Mold is the number one enemy of a home, all the way from the crawl space to the attic. Mold wreaks havoc on wood and insulation in these areas. However, mold would never grow in your home if moisture couldn’t get in. The problem is that it’s nearly impossible to keep moisture out, no matter how well you think areas are sealed. The solution, then, is proper ventilation, since this supplies air movement that can dry up moisture before mold growth begins.
You know you have a moisture problem if you explore your attic (or any other part of your home) and find rotted wood, bubbled paint on your home’s exterior, warped shingles, wet insulation or visible mold growth. The best way to get rid of these problems is to have a home performance contractor inspect the space and take remedial action. Then, to prevent the problem from happening again, ensure proper ventilation.
Ventilating the attic is fairly simple. Proper ventilation requires a place for the air to enter and another place higher up for the air to rise and exit the space. To accomplish this, you should install vents at roof eaves, also known as soffits. These vents draw air in but are only effective if they remain uncovered by attic insulation. Then, a ridge vent along the top of the roof allows the air to rise and escape, drying moisture on its way through the attic. You can boost proper ventilation even further by installing an attic fan to actively draw air through the space.
As for other parts of your home, good ventilation strategies are essential to preventing moisture from sticking around long enough to encourage mold growth. This can include natural ventilation when the outside temperatures allow it (opening windows and doors), an effective strategy for preventing air leaks in your home, or a mechanical ventilation system. As for your crawl space, speak with a contractor about the best strategy for preventing mold growth there.
For more information about proper ventilation for attics and crawl spaces, please contact Ernst Heating & Cooling. We proudly serve the Metro-East area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about proper ventilation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
|Air vent image via Shutterstock|