Advanced Mold Testing and Mold Remediation Services

Certified Mold Remediation...Black Mold Removal

Serving the Southern New Hampshire Area

1-888-449-6653

                                       Certified Mold Remediators - Current Remediation Reg. Lic. # 167724

                                                                                                                                          


                   Attic Mold Remediation - Black Mold Removal


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Simple Strategies For Understanding &

 Correcting Attic Mold

 

                               Attic mold is extremely common in our Northern climate.

                                Attic Mold growth is generally directly attributable to 4 basic causes.

 

                            1) Lack of adequate ventilation or improper ventilation

                             2) Existing, or past roof, or roof flashing leaks.

                                   3)  Improperly exhausted bathroom fans, and or, dryer vents.

                            4) Ice damming as a result of inadequate insulation, and or,

                                failure to incorporate enough "Ice Shield Membrane along the eaves.

                      

                    By far the most common cause of all attic mold is improper ventilation.   

Attic Mold Pictures

     These attic mold photos are from some recent mold remediation jobs we have performed during April and May of 2012.  As you can see, the mold types and severity vary from one attic to another. We were able to restore all of these attic ceilings to mold-free and clean looking wood.

Attic Ceiling Mold - Newton MA     Black Attic Mold - Attic Ceiling Franklin MA     Attic Ceiling Mold           White aspergillus mold photo from attic Danvers MA 4/2012

Aspergillus Mold Growth - Attic Ceiling Beverly MA     Attic Ceiling Mold Growth - Aspergillus Mold Billerica MA     Attic Ceiling Mold - Lowell MA  5/2012     Attic Ceiling Mold in Chelmsford MA  5/2012     Attic Ceiling Mold -penicillium mold Scituate MA

Attic Ceiling Mold - Aspergillus Mold Growth - Andover MA     Aspergillus Mold Growth on Attic Ceiling     Attic Mold on Rafters Billerica MA     Cladosporium Mold on Attic Ceiling Sheathing Concord MA     Aspergillus mold on Attic Sheathing Beverly MA

Attic Ceiling Mold Cambridge MA  5/2012    Attic Ceiling Mold Boston MA 5/2012    Attic Ceiling Mold Picture - Aspergillus and Cladosporium Gloucester MA   

 

       We'll briefly discuss each problem and the appropriate remedy as well as covering the basic mold remediation strategies recommended for the Massachusetts area.

 

Let’s start by explaining that in most attics the mold does NOT grow in the summertime. This is because during the spring, summer and early fall months the daytime temperature of the attic is far to warm for the mold to effectively grow and the humidity levels inside the attic are typically too low to allow mold growth. Most mold will only grow between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Some molds that belong to a special class of mold ( the ones usually affecting northern climate attics) called the Chrysophile molds will grow in temperatures as low as the 20’s. Cladosporium is a black mold that we commonly find growing on damp attic ceiling sheathing. Another common attic mold is aspergillus. Its usually found growing in poorly ventilated attics on the ceiling joists.

 

 

 

HOW THE MOLD GROWS

 

During the winter months when we heat our homes, some of the heat is inevitably lost into the un-heated attic space. This hot air mass then moves upward where it will dissipate outside if the attic is properly vented.

 

If however the attic is poorly vented the hot trapped air will encounter the cold surface of the underside of the roofing boards or sheathing. This hot –air- meets- cold-surface results in dew-point being achieved. This dew-point created condensation and is often more noticeable on the nails as the nails are more efficient at conducting the cold temperature from outside. The condensation then forms water droplets which can drip onto the floor of the attic, or worse, sometimes run down into the wall cavities below resulting in potentially “hidden “ mold which can be the source of frustrating to diagnose health problems.

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Attic Ceiling Mold with Frosted Nails in Winter 

Attic Ceiling Mold With Frosted Nail Heads in the Winter

 

Often a roof will have sufficient roof ventilation (ridge vent), but the soffits (eaves) are not vented. Even more common is when a house receives new siding. The siding contractor will install vented soffit panels. This gives the eaves the appearance of being vented, when in reality they are not, as no holes were ever cut into the plywood covering the bottom of the eaves. Sometimes the attic is ventilated properly, but an overzealous attempt to insulate has blocked the air flow from the soffits to the ridge preventing proper ventilation. An easy way to check whether or not the vents are there, or are functioning properly, is to go up into the attic on a sunny day, extinguish all lights and look for daylight coming in along the edges. A well ventilated attic should allow visible daylight in along the edges.

