Allowing moisture to build up inside your attic can lead to a wide range of problems later down the road. You may notice small black spots of mold forming on the insulation, boxes and even the framework in your attic. Large concentrations of this toxic black mold may cause allergies, respiratory infections and other alignments. In severe cases, excessive moisture can even lead to rot and decay, placing your home’s structural integrity at risk.
Unfortunately, attic moisture is a problem that often goes unnoticed due to the simple fact that most homeowners rarely access this part of their home. A typical homeowner may only access his or her attic a few times out of the year to store or remove their belongings. If they don’t notice a moisture problem during either of these trips, the problem may gradually continue to worsen over time.
Top Causes of Attic Moisture:
- Inadequate ventilation (attics must be vented to allow moist, warm air to escape).
- Clothes dryers venting air to the attic rather than outside.
- Air conditioner condensate pan not draining.
- Firewood being stored in the attic (firewood contains moisture that will evaporate into the surrounding atmosphere).
- Bathroom exhaust vans vented to the attic.
- Poor or non-existent barrier between your home’s living area and the attic.
Identifying Moisture In The Attic
Moisture in the attic is relatively easy for homeowners to identify, as it’s usually attributed to mold and mildew growth. If you believe moisture is a problem in your attic, go and inspect it for signs of mold and mildew. Small black and/or greenish-colored dots on insulation, boxes or other materials is a sign of an exceedingly high moisture content in the air. You can also identify moisture problems in the attic by the formation of condensation on windows and glass surfaces.
Drying Out a Wet Attic
Placing a dehumidifier inside the attic will help to draw out moisture from the surrounding environment. However, you’ll need to drain it frequently in order for it to function properly. Once the dehumidifier’s storage tank is full, it won’t be able to remove any more moisture.
Dehumidifiers are really just a temporary solution to attic moisture problems. Homeowners should focus on identifying and treating the root cause of the moisture. Whether it’s a lack of ventilation, gaps in the battier between living spaces and the attic, or any of the other causes mentioned above (or ones not mentioned here), you must fix these issues to create a dry attic.