Mold in the attic for a home sale. Remediated the mold and the house was sold.
New roof put in home and a discovery of mold and lack of insulation found.
Extremely under insulated attic, added can light covers and air sealed before blowing in Trusoft cellulose insulation
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TCI Home Services is the local expert for mold treatment, mold removal, attic insulation, and a broad range of other attic services that are guaranteed to make your home more comfortable and efficient.
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The homeowner explained that he had remodeled his bathroom and noticed when he went to install new lights into the ceiling, that the roof sheathing was covered in mold growth and the roof decking was frozen. The roof deck was frozen at the time of inspection in the winter and water droplets were on a majority of the roofing nails. Mold growth was present on the roof sheathing and the trusses within the attic. The problem were caused by lack of intake ventilation from the soffits because they were covered with insulation and the attic floor had not been air sealed. The homeowner chose to have the problem fixed because he was planning on staying in the home forever and wanted to make sure that the home living space was healthy and that no further damage would happen to his roof deck. The homeowner's biggest concern with the problem was that the mold growth was in his home and he did not want his family living in the home with a potential health concerns.
The homeowner chose our company because we were referred to him by a previous customer of ours who was also his friend. We had a detailed explanation during the inspection with the homeowner which built trust that we would be the right company to fix his problems within the attic and also provide him with an opportunity to save money on his utility bills. Our solution was to remove all the insulation from the attic floor, remove the insulation that was blocking the soffits, install baffles into the soffit's to insure proper air flow, remediate mold in the attic, air seal all the penetrations on the attic floor (Ex. top plates, wire penetrations) cover the can light with a rockwool can light cover, air seal and insulate the scuttle cover, and reinsulate the attic floor with cellulose insulation to R60. During the installation process we did face the challenge of a low pitch roof which made moving around the attic a bit difficult especially when removing the insulation in the eave. We used a combination of products to achieve our end results. We used Mold X2 products, DuroVent baffles, SilverGlo foam board and weather-stripping, ZypFoam, TiteShell can light covers and TruSoft Cellulose Insulation. The homeowner now has a clean healthy attic that has been properly air sealed and insulated to the maximum recommended insulation R-value for energy efficiency in Zone 5 of Michigan.
The Homeowner explained that he had no insulation in his attic and it hasn't been a concern for the 20+ years living there, but has decided to do some renovations to the home in case he decides to sell. The home was not energy efficient and his rooms under the attic floor did not keep a constant temperature while the HVAC was running. The problem was caused by not having any insulation on the attic floor. The homeowner chose to have the problem fixed because he was getting his home updated in case he decided to sell the home. He also wanted to save more on his energy consumption/bill. The homeowners biggest concern with the problem was that he was spending more on energy than he should have.
The homeowner chose our company because we talked with him at a home show event and he liked that fact that we blew cellulose instead of fiberglass insulation. Our solution was to air seal his attic floor, blow in R60 cellulose and install an air sealed and insulated hatch cover to increase his energy efficiency. During the insulation process the attic contained a few personal items that belong to the previous homeowner that we had to remove through the hatch. We used SilverGlo, ZypFoam, Durovent Baffles and TruSoft Cellulose Insulation. The homeowner now has an energy efficient attic and the rooms below the attic floor are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
The homeowner had called us out because he had a home inspection done for a home sale and mold was found in the attic. He had also explained that it was hot upstairs during the summer and cold during the winter months. The symptoms of the problem were his roofing nails were all rusted showing signs of high humidity in the attic. He also had condensation forming on the tips of the nails during the inspection during the winter. The problems were caused by not having enough insulation on the attic floor and the attic floor not being air-sealed to stop the heat from the conditioned home from leaking into the attic. The homeowner chose to have the problem fixed because he wants to sell his home but was not able to do so with the mold that was found in the attic during the home inspection. The homeowner's biggest concerns with the problems in the attic had been remediated properly.
