Real Estate

How To Clean Attic Mold, Kill It Or Maybe Forget About Attic Mold Removal: It Might Be Cheaper

Home attic mold is one of the most “popular” items on my property inspection reports. And now it’s time for an explanation of how to kill mold and/or how to clean mold in the attic. But before you do that, let me give you a little advice, something to consider before signing a contract agreement for a few (if you’re lucky) thousand dollars with a mold remediation company.

TIP for mold removal in the attic: an alternative (to consider):

Let’s say you’re in the middle of a real estate transaction, and the home inspector has just revealed to you that the entire attic of your house is contaminated with mold.

If you have a new roof, you can only blame yourself or try to blame the roofing contractor for not checking the attic before replacing the roof (he’ll laugh at you unless you actually asked the guy to check the attic before ceiling). replacing). If you have an older roof, the importance of this tip is even greater.

Call at least 2 or 3 mold remediation companies for an estimate – specify to the representatives that you not only want the mold remediated but also have the attic vent fixed/installed if needed/ask if it is Attic insulation needs to be replaced.

With the numbers of the mold removal contractors, call 2 or 3 roofing contractors and ask them for a quote on the cost of replacing the roof, including deck boards/plywood (ask the roofer to check the attic area) , improving attic ventilation and insulation if necessary. necessary.

Beware if they only suggest installing humidistat-controlled electric vents; without properly working soffit vents or any type of vents along the underside of the roof, this might not be a suitable solution.

If attic insulation replacement is not required (in most cases you won’t be able to tell without laboratory testing), make sure it is sealed with plastic sheeting before you replace the roof and deck. Fold the foil that seals its contents after removing the contaminated pallet and dispose of as normal waste (EPA recommendation).

If you only have a small area of ​​your attic contaminated with mold, the roof replacement option would be more expensive. But with an entire attic in need of mold remediation, it might be cheaper (or even much cheaper) to remove all of the contaminated roofing, install a whole new roof, and fix any ventilation problems.

I have seen bills of $3,000.00 – $10,000.00 for attic mold remediation on approximately 1000 square feet of attic area.

Benefits of Roof/Deck Replacement over Mold Removal:

  • Roof and deck replacement can be less expensive than cleaning an entire attic contaminated with mold.
  • the mold that kills real estate transactions is gone
  • attic ventilation upgrade is much easier during roof replacement and often handled without significant/additional cost
  • the buyer gets a new roof

Even if the roof replacement price is a little higher than the mold remediation process, it’s still worth considering because you’re getting a valuable home upgrade (new roof), which will be disclosed on a real estate listing.

In some cases, the roof deck and frame are contaminated, and replacing the deck alone would not completely solve the problem. In such a case, you would have to clean contaminated beams or trusses.

How to kill mold and how to clean mold in the attic.

This is not a case study of mold removal or cleanup, it is just an explanation based on my observations and recommendations from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Even if it’s a small contaminated attic area — 10′ x 10′ is the maximum area recommended by the EPA for non-professionals to treat — forget killing mold by spraying it with bleach or other disinfectants. It has been confirmed by laboratory tests that it does not kill all spores and in most cases you will just be making a mess.

The best way to kill attic mold (just like any other mold) is to remove it from the surface it is growing on or remove the contaminated surface.

The EPA recommends four mold cleanup methods, all of which can be applied to the attic, assuming it’s a small area (up to 10 square feet).

  1. You can clean the surface with a wet vacuum, the kind that can partially fill the tank with water to contain mold residue from the contaminated surface.
  2. Clean the surface with a damp sponge or cloth; use clean water or wood cleaner
  3. Use a high-efficiency HEPA vacuum on completely dry surfaces and dispose of collected contents in well-sealed plastic bags.
  4. Remove all contaminated material, seal in plastic and dispose of as regular waste. They recommend using a HEPA vacuum after this, but in the attic you’ll most likely have to remove the floor insulation (if it’s contaminated). You can also cover the insulation with a plastic sheet and fold the sheet sealing its contents after the cleaning process.

You may or may not have allergic reactions to mold. However, always wear protective gear, especially in the attic area where you are exposed to insulation fibers and dust.

As minimum protection during the mold removal procedure, the EPA recommends: Gloves, N-95 respirator, and eye protection (preferably fully enclosed goggles). For additional protection, you can add a half-face respirator or full-face respirator with a HEPA filter, disposable full-body clothing, headgear, and foot coverings.

How to clean mold if a large part or an entire attic is contaminated

Personally, I wouldn’t even try to do it myself, so my suggestion is:

Use a professional mold removal company:

  • check your history and check it manually by calling your customers
  • ask for customers who had attic mold remediated about 1 year ago; it usually takes a winter for mold to start growing again if the job is not fully completed
  • Insist on removing the mold completely rather than encapsulating it (media blasting methods give the best results).
  • encapsulation it is simply a process of covering the mold-contaminated surface with paint (a product similar to paint) that contains (or at least some of them contain) chemicals that kill mold

If attic mold is removed properly and all the issues responsible for its growth are corrected, which is even more important than mold removal, it will not grow back or need to be encapsulated.

  • Hire a different contractor for mold testing and mold repair to eliminate conflict of interest.
  • Be sure to perform an independent clearance test after the mold removal process is complete.
  • clearance test is to determine if mold spores remain in the previously contaminated area

extremely important – Examine the attic (or have someone do it for you) after the mold cleanup procedure is complete.

All wood surfaces (framing and decking) should be perfectly clean (like new), unless there is some decay as a result of roof leaks or extremely damp conditions in the attic; those wooden sections need to be replaced or reinforced from below. You don’t want anyone falling through the roof while you’re repairing or just inspecting it.

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