How to Clean Mold in an Attic – 3 Methods You Can Use

Mold is one of those pesky little problems that don’t seem like a big deal until you start experiencing health issues.
Attics tend to be hot spots for mold spores because they’re mostly made of wood. The porous nature of wood is what makes it easy for mold to multiply.
When left untreated, mold can begin to destroy the structural components of your home, leaving you with extra costs and a lot of hassle to deal with.
The sooner you deal with mold, the better, and there are a few methods you can use.

How to Clean Mold in an Attic

Here are some of the strategies you can use to clear out the mold that’s growing in your attic.

Hire a Professional

Unless you have some time to kill, hiring a professional is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get rid of attic mold.
Not only can an expert get rid of all the mold in your attic, but they can also help you identify the root cause, ensuring it doesn’t return.
At Air Duct Charleston we have all the equipment we need to effectively clean your attic. We also only work with environmentally friendly products, limiting your exposure to unnecessary chemicals.

Create a Dish Soap & Vinegar Solution

If you’ve been wondering how to clean mold off wood in your attic, this solution can help.
Start by getting rid of any excess moisture using an old rag. Make sure that you’re using a new rag for each area that you wipe down. Doing so will prevent mold from spreading to other areas.

Next, mix a teaspoon of dish soap and a teaspoon of vinegar with warm water and add it to a spray bottle. Bleach is not recommended simply because it’s a harsh chemical and won’t be absorbed as well as vinegar.

Work in sections, spraying each section of wood with the solution before using a soft-bristled brush to scrub the mold off. Dry the surface with a clean cloth once you’re sure all the mold has been removed.

The final step is to turn on a fan or dehumidifier with all the windows and doors open to dry out your attic completely.

Switch Up Vinegar with Alcohol

If you would prefer to use a vinegar alternative, Isopropyl alcohol is a great option – you can purchase it at your local pharmacy. Isopropyl alcohol is similar to rubbing alcohol, which means it has excellent disinfectant properties.

Add the alcohol to your dish soap and warm water mixture, add it to a spray bottle, and follow the same process as mentioned above.

Safety Precautions for Attic Mold Removal

Mold might not look like much, but it’s incredibly harmful to your health. Before you attempt the DIY methods above, it’s important to take some safety precautions.
Keep the room well-ventilated. Before you start working, make sure all the windows and doors are open and that you have a fan switched on. Just make sure the spores cannot be blown into other areas of your home, including your air ducts.

Protect the rest of your attic. If there are areas of your attic that haven’t been affected by the mold, cover them with plastic sheeting and tape them down to keep them in place.
Keep your body protected. Mold is not something you want on your skin or your airways. Always wear safety goggles, gloves, and a mask. You should also be prepared to discard the clothing you wear on the day. This includes your shoes, so you may want to cover them with medical booties.

Throw away your cleaning tools. Once you’re done cleaning your attic, get rid of any rags, clothes, and brushes that you used during the process.

Signs You Have a Mold Problem in Your Attic

Before mold becomes a serious problem, you may not be able to tell that it’s there. Here are a few signs you can look out for to determine whether you need to disinfect your attic.
Dark stains or spots on the wood in your attic.

  • A hot and stuffy atmosphere.
  • A strong mildew smell.
  • A buildup of frost on your roof sheathing during the winter months.
  • Sunken or wet insulation.

If you notice any of these issues you should arrange for your attic to be cleaned, even if the mold is not noticeable yet.

The Most Common Causes of Attic Mold

At the end of the day, moisture is the main cause of mold, so if you live in an area that is particularly rainy or humid, there is a greater possibility of mold forming.
Some of the other reasons why mold may start to form include:

  • Poorly ventilated attics.
  • Openings in the attic ceiling and roof leaks.
  • Damaged insulation.
  • Appliances with poor ventilation that are housed in your attic.
  • Improperly installed rain gutters.

Preventing Mold After Cleaning

Once you’ve taken the time to rid your attic of mold, there are a few tactics you can use to prevent it from returning.
Check your ventilation. Along with ensuring there is adequate ventilation in your attic, you should also check that your rafter ventilation is not damaged or blocked.
Create a consistent temperature. To prevent condensation from collecting on the underside of your roof sheathing, make sure there is little to no difference between your exterior and interior temperature.

Seal off entry points. Any gaps in your attic that would allow moisture to seep through need to be sealed. This includes your plumbing, light fixtures, windows, fans, and even your attic hatch.

Maintain your roof. Regularly checking your roof for damage is one of the easiest ways to prevent mold from growing in your attic.
Check your insulation. Using the right insulation in your attic is another effective way to prevent mold.

Hot air should blow outwards. Any appliances in your home that blow out hot air should be set up to blow air outside of your home.

A Mold-Free Attic Equals a Safer Home

At Air Duct Charleston, we’ve seen the effects that severe mold growth can have on a home’s structural components as well as its occupants.
Addressing mold problems as soon as possible is one of the best things you can do for the value of your home as well as the health of your family.
If you would like professional assistance with attic cleaning, contact us today at 843-608-8042

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