The homeowner chose our company because we were able to provide him with a solution that would fix both his poorly insulated attic and be able to remove the mold within his attic so he could put his home up for sale. Our solution was to remove all the old contaminated loose fiberglass insulation from the attic floor and then air seal all the top plates, and wire penetrations. We also wanted to make sure that we covered all of the recessed lighting with TiteShell can light covers and air seal them. We then thoroughly cleaned the attic sheathing and trussed off the mold growth and then reinsulated his attic to a respectable R49. The only real challenge faced during the installation process was the mold was taking longer to get rid of than expected. It took us longer to remove because of how deep the mold had penetrated the roof deck. We used a combination of products to achieve our end result. We used Mold X2, Durovent baffles, TiteShell can light covers, 4" insulated ducting, SilverGlo, and TruSoft Cellulose Insulation. The homeowner now has a healthy clean attic and is properly ventilated and insulated to R49. The homeowner can now put his home up for sale and not be concerned about not being able to sell his home due to the growth of mold in his attic. He can also up-sale the listing of his home as it is now energy-efficient.
The homeowner explained that he had his roof shingles replaced and some of the sheathing needed to be replaced as well. During the roofing project the roofing company noticed discoloration/mold on the underside of the sheathing inside the attic. The symptoms of the problem were high humidity inside the attic, roofing nails had condensation on the tips, Mold growth was present all throughout the attic. The problem was caused a lack of ventilation in the attic, the exhaust ventilation was lacking causing high temperatures and high humidity in the attic to cause condensation on the roof deck. The homeowner chose to have the problem fixed because they just spent a lot of money on a new roof and they wanted to make sure that the money they spent towards the roof was spent wisely and correcting all the problems that caused the original roof to expire quicker than it should have. The homeowner's biggest concern with the problem was the health aspect. They were very concerned with the mold in their home causing health issues with the family.
The homeowner chose our company because we were referred to them by the roofing company who replaced their roof and corrected the ventilation issues, who also live in their neighborhood. Our solution was to remove all the insulation from the attic floor, HEPA vacuum all of the sheathing and trusses inside the attic, treat the sheathing and trusses with a mold/mildew stain remover inside the attic, treat the sheathing and trusses with a mold/mildew stain remover and an anti-microbial spray. We would then air seal all of the attic floor penetrations, install baffles into the soffit vents. Cover the recessed can lights with rockwool covers, replace a section of 7" duct for the HVAC supply duct in the attic that had been crushed. Air seal and insulate the hatch cover and then insulate the attic floor with Cellulose insulation to R60 R-Value. The only challenge we faced during the installation process was that the stain remover did not remove all of the stains on the first treatment so the following day a second treatment had to be applied. We used multiple products in order to achieve our solution. We used Mold X2 products, 4' x 22" and 6" x 22" DuroVent baffling 7" Master Flow insulated flex duct, weather-stripping, ZypFoam, adhesive, 4" SilverGlo, TiteShell recessed light fixture covers and TruSoft Celluose. The homeowner now has a healthy, clean attic that is free of mold. The attic floor has also been insulated to an energy star rated R60 R-value.
The homeowner's son had actually been the one to go into the attic to look for a problem because water was coming through the bath fan vent inside of the bathroom and noticed a lot of discoloration on the roof sheathing. The homeowner went into the attic and noticed that the ducting for the two bath fans were improperly installed and hanging over a truss support causing condensation to get trapped in the vent. Mold growth was present on the sheathing and trusses and the attic air was stagnant. Moisture was dripping into the bathroom from the attic fan. The problems in the attic were caused by a lack of ventilation coming from the soffit vents because the fiberglass batt insulation had been installed all the way to the roof deck not allowing air flow to come through the soffit vents. As for the water dripping into the bathroom through the bath fan, that problem was caused by the ducting in the attic being installed over a support on the truss allowing moisture to backflow back down the ducting. When taking off the ducting we were able to pour the water into a 5 gallon bucket and the ducting contained 3 1/2 gallons of water within. Th homeowner chose to have the problem fixed because he is a builder and knew that over time the mold in his attic would cause structural damage to his roof and that it would be costly if he didn't take action now. The homeowner's biggest concern with the problem was that his roof would become structurally compromised if the mold on the sheathing continued to grow and eat away at the sheathing.
