Many people in Michigan experience mold, and a lot of times it can occur in an attic space. So what exactly is the cause of this? First of all, there is a link between ice damming, condensation, and mold.
Winter is here and the temperatures are starting to drop. We are in for a long, cold, and snowy winter, so the main concern here will be ice damming. One of the major issues that are a direct cause of ice damming is condensation in the attic. Condensation is the result of the mixing of both hot and cooler air, which will cause water in the air to cool and collect. In most cases, this will show up as frost in the attic.
A large concern with moisture in the attic is that it can lead to mold growth, which has the possibility to affect your health, as well as the structural integrity of your home and its building materials.
Here are the four key causes of condensation in the attic:
1) Lack of air flow throughout the attic
2) Not enough insulation surrounding ducts; this is also the most common reason that water enters through a bathroom or exhaust fan
3) Water or snow getting in through gooseneck flashing on the roof.
4) Snow covered vents; when the snow is covering the vents it does not allow the attic to exhaust effectively.
If you have these following issues, then chances are you may have some condensation issues:
1) Staining on your ceiling
2) Condensation on your interior walls or ceiling
3) Water entering through a bathroom fan or kitchen/ microwave hood
If you’ve noticed one or more of these signs, then your best bet is to locate the leak and determine the cause which is best left to the professionals unless you have experience in this field.
So how do you know if you have mold? Well, once the cause is properly identified, the next step is to determine whether or not you have a mold issue. Mold is the recycler of nature, and it will only continue to grow and thrive when there is moisture present. The condensation in your attic, heat and humidity from household activities, and the fact that an attic is wooden all provides an excellent food source for mold. The only thing that this fungus needs to grow is 24-48 hours in the right conditions, and it will continue to grow and multiply.
The best way to determine if you do have mold is to contact a professional for a mold inspection and air quality test. During their inspection, tape or swab samples of suspected of mold may be taken and sent to a micro-biology lab where the strain and scope of mold will be determine. Once this has all been figured out the professionals will provide you with an estimate of services and a plan to thoroughly remediate your attic of mold.
If you do have mold in your attic, one of the best methods to deal with it is Dry Ice Blasting. The key component to this is dry ice pellets which are created by taking liquid carbon dioxide from a storage tank and expanding it at ambient pressure to produce snow which is compressed to make hard pellets.
This is a process where a blasting gun fires dry ice particles about the size of rice at very high speeds to impact and clean the surface thoroughly. When the dry ice hits the surface, it goes from a solid state ot a gas state without passing through the liquid phase.