It’s a common assumption that attics are better protected against mold growth during the winter due to the lower humidity levels at this time of year. After all, common sense should tell you that lower humidity levels translate into less mold; however, the truth is that attic mold is more prevalent during the winter. To learn more about this phenomenon and how to prevent it, keep reading.
Fact: Heat Rises To The Attic
The reason why attic mold is more of a problem during the winter months is because homeowners and families typically use central heating, or space heaters, to warm their home. While most of this thermal warm remains on the ground level where family members can enjoy it, some will inevitably escape to the attic where it creates ideal breeding grounds for a wide variety of mold, including black mold. The warm, humid air travels upwards through the ceiling and into the attic; thus, resulting in rapid mold growth.
So, does this mean you should stop using your heater during the winter? Absolutely not, but you should take extra precautions to ensure your attic is properly ventilated. Allowing the warm air to simply travel up into your attic and sit will create a haven for mold. Attics need to have a proper ventilation system in place to push this air outside; otherwise, mold is practically guaranteed to grow.
Here are some tips for preventing attic mold during the winter:
- Insulate the bottom flooring of your attic well. If you can see moisture and condensation present, add another foot of insulation on the attic floor. This serves as a barrier of protection between the attic and moist, warm air inside your home.
- Identify and fix any leaks or visible cracks you notice.
- Make sure the bathroom exhaust fan is vented outside and NOT to your attic.
- Kill current mold.
- Invest in a dehumidifier to use in the attic.
What About Moisture on Attic Nails?
Have you noticed moisture developing on the tips of nails protruding in through the roof of your attic? No, this isn’t caused by a poor roofing job, but the moisture is likely coming from inside your home. Much like the scenario previously mentioned, the warm air rises from the core of your home up into your attic. And once it hits the cold nails holding your roof shingles in place, the air condenses and turns to moisture.