The homeowner chose our company over two other companies because we identified issues in his attic that none of the other companies noticed or provided a solution for. We also provided a solution to add a better thermal boundary over his living room as he mentioned it was always uncomfortable. Our solution was to remediate the mold in his attic and correct the ventilation within the attic by providing baffles into the soffits to make sure that they were allowing adequate ventilation. We then would re-route the bath fan ducts and use insulated ducts connecting them to the gable wall vents and then air sealing around the vents to prevent the backflow of humid air from entering back into the attic. We would then cover two can lights with rockwool can light covers as they were not IC rated posing a potential fire hazard. We would air seal and insulate the attic hatch cover and then install cellulose insulation over the existing fiberglass batt insulation over the living room to achieve R49. The only challenge we faced during the installation process was installing the can light covers over the recessed lighting on the vaulted ceiling as they were half way down the vault where the space was limited. We used MoldX2 products, DuroVent baffles, ZypFoam, Weather-stripping, SilveGlo, TiteShell Recessed light fixture cover, Master Flow ducting and TruSoft Cellulose. The homeowner now has a healthy, mold free attic and his living room is now providing a more retainable temperature and is comfortable to be in.
Our homeowner was experiencing some major heat loss in his attic in the winter months. He would normally go through anywhere between 12-14 cords of wood in the winter. The home was built in the late 1800's and had barely any insulation at all in the attic. The entire home was cold during the winter. The homeowner uses a wood stove and plug in heaters to to keep his house warm in the winter. A lack of insulation in the house was the main problem in his home. I was the only energy specialist who made it into each part of the attic. I thoroughly measured and took pictures of all the issues that were in the attic. Other's just poked their heads up and gave measurements based off the rooms below. Our homeowners biggest concern was his home holding heat in and he also had bat guano that needed cleaned up also. The homeowner went with TCI because I thoroughly explained everything that we were going to do for this attic. This was not going to be an easy job. We were the only company that went into all three parts of the attic and took great pictures and showed him what it was going to look like. The solution for this home was to clean his attic down to the drywall, vacuum and scoop out all the bat guano, treat all the substrate with a disinfectant to kill the bacteria. We then air sealed all the top plates, wire penetrations and pipe penetrations. We even fixed major holes that surrounded the masonry chimney. This was crucial in order to stop hot air from escaping the living areas. Once everything was disinfected and sealed we proceeded to install cellulose insulation to an R value of 60. The biggest challenge that we faced was how tight the access holes were to get from one attic space to the other. Also there was so much bat guano that the crew had to basically hand shovel everything into the garbage bags and carry throughout the home and dispose into the dumpster in the driveway. TCI used MoldX2 Botanical to disinfect all surfaces. We used expanding foam to seal up all the top plates and wire penetrations. From there we used Rock Wool EZ Wrap, metal flashing and fire caulk to provide sealing and insulation around the masonry chimneys. Afterwards we topped off the attic with TruSoft Cellulose Insulation.
Insulation Installation and Home Comfort
Are areas in your home freezing cold in the winter and super-hot in the summer? Or just looking to improve your homes energy efficiency and comfort? the attic should be at the top of your priority list. Insulation and air sealing in the attic have a dramatic effect on the home's overall energy performance, and upgrades in this area can lead to significant savings on heating and cooling costs.
Most homes in Michigan have R-30 (just under 10 inches) which was the previous code. With increasing to the current code of R-49 (approx. 15 inches) our homeowners experience significant savings on their heating bills and savings on their electric bills during the summer months when air conditioning is used. Think of your home like a large bag surrounding your living environment. If you turn your furnace or air conditioning off how long will the hot or cold air stay within your home? The more thermal barrier to the outside environment you have the less your equipment will run saving you money and increasing comfort
How the attic impacts home comfort
Cellulose insulation can be installed over existing insulation without interfering with your storage area
About 50% of energy costs are typically attributed to heating and cooling, making it one of the biggest expenses for many homeowners. The attic has a major impact on home efficiency for several reasons:
Best methods for improving attic efficiency
The homeowner stated that he had cellulose insulation installed years ago but didn't think there had been enough insulation installed because he is still experiencing high energy bills and some of the rooms in his home were more comfortable than others. The front office of his home was uncomfortable and always colder in the winter and warmer in the summer than the rest of the home. The problem was caused by not having enough insulation installed on the attic floor for the recommended amount of insulation for Michigan R Zone 5. He had inconsistent levels of insulation on his attic floor ranging between R19-R30 blown-in cellulose insulation but should have the recommended amount between R49 to R60. The homeowner chose to have the problem fixed because his office was always uncomfortable and could never spend a long period of time in it. He also wanted to lower his energy bills because his home is a large home and the cost to heat/cool the home was quite high. The homeowner's biggest concern with the problem was that his office was too uncomfortable to be in because the temperature would fluctuate so much which would cause his HVAC to come on constantly to compensate for the difference.
