Molds are a symptom of a much bigger problem. That being water and or moisture intrusion. Sub grade environments such as basements and crawl spaces are notoriously wet and damp due to high water tables and ground water seepage from the foundation walls and slabs. When moisture penetrates into the home through diffusion, water vapor can raise the relative humidity and without proper dehumidification to arrest the excess moisture, the moisture can be absorb into structural components and contents triggering the colonization of mold.
In building science terms, the home is a system. As a result, any area of the home can influence any other area of the home based upon air convection movement such as the stack house effect, where warm moist air raises and permeates through the home. The attic is the area where all the warm moist air should expel out through soffits, ridge and gable vents. However, many times, depending on the design of the attic or whether the attic is over insulated or poorly ventilated, moisture can get trap in the attic causing mold growth. Ninety percent of the time when we see water damage and mold growth in the basement, we see mold growth in the attic. The opposite also true for the attic. If we see mold in the attic, ninety percent of the time we see water damage and mold growth in either a basement or crawl space.
If you are purchasing a home, or have had one or more water intrusion events, a mold assessment by a certified mold inspector is your best defense against a possible mold problem. For more information about potential mold contamination in basements, crawl spaces and attics visit www.findingthemold.com.