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Chesapeake Roofers: Article About Preventing Mold Growth

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Mold spores are essentially everywhere, and it can be problematic when the ideal conditions for growth are present within a home. There are several spaces in which mold tends to grow, so homeowners should be particularly attentive to these areas. Attics often represent a prime area in which this issue can become challenging, but proactive homeowners who understand the importance of proper ventilation and insulation are much more likely to prevent damage to the roofing components.

In terms of encouraging mold growth, insufficient attic ventilation represents one of the most common causes encountered by Chesapeake roofers. Imbalances in intake and exhaust can lead to the extremely hot and humid conditions necessary to stimulate mold growth. When left unchecked, extensive growth can occur quickly and will begin to degrade the roof sheathing, joists and other wooden components that are exposed in the attic. Since mold removal is exceptionally difficult when dealing with porous materials, prevention is essential.

Balanced attic ventilation is achieved by equalizing the intake and exhaust systems. Intake systems are most frequently located in the soffit, while exhaust vents are typically installed as close as possible to the roof's peak.

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Air should be pulled into the attic naturally by the intake system while pushing any stale air out of the attic through the exhaust. This constant flow of air ensures that superheated air does not remain in the attic and lead to mold growth, so homeowners should make sure their ventilation is functioning optimally.

Blocking the intake system is a common error made by homeowners. Insulation is the most frequent culprit, as homeowners mistakenly cover the soffit intake with insulation while they attempt to completely cover the attic floor. This is an understandable error, and it can be corrected through the use of rafter vents, which allow insulation materials to extend all the way to the roof's edge while enabling air to continue to flow freely from the soffit vents.

While warm conditions caused by ventilation issues certainly contribute to the growth of mold, moisture is also a necessity. Even minor roof leaks can lead to ideal growth conditions, and the mold may begin to grow in an unseen area before it spreads elsewhere. It is for this reason that any roof leak should be corrected immediately, though mold is not the only problem caused by a leak. Water damage can lead to wood rot that destroys the structural integrity of the entire roof, so homeowners should be vigilant when it comes to preventing moisture and warm air from entering the attic.

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