the floor below. Carpets and floors are protected under attic access openings and if necessary depending on the location in your home, full access containment is installed around the attic opening.
When selecting a consultant or contractor for your attic mould removal project do not be duped by miracle fogging, magic bombing and or sensational paints or encapsulants. While these methods may sound great and are inexpensive they do nothing to address the moisture intrusion / penetration deficiencies within your attic nor do they address the removal of the actual mould growing within the attic. Do not mask the problem; find a solution.
To discuss your project or for a free quotation and consultation please call or email us today. Technicians are standing by.