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How Do I Remove Mold in My Attic?

by Matt Goering

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Mold and mildew problems in your home are no laughing matter. For starters, mold is an indicator of another serious problem: excess moisture. Whether it's a roof leak, poor attic ventilation, or moisture problems in other areas of the home (basements are common problem areas), excess moisture can cause a large array of building materials to warp, stain, crack, fail, and rot. Furthermore, once mold sets in, serious health concerns come into play. Exposure to black mold and mold spores can cause a handful of health problems, including respiratory problems, allergic reactions, skin, eye, and throat irritation, immune system diseases, and even cancer.

Hire a Mold Remediation Contractor
If you have a mold problem in your home, be it black mold, green mold, white mold, or any other color, your first step is to pick up the phone and call a mold remediation contractor. These specialists are licensed by the state you live in and educated in the safest, most efficient ways to eliminate mold from your home. Never try to tackle a mold problem by your lonesome. Mold remediation is a science, not a weekend home improvement project. Failure to call in the pros not only reduces your chances of getting rid of the mold, but it puts your health at risk, as well.

You Can't Remove Mold until You've Fixed Your Moisture Problem
Mold remediation starts with fixing the source of your moisture problem. If you're experiencing mold in your attic, then roof leaks or poor ventilation are your most likely causes. If you have mold problems elsewhere in the home, everything from leaking plumbing to a seeping foundation could be to blame. Whatever the cause of your moisture issue, you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. Your mold problem isn't going to go away until you've addressed it, and you also risk serious structural and aesthetic damage to your home if you choose to ignore the problem.

No More Moisture? Time to Remove Mold
Once your mold remediation contractor has identified and fixed the source of your moisture problem, they will then move on to removing the mold itself. The steps for mold remediation are the same, whether you're dealing with black mold, green mold, or another variety.

  • Seal off the area. Mold remediation always requires that you begin by sealing off the area with plastic sheeting and tape before you perform any work. This keeps potentially dangerous mold spores contained in the work area itself, instead of distributing the mold throughout the home.

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  • Wet vacuum. A wet vacuum will clean up any standing water and water soaked surfaces, as well as vacuum up mold itself. Never use a dry vacuum to remove mold, however, since a dry vacuum is the perfect vehicle for launching mold spores into the air.

  • Kill the mold using an approved fungicide applied with either a sprayer or fogger. Never use bleach, as it is ineffective at killing, or keeping away, mold problems.

  • Clean the area thoroughly. Clean the area using whatever means necessary. This may include scrubbing, scraping, cleaning up dust and debris with a HEPA vacuum, and even removing building materials, furniture, and anything else contaminated by mold. Any materials that are removed should be sealed in plastic bags and labeled before being disposed of.

  • Dry out the Area. Finally, be sure to dry out the area thoroughly by using fans, dehumidifiers, and father time. If you don't dry it out completely before doing restoration work, you're very likely to have mold resurface again shortly down the road.

    If you've got black mold, green mold, or any other type, call a mold remediation specialist as soon as possible. To find contractors that are pre-screened and guaranteed, consider trying HomeAdvisor for an honest referral. Remember, your home and your health are riding on it.

    Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.