Getting rid of mold in the attic used to be one of the most “popular” concerns addressed by my clients after the home inspection. I’ve already covered why is black mold growing under the roof, and how to prevent or stop attic black mold from growing in my previous posts.
But before I explain the “typical” way of getting rid of mold, let me give you a little advice, something to consider before you sign a few (if you lucky) thousand dollars contract agreement with a mold remediation company.
Be cautious if they only suggest humidistat controlled power vent installation – without properly functioning soffit vents, any type of vents along the lower portion of the roof, or gable vents, this might not be an adequate solution.
Even if the roof replacement price is slightly higher than getting rid of mold with a traditional mold remediation process, it is still worth to take it under the consideration because you’re gaining a valuable house update (new roof), that will be disclosed on a real-estate listing.
In some cases, the roof decking and framing are contaminated, and decking replacement only would not entirely solve the problem. In such case, you’d have to clean mold contaminated joists and / or trusses.
This isn’t a black mold killing or mold cleaning case study, it is just an explanation based on my observations and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommendations.
Even if you’re dealing with a small mold contaminated attic area – 10′ x 10′ is the maximum area recommended by the EPA to be treated by non-professionals, forget about getting rid of mold / killing mold by spraying it with bleach or other disinfectants. It ‘s been confirmed by laboratory testing that they don’t kill all of the spores and in most cases you’ll be just making a mess.
The best way for getting rid of mold in the attic (black mold and any other mold) is to remove it from the surface it’s growing on, or remove the contaminated surface!
The following “getting rid of mold” / cleanup methods are recommended by EPA and all of them can be applied in the attic, assuming that it is a small area (up to 10 sq. feet).
You may or may not have any allergic reactions to the attic black mold. However, while getting rid of mold always use protective equipment, especially while working in the attic area where you are exposed to the insulation fibers and dust.
Also, as a minimum protection while getting rid of mold EPA recommends: Gloves, N-95 respirator and eye protection (preferably fully enclosed goggles). As an additional protection you can add half face respirator or full face respirator with HEPA filter, disposable full body clothing, head gear, and foot coverings.
I personally wouldn’t even attempt to do it myself, so my suggestion is:
Insist on removing the attic black mold completely instead of encapsulating it (Media Blasting methods give the best results). Encapsulation is simply a process of covering the mold contaminated surface with paint (paint like product) that contains (or at least some of them do) mold killing chemicals.
The video below explains getting rid of mold in the attic with soda blast mold remediation process, and you can immediately see the results of this procedure.
After properly getting rid of mold in your attic and having all of the issues responsible for black mold growth corrected, which is even more important than mold removing, it will not re-grow / no need for encapsulating.
Extremely important! - personally examine the attic (or have somebody you can trust do it for you) after getting rid of mold / performing mold cleaning procedures. I’m not exaggerating – I’ve seen several attics after “professionally performed remediation”, they either didn’t know the correct way of getting rid of mold in the attic or they didn’t care (close to $10000 price tag!).
After getting rid of mold the wood surfaces should be perfectly clean (like brand new), unless there was some rotting that resulted from leaking roof or extremely humid conditions in the attic – those sections of wood should be either replaced or reinforced from underneath. You don’t want anyone to fall through the roof while servicing it or just inspecting.
This concludes getting rid of mold in the attic & killing mold in contaminated attic but I highly recommend to go a little deeper into the “attic” subject by reading my other posts in “attic” category.
Search existing Q&A at: Attic Area Questions
This article was written by Dariusz Rudnicki
I'm a retired Illinois home inspector, founder and editor of checkthishouse.com, a blog which attracts around 2 thousand readers daily and is dedicated to answering the many questions of home owners and home buyers. Connect with me on Google+ Find me on Google+ Local