The homeowner chose our company because he had other quotes for insulation done by other companies and we were competitive in our price but he was astonished at our attention to detail and the thorough inspection we did in comparison to the other companies. None of them actually went through the entire attic and one company he got a quote from didn't even look in his attic just measured his square footage from below. Our solution was to blow more cellulose insulation on top of his existing insulation to get his finished R-value to R60 throughout the entire attic floor. We did face a couple of challenges during the installation process. The first challenge was that we got about half of the attic insulation installed when the techs came across a bat in the attic and had to exit the attic till the customer was able to have a bat removal company come out and let us know it was safe to return. The other challenge was that the attic was built very architecturally complex with multiple levels to climb to in order to access each location. We used SilverGlo, Weather stripping, and TruSoft Cellulose. The homeowner now has the highest recommended insulation R-value for energy efficiency and comfort in our Zone 5 of Michigan. His office is now more comfortable and the HVAC is not coming on as often which is saving his money on his heating and cooling bill.
Where Does Mold Grow?
First, it's important to know where to look. Mold tends to prefer cold, dark, and moist spaces. You probably won't find it in your living room, but your attic and crawlspace are much more likely hiding spots.
Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
And that's not all. You might also find it in doorways, windows, heating, and air conditioning systems. It enters your home either through the air or by being attached to other moldy items like old shoes or newspapers. Once it's there, it's difficult to get rid of.
Signs of Mold
The health risks of mold make looking for early signs that it's growing into your home absolutely crucial. If you see even subtle signs, it might be time to call for professional help to take care of the remediation. Some of these signs include:
Irritated lungs and breathing, similar to allergy symptoms.
A musty smell in the home or areas of the house.
Visible mold, both black and with potentially colored spots.
Water leaks, past flooding, or persistent condensation.
Rust and warping of materials due to humidity.
Most of these don't necessarily point directly to mold growth. They just point towards an environment that encourages this growth. That's why simply looking for them doesn't tend to be enough. A more comprehensive inspection is vital to making sure you know about any potential problems.
Can Mold Harm Humans?
The problems with mold are much more than just an inconvenience. Studies have repeatedly shown the many health risks that spores can bring with them. In fact, mold has been linked to anything from chronic coughs to allergic reactions, skin rashes, red eyes, and more. In some cases, it can get worse.
The reason mold removal services tend to be so important is what mold does to the health of some of the most vulnerable people around us. Most are particularly dangerous for those of us with autoimmune disorders, chronic lung disease, strong allergies, or asthma. And of course, it's worse for infants, children, and the elderly, whose immune systems might not be able to fight against it.
The lesson is clear: you don't want and probably can't afford to have mold in your home. Unfortunately, due to its favorite locations, it could also be difficult to find at times. A thorough inspection can help you find it, but looking out for early growth signs is also important.
Mold Prevention Tips
Ideally, you never let it get to a point where removal becomes a necessity. In the interest of your health and your home's value, you want to make sure that you can prevent rather than remediate the mold. A few tips can help you achieve that goal:
Keep the humidity in your home low, preferably under 40%.
Regularly check your home, particularly the potential problem spots mentioned above, for growth and take care of it early when needed.
Don't let wet areas stay wet. Dry them to make sure they don't become a hospitable environment.
During renovations, invest in mold-resistant drywall and sheetrock to create a less preferable environment.
Regularly clean your roof gutters to avoid any potential leaks or water entering the home in hidden spots.
Clean mold problems immediately, rather than letting them grow into a more significant problem.
It pays to be proactive. Still, you can't be expected to know every square inch of your home. In addition to these general tips, it pays to have regular mold inspections, both for your peace of mind and to be able to detect issues before they become major problems.
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