What To Do About Moldy Attic Insulation


Mold generally can't grow on fiberglass insulation, but occasionally you may find mold stains when you are inspecting the attic. This is because either the roof above has become moldy and it is sifting down on top of the insulation, or there is dust on the insulation that is providing a habitat for mold growth. Regardless of the cause, this can indicate a major problem. The following guide can help you find the cause so that it can be fixed.

Possible causes

Mold grows because of moisture, so you will need to track down where the moisture is coming from. In the attic, the culprit is usually one of the following:

  • A roof leak. Even a small leak can allow dampness into the attic, which will then collect and lead to mold growth. You can typically determine if this is the cause by studying the roof sheathing from inside the attic. The leaky area will usually show more extensive mold growth and you may even see other signs of water damage, such as water stains on the wood or or even rotting boards.

  • Poor air circulation. This usually occurs when there are insufficient vents in the attic or if the vents have somehow become blocked so that air can no longer circulate. When this occurs, the natural humidity that makes its way into the attic becomes trapped, which results in mold growth on suitable surfaces. If this is the cause, there generally isn't any area of markedly increased mold growth so the growth is relatively evenly distributed.

Fixing the issue

Before you can tackle the mold, you will need to solve the moisture issue. If the problem is a leaky roof, the fix is simply having the roof repaired or replaced. You may also need to have the sheathing that was mold damaged replaced.

Air circulation issues may require a little more work. First, the existing attic vents need to be located and cleared so that the air can flow freely again. A mold remediation specialist may also recommend the addition of more vents, which can be installed by a general contractor or a roofer.

Cleaning up the insulation

Fortunately mold rarely causes deep damage to the insulation. In most cases the remediation specialist will simply vacuum the layer of spores off the surface of your insulation. Remediation efforts will instead be focused on cleaning the wooden surfaces inside the attic where mold can continue to grow.

There is one exception that can lead to a necessary insulation removal. Extensive leaks that have soaked the insulation through can be difficult to fix, since soaking wet insulation is difficult to dry quickly enough to prevent further moisture issues and mold growth in the attic. In this case, your remediation specialist may recommend removing and replacing the affected insulation.

Contact a mold remediation company like Atlantic Heating and Cooling for more help.


24 July 2016

Talking About Electric Heating Systems

Hi there, my name is Shelley. Welcome to my site about electric heating systems. Electric heat has recently fallen out of favor due to the efficiency of natural gas systems. Electric heat is still suitable for small buildings that do not need the high temps provided by upgraded systems. I will use this site to explore all of the building types that can benefit from electric heating systems. I will also share information about system components, installations and repairs. I welcome you to come by often to learn more about this exciting topic. Thanks for coming by. See you soon.