Removing mold from your attic can be done via several methods. Please keep in mind that I do not advocate you do this by yourself ie: DIY.
Not because I want you to call me so my company can make money, but due to the fact that this work is very dangerous. So dangerous, it can kill you if you aren’t careful. More on that later in the article. With that important safety disclaimer out of the way and before I discuss the different mold removal methods, I want to go over the “proper protocol” you should follow if you want to do this right.
How to identify the cause of the mold growth
If you have a leak, then it is kind of fruitless to try to remove the mold because it will just quickly grow again. So the first goal is to identify the cause and fix it.
Mold is normally caused by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Poor ventilation
- High humidity
- Roof Leaks
- Plumbing leaks
The most common cause of mold in the attic is poor ventilation which then leads to excess humidity. What happens is the heat from your home naturally rises into your attic throughout the day, and when this warm air collides with the cold air of the attic space, it creates moisture and humidity which if left unchecked, leads to mold growth.
You can check your attic space for excess moisture visually by looking at the walls and beams to see if there is any water drops/sweating occurring and if some of the nails look like they have excessive rust. You can also use a handheld humidity sensor device.
If you have excess humidity, you may also have ventilation problem caused by improper venting from your kitchen, and bathroom fans or due to faulty and or inadequate venting to the outside of the structure. Roof leaks and plumbing leaks may also be the cause. This is much easier to spot. You are going to be looking for obvious signs of past and or current water leaks, stains, and areas where there is excessive mold growth.
What you need to safely check your attic
In order to locate the problem, you will need to first see inside your attic. If you have adequate access in your attic to walk around, I recommend you do just that. But please be careful! You do not want to go up there without a good mold mask, safety goggles, boots, and a high powered flashlight. You can easily fall through the ceiling if you take a wrong step or if you are simply not in great physical shape or have good balance. A fall from this height can result in serious injury and even death so it is not something you want to take lightly. Every year, hundreds of people die in the U.S. from similar falls. When in doubt, call a professional like me who can do an inspection or your attic for you.
What are the different mold removal methods?
There are several ways to remove mold from your attic. Some are in my opinion better than other methods and some cheaper and or more expensive. Just remember that cheaper and expensive does not always mean better and safer.
Here are the top methods I recommend in order.
* Spraying with an antimicrobial
* Fogging with an antimicrobial
* HEPA Vacuuming
* HEPA Filtering
* Wire brushing
* Power Sanding
* Soda blasting
* Dry ice and walnut shell
* Removing the infected wood
In a perfect world, removing the wood would be my #1 choice but the reality is that it becomes just too expensive and dangerous to accomplish do this in a cost-effective manner. That is why I first advocate using a combination of methods for killing and remediating the mold. You can do this by either spraying or fogging with a safe and all-natural antimicrobial like we use at Mold Safe Solutions and also using a wire brush, sanding, encapsulating and a commercial HEPA filter.
How much does it cost to remove mold from the attic?
Estimates can range anywhere from $500 on the extremely low end to as high as $5,000-$50,000 depending on the type and size of the property and also the scope of the problem and company you use. For example, if you have a smaller suburban 3 bedroom – 1600 square foot home, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 on the low end to $5,000 on the higher end depending on how bad the problem is. If you have a larger 4-5 bedroom – 2,500-3,500 square foot home, you can expect to pay a minimum $3,000 on the low end to $10,000 or higher.
Naturally, if you have a larger commercial property with a lot of square footage and mold, then these price estimate ranges will be on the high end.