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Old 03-18-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
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Attic Mold


Hey guys, new to the forum.

So I took a peak up in my attic yesterday and noticed I have quite a bit of attic mold. I remember hearing from an old timer that one solution to removing it was to leave a bunch of buckets of bleach up there. Of course you would do this when going away for a weekend, and after you have fixed the problem that was causing the mold in the first place.

If you had attic mold how did you clean it up.

I am planning on installing adding insulation and putting a attic vent up.

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Old 03-18-2011, 07:48 PM   #2
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Bleach will kill the mold, but before you worry about that, you need to address the cause. In my experience, an improperly routed bathroom exhaust fan is the number one cause, followed by lack of air sealing.

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Old 03-18-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
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I will have to check that out. I believe it was being caused by the lack of insulation. I think the previous owner only put r-11 up there. I live in Upstate, NY and know that I need a ton more. I just need to get up there and install it before next season. In regards to the ridge vent, how is it able to operate if there is a ton of snow on the roof?
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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Lack of insulation in itself will not cause mold (although it sounds as though you DO need more). Air-sealing will effectively eliminate any moisture in the attic, assuming that there are not other issues, such as an exhaust fan like I mentioned.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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I guess I was wondering if a ridge vent is limited if you have a foot of snow on the roof? I have soffit vents and a ridge vent but dont know how that combination would work in a very snowy region. Seems like a side vent would be a better option to get the airflow moving in the attic?
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:33 PM   #6
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Regular box vents are even more susceptible to snow cover, as the very peak of the roof will be the warmest, and with a little help from gravity, does not retain snow cover for long. Even so, snow does not prevent airflow anyway.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:27 PM   #7
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Soap and water is safer than Bleach, and will do a better job cleaning it up.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:05 PM   #8
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There was an episode of Holmes on Homes where the sheathing in the attic of a house was covered in mold. Mike had a company come in with a sand blaster to remove it. But they didn't use sand, they used dry ice and it removed all of the mold.

I don't know if that would work for you, but it may be an option.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:23 PM   #9
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Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhizando View Post
Hey guys, new to the forum.

So I took a peak up in my attic yesterday and noticed I have quite a bit of attic mold. I remember hearing from an old timer that one solution to removing it was to leave a bunch of buckets of bleach up there. Of course you would do this when going away for a weekend, and after you have fixed the problem that was causing the mold in the first place.

If you had attic mold how did you clean it up.

I am planning on installing adding insulation and putting a attic vent up.
There are many methods of killing mold.
The least expensive method is 50/50 bleach/water fine spray.
This method is good if you have adequate ventilation.
Other chemicals are available in Home Depo or Lowes.

The key to healthy attic space is really the ventilation.
You do not want to vent anything inside the attic as it will
add moisture level and aid in mold growth.
More of insulation and ventilation is a good thing. More the better.
There are minimum ventilation/insulation standards based on your
attic size, never a maximum. You need to protect ceiling light boxes
if installed. I use sheet metal pipes around them.

If soffit vents are not pratical, gable vents(if gabled roof) with
a power fan on the warmer side(South of West facing) is better.
The key is to flow the air out of the attic.

The most desirable method(passive vents only) is the soffit to
ridge type of ventilation. Again, more/larger the better. Make
sure to install insulation baffles to prevent blockage. Box type
vents with proper flashing are expensive by effective on
certain hip styled roofs. Installed on the warm side as long as
soffit vents are available.

Let me know what type of roof/attic you have.
What year was you home built?

Last edited by Oldeye; 03-19-2011 at 05:57 AM. Reason: Not complete before sending.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:13 AM   #11
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You do NOT want to use a 50/50 bleach mix. 10% bleach is plenty to kill mold. More than that justs creates a dangerous breathing environment (chloroform compound gases are not your friend).
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:35 PM   #12
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Attic Mold


I had/have the same issue. I've done a 1 part bleach to 3 parts water solution in a pump sprayer. I had a pretty nice mask, but even then the fumes were pretty bad.

The cause of mold in my case was an improperly vented attic. The soffit vents were completely covered by insulation. I installed new vents, and cleared them out (I would recommend using the foam or plastic rafter vents used to keep air flowing near the soffits), I also installed ridge vent. Haven't been up to check it all, but like mentioned, make sure NO exhaust fans are vented, insulate properly (probably R-45 in NY) and vent properly. Problem sovled.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:55 PM   #13
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You most certainly can have too much ventilation and it is a bad thing. Too much ventilation can pull conditioned air out of the home and some vents can be actually pulling air into the attic, along with rain or snow or dust.

There are certified people that can identify, contain, and remove mold.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
You do NOT want to use a 50/50 bleach mix. 10% bleach is plenty to kill mold. More than that justs creates a dangerous breathing environment (chloroform compound gases are not your friend).
I have had relatively safe results using this mix.
Attic, in most cases, is an exterior space.
I am assuming that the mold is growing on the sheathing
surface and that the sheating is rated plyboard.

Obviousely, you have different types of attic spaces
where this method will not be safe.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJW View Post
You most certainly can have too much ventilation and it is a bad thing. Too much ventilation can pull conditioned air out of the home and some vents can be actually pulling air into the attic, along with rain or snow or dust.

There are certified people that can identify, contain, and remove mold.

The only way you will get into trouble with too much attic ventilation
is if you installed them incorrectly and you have compromised air seal
from down below(the conditioned space). Attic is an exterior spaceand you don't want to use it for something else. The primary purpose of attic ventilation is to remove moisture and less blockage is better. I am assuming proper ratio of intake and exhaust sizing and protection from being blown off, etc. There are no parameters for maximum ventilation. Only the minimum or the ideal sizing.

I am a certified mold inspector as well as ASHI certified home inspector.
I have done approximately 4,000 home inspections. Not as many mold
inspections, though, about 500 or so.

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