 

 

 

What is the best way to vent the roof?

 

Roof ventilation is divided into two categories: Incoming air and Outgoing air.

 

Incoming Air: The most effective way for air to enter the roof is through vents that are placed in the soffits along the eves. Continuous strip vents provide the most reliable ports as well as rectangular vents (if enough are installed). Round ventilator plugs are easy to install but are usually to small to provide adequate air flow.

Outgoing air: Stale or heated air escapes through the top of the roof. There are many ways to achieve sufficient ventilation including : Ridge Vents , Turbines or Powered Vents, Box Vents and Gable End Vents.

Continuous ridge vents are the preferred method for eliminating built up hot air but may not be sufficient to ventilate short ridged roofs like hip roofs.

Ventilating heated attics or cathedral ceilings properly is often neglected during initial construction. This often results in ceiling drywall growing mold on the back side when the builder fails to vent and baffle the area behind the ceiling insulation and drywall.

Roof leaks always need to be addressed by a professional roofer and special attention needs to be paid to flashings around chimneys and indeed any penetration found in the roof decking. Flashings often require maintenance between roof shingling jobs and are extremely important to maintain. Roof leak can often develop into festering mold problems both in the attic cavity or worse, inside of hidden wall cavities in the home.

Ice Damming occurs along the eves immediately above the plate-line of the exterior walls. Leakage in this area easily penetrates into wall cavities where it can become trapped between exterior finish materials and interior vapor barriers. A surprisingly small amount of water can raise the relative humidity of a wall cavity to damaging levels. Mold growth may eventually become visible along the wall base as it penetrates from exterior to interior wall surfaces. More critically spore and VOCs (Volitile Organic Compounds) released by mold can aggravate serious health problems in the house's occupants. Especially at risk are the very young and the old as well as allergy –sensitive or immuno-compromised adults.

In some mild cases ventilation corrections are enough to cure the problem in severe cases the roof shingles must be removed and an ice dam membrane material (Grace is top rated) installed along the lower eves to prevent damming. It should run 6 feet up from the eaves. On a very shallow pitch roof the ice dam membrane should run the entire length from the eaves to the ridge vent. In severe cases mold growth can spread into the exterior walls.  The drywall and wall insulation would then need to be professionally removed and disposed of and mold remediation performed.

Improperly vented bathroom fans: Bathroom fans and dryer vents can generate a lot of moisture. They should always be vented directly up and out through the roof. Often times builders or do it yourselfers will discharge fans or dryer discharges directly into the attic, greatly increasing the overall humidity. Do-it-yourselfers often try to connect more than one fan into a discharge and will commonly run the discharge out to the eves or soffits rather than straight up and out through the roof. The remedy is simple one fan one roof vent directly vertically up through the roof overhead. On the outside the vent has a hat and is not a risk for water leaks. Remember, the soffit vents are air intakes. Venting a bathroom or dryer through a soffit vent will allow some of the moist air to get drawn right back into the attic.

 

 

Attic Mold Remediation Treatments

 

Unfortunately there are as many “treatments” for mold as there are remediators out in the real world offering “mold remediation”.  Mold spores can grow at alarming rates. Under ideal conditions, one mold spore can develop into 12 million in twelve hours!

 

Also, the mold is feeding on the attic ceiling sheathing and ceiling joists and what you can see with the naked eye are millions and millions of them clumped together. What you can’t see are the “roots”, the mold organism itself. The roots of mold (hyphae) can grow into the substrate 3/16 of an inch or deeper. What we think of as the mold (the clumped spores) are actually the fruit or reproductive body, like an apple on a apple tree. You cannot hope to solve a mold problem leaving these roots and treating only the surface of the wood.

