Countless homeowners around the end of the year make the annual visit to the attic to collect the holiday decorations and winter clothes and find spots and blotches covering the bottom of the roof sheathing. Upon further inspection these spots turn out to be none other than mold in atticspaces not only in your home but your neighbors and many others! So what does energy conservation have to do with mold in atticspaces? Let’s consider how the house behaves as an entire system, and we will find that they are often directly related.
Mold requires continual moisture to form and to thrive, so sources of moisture must be present. Could the moisture have possibly come from outdoors? Perhaps the moisture came from indoors? Well, during the heating season, the interior of the house frequently has high moisture levels, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. If an interior check shows that all bathroom fans, kitchen vents, etc. are properly ducted completely outdoors and not into the attic and the amount of insulation is sufficient and the attic is well ventilated then this should not be the problem. Air leaks are the leading source of energy loss in most houses, and a frequent source of chronic moisture that can cause mold in atticspaces. Most homeowners are well aware of air leaks around windows and doors (especially old ones), but many overlook the numerous gaps leading directly into the attic and therefore the perfect culprit for the growth of mold in atticspaces!
Take a longer look for those Halloween decorations next time and observe all of the holes near light fixtures, windows, in floorboards, and other places in the attic. These holes are letting warm air from your heating in the main rooms of the house up to condense on the cold walls, floors, etc resulting in mold in attic crevices, floorboards, near fixtures, and other places. Seal up these holes and not only will you see less mold but perhaps save yourself some green on the winter bills.