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HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
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MOLD GROWTH on SURFACES, TABLE OF
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
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OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
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SICK HOUSE IAQ QUESTIONNAIRE
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
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Attic mold contamination inspection, where to look: this article explains how and where to inspect or test for mold in building attics and roof cavities. This article is part of our series: FIND MOLD in buildings, HOW TO which describes how to find mold and test for mold in buildings, including how and where to collect mold samples using adhesive tape - an easy, inexpensive, low-tech but very effective mold testing method. (See TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS for details).
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Inspect attic insulation, insulation kraft paper facing, and the attic side of ceiling drywall visible in the attic floor, particularly in areas below roof leaks. It is useful to distinguish between a real roof leak or ice dam leak and more trivial drip stains from attic condensation.
Attic condensation and the resulting drip marks on the attic floor or on attic insulation, as shown here, is not itself likely to wet the attic insulation nor the surfaces below it enough to cause a big mold reservoir. However, attic condensation is evidence of wet or very humid attic conditions. Therefore I'd take a close look at the roof sheathing and framing
If attic insulation has been wet and especially if the insulation has been exposed to other moldy conditions, even if the insulation itself looks ok it may be mold contaminated.
Some types of building insulation readily harbor mold contamination even if it's not visible (such as fiberglass insulation). Other types of insulation such as cellulose, seem to resist mold growth (possibly because that material is usually treated with a fire retardant chemical which may also be fungicidal.)
The mold shown in the attic photographed here was identified as Aspergillus sp. on attic mold visible on pine tongue and groove roof sheathing near the building eaves. Also notice the condensation stains at the shingle nail, more evidence of a history of attic moisture which was a factor in this mold growth. (Click photo for larger image).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about exactly where to look for mold contamination in building attics and lofts.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Mold Contamination Testing, Cleanup, Prevention: references & products
OTHER IAQ ISSUES: How To Find and Address Other Indoor Air or Indoor Environment Contaminants Besides Mold
Mold or allergens may not be the only or even the main indoor environmental contaminant. Don't let media attention to mold cause so much enviro-scare fear that other, possibly more urgent hazards go un-addressed.