How to Prevent Mold in Your Home and Attic
What is Mold?
If you live in the Pacific Northwest you have most certainly run across mold. That is because mold is a fungus that flourishes in moisture-rich environments. As a fungus, mold plays a large role in breaking down dead organic matter. In most environments mold is a crucial part of any ecosystem. However, when mold starts accumulating indoors it can pose a serious problem both to an individual's health and the building's integrity.
What Causes Mold and Where is it Commonly Found?
Mold is most often found where there is excessive moisture. Moisture can be introduced in a home when outside water finds its way inside through leaking roofs, broken window seals, damaged siding, or other failure points on the building envelope. Moisture is also created inside the home from bathroom activities like showering, cooking in the kitchen, and laundry. Because mold is a fungus, it needs organic material to thrive. Indoors it is most often found on wood, paper, drywall, organic insulation, and fabrics. Mold commonly appears as black spots or hair-like accumulations in the bathroom, kitchen, around windows, and in the attic. Though mold can be found in other areas.
How to Prevent Mold?
Despite the prevalence of mold, it can be prevented indoors. The main indoor mold prevention method is moisture control. This can be done in a few different ways. In rooms that create moisture (like the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room) exhaust fans should be installed to move moisture out of the room itself. It is important that those fans exhaust out of the home and NOT into the attic space. The goal is to remove moisture from the home. Inspecting venerable parts of the building envelope (like windows and roof penetrations) will ensure that a leak is not forming undetected. Attic ventilation is important to keep moisture from building inside the attic, caused by varying temperatures inside the home versus outside the home. A well-ventilated attic will move air AND moisture out of the attic and prevent mold from forming. When it comes to prevention it all comes down to moisture control.
What Can Be Done if Mold has Already Formed?
So you found mold in your home, now what? Mold can be mitigated in most cases. Often removing the affected materials and applying a mold treatment will be enough to kill any existing mold. If you do find mold it is important to identify the root cause. Mold found in the attic is often associated with improperly hooked up exhaust vents, poor attic ventilation, or roof leaks. Mold found on the ceiling or even the upper portion of walls can also be caused by a roof leak. A qualified roofing contractor can help identify these issues and suggest potential solutions.
Home Improvements with Mold Prevention in Mind!
When it comes to home improvements, Valentine Roofing designs projects that will promote a healthy home with mold prevention in mind. From our installation methods to the products we choose, our projects all prioritize moisture control. Take a look at how we can help mitigate mold in your home.
At Valentine Roofing we prioritize quality materials and installation when it comes to your home. We understand that a new roof is more than just a roof, it's part of a system that promotes the health and protection of your entire home. Each product we choose is designed specifically for the Northwest environment. Each new roofing system incorporates an updated attic ventilation plan to keep warm and moist air from becoming trapped in the attic. Metal flashing and vents are used because they are long-lasting and do not break down prematurely to the roof.
Our window installation includes both a waterproof membrane at the opening as well as exterior grade sealant to keep water from finding its way into your home. We also utilize metal head flashings to protect the exterior trim from water, diverting water away from the opening. Every installation is designed to keep water where it belongs, outside your home. Old windows are often known for condensation which can lead to mold around the window sill and frame. Valentine Roofing installs new vinyl windows that contain stabilizing gas between the window panes and are engineered to prevent condensation (in most cases).
The attic insulation is a key component in moisture control for any Northwest home. Attic insulation acts as a barrier between the climate-controlled interior of a home and the environment outside the home, preventing condensation and effectively providing moisture control. Valentine Roofing installs loose-fill attic insulation that is non-organic, meaning it will help to prohibit mold growth. Each attic insulation install includes new baffles to keep the attic ventilation system working and prevent insulation from blocking key intake points. Our technician will also ensure that all exhaust ducts are properly hooked up to fans and vents to keep moist air from entering the attic from kitchens and bathrooms.
Roof repairs can be used to stop a leak or improve an attic ventilation system. Leak repairs often include the removal of water-damaged materials ultimately helping to prevent mold from growing on water-rich materials like plywood. Stopping water leaks as soon as you recognize them is an important step in mold prevention. Roof repairs can also help identify whether an attic has adequate ventilation or hook up bathroom fans to an exhaust vent that may be exhausting into an attic. If you notice mold around your windows or in your attic call Valentine Roofing today! We will provide you with a free estimate for a comprehensive home improvement project designed to help you stave off mold in your home.