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When Bringing the Decorations Down from the Attic, Watch for Mold

When Bringing the Decorations Down from the Attic, Watch for Mold - Image 1

That’s right, there is a decorating season in America.  In the US it is estimated that people spend approximately $7 billion on decorations for Halloween and Christmas. Yes, that is billion with a B! Although people are obviously buying new decorations ever year, many people save their favorite decorations to be used year in and year out. These decorations must be stored somewhere in the off season. For many people the best storage area is in their attic. Going up and down to get to the attic at this time of the year may be annoying (especially for our knees) but it gives us a unique opportunity to see if there is something troubling in our homes. When going up and down the attic stairs we should be asking ourselves, is there anything besides decorations in the attic?
For many the attic is the perfect place for decorations. It is out of the way but will keep inflatable pumpkins and plastic Santas safe from the elements until they are needed again the next year. The problem is not all attics are safe. Besides being a good place for storage, attics can be a great place for mold growth. An attic’s relatively high humidity, poor ventilation, and in many cases insufficient insulation, can create a situation where mold can grow easily and quickly. Attic mold can cause significant health issues, reduce your home's value, and impair its structure.

When you are looking for your decorations in the attic take a moment to inspect the area around you. Do you see black discoloration or other colored spots on any of the organic building materials like the wood rafters? Mold thrives on damp wood. When you pick up the decorations do they feel moist? Moisture is necessary for mold growth. You should also take a moment to smell the air in your attic. Does it smell musty or like wet newspapers? Mold is often difficult to smell but in some instances it is a very pronounced foul or musty smell.

If you know you have mold, or even suspect that you do, we at Mold Solutions by Cowleys can help! One of the newest technologies that we utilize is called Mold Abatement Polymer Solutions, or MAPS. MAPS is a two-part microbial defense system to eliminate mold in the attic and prevent mold spores from returning. When used by an expert MAPS is relatively quick; in most situations the job is done in one day. Unlike some other programs, there is no toxic mold residue or dust left behind when the technician in finished. Because the technology is non-destructive and done so quickly, MAPS is considered to be extremely cost effective.

Once your mold is abated by a MAPS system it is a good time to discuss options for keeping your attic mold free in the future. Condensation is often the reason we find mold in attics.  Attic condensation is often caused by warm air leakage from the furnace or through the ceiling. If in fact, condensation was a major contributor to your mold problem you may want to look into attic insulation services.

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