An unwanted animal infestation in your wall or attic can bring a lot of headaches. Besides the removal of the animal itself, homeowners often have to contend with cleaning up after the mess the animal made. Raccoons, squirrels, mice, and especially bats can destroy insulation and wreak havoc in your attic.
How Animal Problems Become Mold Problems
Prolonged animal residence and damage in your attic can lead to ventilation problems. Ridge vents, soffits and other points of ventilation can become clogged or destroyed by the animals, leading to an accumulation of moisture. If this situation goes on too long and is untreated, mold can develop in these moistened areas. Animal activity can also compress insulation. Insulation that has been severely compressed loses its R-value (the capacity of the insulation to resist heat flow). This means that in the winter heat will simply pass through the insulation, causing the rapid melting of ice and snow on the roof, the moistening of the wood, and a greater chance for mold to develop.
Mold can also develop as a result of water damage caused by animal entry points. Squirrels or raccoons often gain access to the attic by tearing entry points into weak spots in the roof or siding. These entry points may not be readily identifiable to the homeowner; by the time they are discovered sometimes months of rain water and moisture have seeped in, leading to mold problems.
Obviously, roofs that are simply in an advanced state of disrepair will allow water into the attic space leading to mold. These sorts of roofs are usually also infested with squirrels and rodents.
Thus, while not every mold problem stems from animal activity, all animal activity carries an inherent risk of mold developing. As we have seen, mold, moisture, and nuisance wildlife are closely interrelated.
Other Sources of Mold
Obviously in the lower level of homes, floods and burst pipes are the most common sources of mold. In the attic, a common but often unnoticed cause of mold is the settings on HVAC units. During the summer, many people turn up the settings on the humidifier units in the HVACs. When colder weather comes, people forget to readjust their humidifier settings for the winter. The result is that many homeowners are unintentionally humidifying their attic year round,
resulting is moisture buildup and mold.
If you are not already aware of mold in the home, your first suspicion might come with experiencing mold symptoms. Common mold symptoms include:
- Sore eyes
- Itchy skin
- Runny or blocked nose
- Sore throat
Most people might not realize at first these symptoms are due to mold; they may think they are suffering from a common cold. A tell-tale sign your problems are mold related is that the symptoms go away when you leave your house.
You may also notice a musty or moldy smell in certain areas of the home, depending on how severe the problem is.
If you are experiencing mold symptoms or believe you have mold in your home, you should have a mold inspection performed. The purpose of a mold inspection is to positively identify the presence of mold as well as identify the underlying moisture problem that created the problem. If the mold problem is due to animal urine, the cause of the mold is already identified. It is best to hire a professional mold inspector. They know the best places to look for mold and can identify hidden mold as well as visible mold. Northern Pest’s restoration experts are capable of performing mold inspections. We hold a certification from the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification). Our specialists are competent in all aspects of disaster recovery, mold remediation and mold mitigation.
Norther Pest Remediation Experts
Northern Pest is proficient is all aspects of damage restoration and wildlife damage remediation, including mold mitigation. We use HEPA filters, negative pressure airflow, and antimicrobial treatments during attic restoration, ensuring not only the cleanliness of your attic but that the remediation process does not allow mold spores to become airborne.