 

Common problem: Treating mold growth on a porous surface, such as wood, with bleach. Bleach has an ion structure that prevents it from penetrating into a porous substrate like wood, this means it leaves the roots un-harmed. This technique leaves the complete root structure intact and guarantees that if you ever have a new water leak, or moisture continuing to condense on the attic ceiling, the mold will go right into full production and the mold problem will immediately return.

 

              

       

 Our Mold Remediation System

 

Phase 1 -  Prepping the Home
The first thing we do is site preparation. We isolate the attic from the rest of the house. We'll install an air scrubber machine. We put down protective covering through the walkways of the house leading to where we will be working. This important step protects your home, and guarantees no staining or dirt is carried into the carpets in the home. Your house is important to us we will treat you as if we were working on our own house!

Phase 2 -  Killing the surface mold growth
We apply a moldicide/cleaner/disinfectant/sanitizer to the attic ceiling and joists that was specifically formulated for mold remediation and will kill all types of attic mold.

Phase 3 - Removing the Mold Stains - Getting Rid of the Evidence
This is absolutely a must. While mold stains are truly only cosmetic in nature, failure to remove the stains will result in untrained eyes (home inspectors ) believing that the mold is still active. Removing the stains is the least important step scientifically, but it is the MOST IMPORTANT step perceptually.

Phase 4 - Kill the Roots, This will keep it from coming right back!
Borate application to the Attic Sheathing and Joists:
We actually impregnate the attic ceiling wood with an environmentally friendly solution from the mineral family.
  This is made from an extremely finely ground mineral salt specially designed for dissolving. It’s a cousin to the old fashioned 20 mule team Borax we use in our laundry.  This product is absolutely amazing. It's designed to penetrate deep into the substrate (mold roots commonly grow 3/16's of an inch into the wood) and kill the roots of the mold.  It not only prevents all hosts of decay and fungi, but it also prevents wood boring insects such as; carpenter ants, powder post beetles and termites.

Phase 5 - Application of an anti-microbial sealer
This is also sometimes referred to as an encapsulent sealer. These coatings come either as a clear, or a white tinted sealer. Many people mistakenly apply a white paint coating like Kills, instead of a proper anti-microbial sealer. I've seen many properties where the mold is re-growing right on the white paint coating. A high quality anti-microbial sealer should also be applied if there is any chance of the ventilation corrections not being adequate to properly vent the home's moisture out of the attic, or if, the home has higher than normal basement or upstairs moisture levels.

Note: It doesn't matter if ventilation corrections are done before, or soon after mold remediation is completed.  But, ventilation corrections must be done before the cold weather returns. In Massachusetts that means in October, before Halloween.

 

 

Long Extended Warranties

Advanced Mold Remediation warranties average from 7 to 10 years.

 

 

How long does it take?

Typically we can complete an attic project in 1-2 days...Two days if we're applying a sealer. The work for an attic is typically done by a three man crew, who work exclusively on attic and crawlspace mold problems day in and day out, week in and week out. They are highly trained and very efficient.

 

How Much Does it Cost ?????

 

The prices that are currently being charged by other companies can vary significantly. Average attic remediation costs industry wide vary from 2500 to 6000. Our rates average between $2000 - $3900 with a 10 year warranty.

There are always contractors who will tell homeowners that their entire roof needs replacement after going through an extensive remediation and routinely charge tens of thousands of dollars for projects that could be handled for a few.

These companies want to tell you to replace your entire roof (boards and all), and these estimates often range anywhere from 10 grand to 30 grand, and routinely don't even solve the problem. Here's why: What happens is a roofing company advertises mold removal, not understanding all the causes of mold removal, nor some of the solutions available today to remediate mold without removing the attic ceiling sheathing.  They see mold as a good way to land a big job to unsuspecting homeowners, and don't realize that nearly always the mold is caused by ventilation problems inside the attic and not on the roof. Even though any good roofer should understand an attic should have proper intake (soffit) vents, and proper exhaust vents (ridge or box). They tell the homeowner they should replace an entire roof and then often will re-install improper ventilation or won't correct things like a bathroom ceiling vent improperly venting into the attic.

 

     

Our process is far more effective and contains more steps than our competitors. We offer long extended warrantees to protect both your home and your wallet.

 

 

 

Advanced Mold Detection Services

 

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