How much does attic mold removal cost? That’s what most people ask, but the answer is not that simple. Costs for attic mold removal depend on the extent of the damage and what underlying problems caused the damage in the first place. Any company who gives you numbers before they inspect your home has a preconceived idea of what they ‘think’ the problem is. What you really need is a comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection.
A comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection (like ours) is very different from simply handing over a price. Imagine if your mechanic told you how much it would cost to fix your car without looking under the hood? Would you trust him (or her)? Getting a price for mold remediation without paying for a comprehensive mold inspection is a lot like that. Spending a few hundred dollars on a comprehensive mold inspection is money well spent, since a few hundred now could save you thousands in the long run.
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WHERE DID THE ATTIC MOLD COME FROM?
Molds grow from microscopic spores that are everywhere in the air. Molds are found everywhere in nature, including your attic, and are important for recycling organic matter (such as leaves). The recycling process they perform returns nutrients to the soil and is important for plants to grow.
Attics have all the things mold needs to grow: food (drywall, cardboard boxes, wood, leather goods, etc.), oxygen, the right temperature, and moisture.
Molds grow inside of their food sources. They penetrate deeply into wood, insulation, drywall, carpets, underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, etc. Anything with carbohydrates in it could be considered a food source for molds.
Moisture is the one thing you can reasonably control when it comes to mold. A dry home equals a home with less mold growth. Keeping areas dry, especially areas that use water frequently (like bathrooms), is important to prevent mold growth.
Humidity higher than 60% gives mold a perfect environment in which to grow. The good news is you can prevent attic mold from causing problems. Controlling moisture levels stops mold growth in its tracks.
How Fast Do Molds Grow?
Once enough moisture is present, molds can begin to grow in less than 48 hours! Water from leaks, condensation, and poor ventilation can cause a ticking mold time bomb. Time is not on your side! Keep reading to learn what to do next.
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CAUSES OF ATTIC MOLD?
Have you been up in your attic lately? Most people never venture into this part of their homes. Attics can easily be infested with mold for 2 primary reasons – poor ventilation and roof leaks.
One of the most common causes of mold in the attic is a leaking roof. To check for possible roof leaks, look for discoloration of insulation and wood including: the rafters, sheathing, joists, fascia boards, roof valleys, skylights, chimneys, windows, flashings, and the like. While you’re up there, make sure there are no leaks around attic plumbing stacks or air conditioners. If you have a vapor barrier, check for condensation. You may also be able to smell it. Mold has a distinctive musty odor that has been compared to stinky gym socks or a wet dog kind of smell.
Roof penetrations are one of the most likely places to find leaks. At least twice a year, roofs should be checked for leaks. Check that caulking and flashing are secure and in good shape. Repair missing or loose shingles, damage from limbs and remove any moss. While you are on the roof (or your chosen repair technician is), be sure to inspect the chimney for loose bricks, or boards. Also, check that the flashing is secure, and that no water is passing through it. Be sure a chimney cap is installed and working properly.
Because air travels upward toward the attic, household activities such as cooking, bathing and showering will produce moisture. Attic mold is often caused by the buildup of moisture that can not escape. One easy way to tell if you have excessive moisture in the attic is to look at the nails. If they are rusted, you most likely have moisture and ventilation problems. Black spots and discoloration can also signify a leak and mean trouble.
For more information about water damage check out our post: Water Damage Mold -Top 10 Tips from the Experts.
Why Proper Attic Ventilation is Important
Proper roof ventilation is very important in keeping your attic dry and mold free. Most homes have a passive system to circulate air through the attic. Around the ridge of your roof are soffit or eave vents that allow external air to enter the attic. This air then warms up in the attic, and leaves through can or ridge vents because heat rises. The process of air moving through the attic creates a well ventilated space, and prevents moisture and heat from being trapped.
However, when air is unable to enter or leave the attic, moisture and heat build up and encourage mold growth. If the soffit or eave vents are blocked (by paint for example), fresh air cannot enter the space. If the ridge vents or can vents are blocked (or not present), moisture and heat can build up in the space with nowhere to go.
We have visited homes with mold and moisture problems where there were no ridge or can vents and others where there were soffit or eave vents were blocked. Never assume these things are in place and working properly! Be sure to include checking these vents as part of your regularly scheduled home maintenance routine.
Other Types of Improper Ventilation
Other types of improper ventilation can also cause moisture problems. Improper ventilation of bathroom fans or dryer vents into the attic space can increase moisture and heat in the attic. Yes, we have seen these problems in real customer’s homes, and we have helped fix them! Our customers know we go above and beyond to find the problem and be sure it is corrected.
WHAT SHOULD THE MOLD INSPECTION PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
Whether you are located in our service area (Oconee, Clarke, Barrow, Walton, Green, Morgan, Jackson, Oglethorpe, and Madison County, Georgia) or not, we want everyone to know what mold removal should look like. The company you choose should offer a comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection that you pay for, not hand over a price without truly investigating the problem.
The primary reason you want to pay for a comprehensive inspection is the time and resources that go into the inspection. Some of our competitors offer “free” inspections, which basically means that the inspector shows up and hands over a price to fix a symptom, without truly knowing the nature of the problem.
Our process is far different. In addition to the questions we ask over the phone, once we arrive we ask many more. We treat every inspection like an investigation, and we’re on the case.
- Did you paint recently?
- How is your health?
- Any new furniture?
- Have you had any remodeling done?
Answers to these types of questions get us closer to solving the problem at hand, and help us to know where to look.
Next, the real investigation begins. We’ll then crawl under the house, poke around, and take moisture and relative humidity readings in affected areas, unaffected areas, and outdoors for the best possible points of reference.
Sometimes the mold problem can be easily diagnosed and repaired, like a pipe leaking under the house, but other times we don’t see mold at all. Because the root of the problem is beyond the obvious, we need to think outside the box. No company that offers a free mold inspection will be going to great lengths to determine the true causes of your attic mold problem.
WILL INSURANCE COVER ATTIC MOLD REMOVAL COSTS?
Well, yes and no. If you have a catastrophic event, such as a tree fall, and the mold grows as a result, then it might be covered. It depends on your individual insurance policy. Preventable mold growth, such as growth caused by a slow water leak, is normally not covered by homeowners insurance. Insurance companies expect you to take care of your own property, that includes: keeping your roof in good shape, preventing leaks in the roof and plumbing, checking your basement or crawl space regularly, properly ventilating the bathroom, etc.
So, for example, if you have mold forming in your bathroom, and you or your family members are sick as a result, it will probably not be covered by your homeowners insurance. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to fix the problem! Mold is not something you want in your home!
ATTIC MOLD REMOVAL COSTS – IS ATTIC MOLD DANGEROUS TO MY HEALTH?
Mold is an insidious, invisible predator in your home. It hides in places no one ever thinks to look like under cabinets, in crawl spaces, attics, and behind furniture. People may spend weeks, months, and even years fighting illness, and never know what they are really fighting…mold. Many of our customers find us after a recommendation from their doctor, that they may in fact have a mold problem, and not just an illness.
Mold is most often associated with allergies, but mold is much more menacing than people know. While all molds have the potential to cause irritation and allergy symptoms, molds can also cause much more dangerous health problems including: fungal poisoning and mental health problems.
WE’RE HERE WHEN YOU NEED US
Call Branch Environmental. We’re experts not only at mold removal, but at determining and remediating the underlying causes. From hidden mold sources to major contaminants, we can identify exactly what is going on in your home and rid it of environmental toxins, often for good.