Your attic is probably one of the least frequently visited parts of your home. Unless you have some finished space in your attic, you may only visit it a couple of times a year. Because of this, you are more likely to have mold in your attic without even realizing it. It may be a good idea to schedule some visits to your attic to inspect the nooks and crannies and stay vigilant for signs of mold in your attic.
Why is the attic a perfect spot for mold overgrowth? Mold doesn’t need light to grow. It needs excess moisture or humidity and air, as well as organic matter to grow on (like wood or drywall). Many attics are less climate-controlled than the rest of your home and can be hot and humid during the summer months. In the winter months, mold can go dormant for long periods of time and wait for better conditions to return.
If you head up to your attic to look for signs of mold, what should you look for?
- Colored spots in shapes or patterns: Mold comes in many colors, including yellow, orange, white, pink and the dreaded black (though there are different kinds of black and gray mold). It often grows in patterns which can be easier to spot.
- Signs of excess moisture or leaks: If you have had problems with your roof or plumbing issues in your attic, it is a good idea to thoroughly check the space for mold. Roof vents can get blocked, keeping humid air stuck within the attic. If your insulation is sagging or failing, it can also be a sign of a bigger moisture issue.
- Musty odors: Mold has a distinctive smell, which is often described as a wet newspaper smell. While attic spaces can smell stale, if you notice a change in the odor, definitely check it out.
- Health symptoms: Often, the first sign of mold in your home is the health of the people who live there. Common issues are sore throats, itchy or watery eyes, coughing, fatigue and congestion that lingers for weeks.