What You Should Know About Mold in the Attic this Winter
If you’re a homeowner, you probably know that it’s a good idea to check on your attic periodically, especially during the summer. Poor ventilation can lead to a number of problems, one of which is mold. Intuitively, it makes sense to think that mold would be most common during the summer months because mold likes warm temperatures and high humidity. So during the winter months, it’s common for homeowners to worry less about mold, when in fact, mold is common in the cold winter months.
How does mold grow in the attic during the winter?
Because mold prefers warmth and moisture, it makes sense to think that winter should be the time when it grows the least or not at all. However, as you use the heat in your home during the winter, warm air and moisture naturally rise into the attic where it gets trapped if there is little to no ventilation.
When the warm, humid air meets the cold walls and roof of your attic, it condenses on the walls, ceilings, and floor. This provides the ideal habitat for mold to flourish.
What can you do to prevent mold growth in the winter?
The answer is the same in the winter as it is in every other season: ventilation. Ensuring proper ventilation in the attic is the best way to prevent mold growth. Proper ventilation pushes the warm and humid air that finds itself in the attic outside, replacing it with fresh, outdoor air. Therefore, proper ventilation equals no mold.
How to ventilate your attic for the winter and prevent mold growth
Insulation: Insulating the bottom floor of your attic well will serve as an additional between the warm, humid air in your home and the attic. If you find moisture and condensation when you’re inspecting the attic, try adding an extra foot of insulation.
Vents: Installing attic vents is a relatively simple and effective way to increase ventilation in the attic. Attic vents like soffit vents allow air to naturally circulate into and out of your attic so warm, moist air doesn’t get trapped.
Attic fan: An attic fan is the most effective solution to ensure proper ventilation in your attic. Attic fans actively circulate air in the attic by intaking outside air and pushing trapped air out. Check out wholehousefans.com’s attic fans here.
Bathroom exhaust fan: Make sure that your bathroom exhaust fan vents directly outside and not into your attic. Doing so will ensure the steamy, hot air from your bathroom doesn’t get into the attic and cause moisture and condensation buildup.
Inspect, Prevent and Destroy
Thoroughly inspect your attic for any existing mold colonies. Once mold takes hold, it can easily spread so it’s important to identify it and kill it as soon as possible.