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Attic Mould

Is your attic contaminated with mould?

One of the most common areas for mould amplification in homes occurs in the attic. There are many reasons for attic mould. Lack of adequate ventilation maybe a contributor factor, but may not be the only reason.

Improper building construction practices such as bathroom, kitchen or dryer extraction fans that terminate in the attic will overwhelm the attic with high levels moisture.

Even an attic that was constructed with proper ventilation systems would not be able to cope with excessive influx of hot humid air. Blocked soffits can also create a problem initially in a localized area, but as mould is a living, growing organism, over time, it will continue to grow and spread to larger areas away from the point source.

In other circumstance, there may be outdoor environmental factors that create problems in an attic. An attic with a north facing slope or a roof that is shaded by large trees can develop cold spots on the roof.

When the relative humidity in the attic rises the attic‘s air becomes moisture laden. At night, when the temperature drops and dew point is reached, water droplets condense on these cold spots. This moisture creates the perfect environment for mould to grow.

Once mould begins to grow, it can spread rapidly.

Next Steps:

  • Mould Inspection
  • Mould Remediation
  • Post-remediation certification (Mould Clearance certificates)

… More info on mould in your attic from the Mould Experts

Is dry or old mould a problem?

Q.

If there has been a mould problem in the attic, but it seems to have dried [i.e. small patches of dry mould] can we do an “visual” inspection to tell if there is a health hazard or does one have to inspect with a “mould detector” of some sort?

If you need to know if that stain or mark is mould, then the only way to do that is with microscopic analysis. The only way to ascertain the genus/species of mould is through microscopic examination, either through air sampling or bulk sampling and direct tape lift.

The criteria for determining environmental impact is based on both the genus of the mould and the size of the impacted area.
The second determination for impact is whether or not the mould spores in the attic has cross-contaminated the living areas of the home. This can only be determined by testing.

Dry mould is often times (depending on the genus) more toxic than live growing mould and the mould spores are more easily aerosolized than live mould. This Aerosolization of mould spores is what is measured on Air Samples.

Unless the attic contamination is “Major” or there are health issues with the occupants, a spot check can be done to determine the extent of the mould in the attic. The mould can be treated with an Oxidative Foam Treatment.

If you see staining in your attic or notice that the soffits are blocked or the ventilation fans terminate in you attic, you made require professional advice to assist you in making a decision as to what to do.