Mold is a houseguest that overstays its welcome. While having mold in your attic might seem minor, the drawbacks can be severe. It can have very adverse health impacts such as respiratory issues, allergies, and migraines. Still, attic mold can cause structural damage by deteriorating wood in the roof sheathing, joists. Removing mold and repairing the damage can be expensive.
Mold likes to take hold under warm, moist conditions. But using regular insulation in your attic will not provide enough protection against mold as it should. There is an effective and low-cost way that works well for everyone. Enter blown-in attic insulation.
Getting the right amount of blown-in insulation can provide an effective solution to prevent mold growth in your attic and save money on heating and cooling costs. It is one of the most effective ways to meet energy conservation requirements and is suitable for new construction and existing homes.
But how does blown-in attic insulation keep away moisture and mold? Keep reading to learn more.
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Facts About Attic Mold
» Attic Mold Emanates from Water Problem
Simply put, a mold problem escalates from a moisture problem. The most common culprit for attic mold growth is insufficient or blocked ventilation.
Attics typically have a passive ventilation system where outside air flows into the attic through the soffit, warms the attic, and leaves through the vent at the top. Blocking the soffit vents compromises the ventilation system. Resultantly, warm and humid air accumulates in the attic and condenses along with the cold wood sheathing, leading to mold growth.
Another problem to watch out for is improper exhaustion of bathroom fans or kitchen exhaust fans. Terminating the fans in the attic will undoubtedly cause a moisture problem and subsequent mold growth.
Lastly, roof leaks cause localized mold growth in the attic.
» Attic Mold Can Spread Quickly Throughout Your Home
Mold grows in multicellular structures (hyphae) that produce microscopic spores. Spores from attic mold can travel in the air and quickly find their way into your living spaces.
The airborne spores pose a health risk for the occupants with allergies and other health conditions like asthma. Still, exposure to attic mold spores can trigger symptoms such as sore throat, sneezing, migraines, and coughing.
Many homeowners assume that any insulation will work when remodeling their attics. But as an experienced and trustworthy insulation contractor will tell you, picking the right insulation is as crucial as proper insulation installation.
Blown-In Insulation and Attic Mold
Blown-in insulation is the most preferred material for attic insulation. This type of insulation does an excellent job of sealing small gaps and spaces where cold air would otherwise flow through.
In summer, blown-in attic insulation prevents moisture accumulation, and in winter, it averts condensation, contributing to a dry environment that discourages mold growth.
There exist two types of blown-in insulation material for attics: cellulose and loose-fill fiberglass.
The most common blown-in insulation material on the market is cellulose, which is often the top choice for eco-minded homeowners. It is made from shredded, recycled paper products (newspapers or cardboard). Cellulose is chemically treated to resist fire and mold and offers an average thermal value of R-3.7 per inch.
Loose-fill fiberglass is a lightweight material made from molten glass that is spun into fibers. When sprayed into the attic, it offers an average thermal value of R-2.5 per inch—a bag of fiberglass blown-in insulation costs between $31 and $38.
Insulating is not good enough to convert your attic into a conditioned system that improves indoor comfort, lowers energy bills, and enhances energy efficiency in your home. To ensure peak performance, have a competent insulation contractor air seal your attic and adequately ventilate the attic roof. The vent fans, kitchen hood, and dryer vents are ducted to the exterior of your home.
The above improvements, combined with blown-in insulation, will not only prevent attic mold growth and moisture damage but will also help convert your home into a more comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient entity.
Removing Attic Mold
If your attic is already infested with old, the obvious course of action is for a contractor to remove the mold before installing blown-in insulation. The most cost-effective and popular method of attic mold removal is using powerful cleaning agents that kill the mold.
Another highly effective method is abrasive blasting, which involves blasting off the top layer of attic wood with soda ash or dry ice. Sandblasting the areas inside your attic increases the likelihood of mold spores spreading throughout the space. Power washing with water or other solutions can dampen attic insulation and other contents, accelerating attic mold problems.
If your old attic insulation has mold, chemical agents can help kill the mold, but they will not remove the mold spores or the discoloration. That is why insulation contractors opt to replace the affected insulation. If it is blown-in insulation, a contractor can vacuum off the affected top layer, leaving the bulk of the insulation behind.
Working in the attic can be dangerous for homeowners. A wrong step can send you falling through the ceiling. You are also likely to step on nails, hit your head on rafters, or even encounter nesting animals. Also, incorrectly performing the tasks will likely escalate the damage.
It is thus highly recommended that you leave attic mold removal and attic blown-in insulation installation to professionals. You enjoy the peace of mind that the job was done right, and you will restore comfort and healthy air in your home.
Stop Attic Mold and Save on Energy Bills with Blown-In Insulation
Having your attic professionally air sealed, ventilated, and insulated will help keep away mold and cut your energy bills by as much as 20%.
Get in touch with Conejo Valley Heating and Air Conditioning to restore habitability and safety in your home. We provide blown-in attic insulation services, including installation, maintenance, and attic insulation replacement to residents and businesses in Southern California. Call us today at 805-499-0448 to schedule a FREE attic insulation inspection or learn more about our attic insulation and other HVAC solutions.