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what is growing in my attic and why


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Brand new house, whats growing, mold, mildew? Its all on the northwest side (less sunny). Any possibilty that a room humidifier is to blame? Anyone see any other possible casues. Proper vents and ridge vent for ventilation.

Thanks

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I see that you have cellulose insulation blown in to the rafter cavities. Those corrugated plastic baffles are supposed to allow air in to the attic through the perforated soffit covers, if that is what you have outside.

You can see in the pics that the baffles are crushed and there is no air coming in at those points. Cellulose packs down tight and does a good job of stopping air movement.

A bit of moisture in the attic is not unusual, especially with a new build. But you need repairs to your attic ventilation, so that those areas can dry out properly. If you have a builder's warranty, give him a call. The insulation contractor has screwed up, from what I can see.

Most of the mold will die off once the moisture is gone.

Make sure your attic hatch has weather strip around the edge and is insulated will a fiberglass batt or foam. Make sure there are no leaky pot lights and that all your exhaust vent pipes are sealed.

I don't know if the humidifier is in the attic, but if it is, you definitely need improved attic ventilation to compensate for that moisture source.

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Thanks for the responses. Here are the best outside pictures I have right now. The humidifier was in a bedroom of the second floor, only for about 2 weeks at night. The issue is on the backside of the house only.

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Poor ventilation is most likely the culprit. While you might have what looks like good ventilation with the ridge vents and soffit vents across the front & rear, it might not be enough.

As noted by John and John those rafter bays need to be open to allow the air to flow. If they are full of insulation then that acts like a cork and stops the airflow. With that roof design and front porch, I'm betting that about 50% of the calculated airflow is being blocked.

That roof design looks like it only allows for air flow from the front and rear of the home and not the sides. This makes it even more important to make sure those rafter bays are open.

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The aluminum vent strips provide very little net free area per rafter bay. The baffle system used by your contractor is also limiting air flow, and your insulation contractor either crushed or buried them. Someone is going to have to go up there, pull back the insulation, and replace the affected baffles.

I don't get why you need a humidifier in a brand new house. Nearly every material in that building will be drying out and emitting gallons of water vapor into the conditioned space for much of the first heating season. While I doubt it had anything to do with the mold in the attic, it is likely to have contributed to mold within the conditioned space. Unless you have as much wood on the inside as there is out, or breathing disorder that is eased by it, turn that damned humidifier off.

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Hi,

That's a wood rot fungi.

Contact Fred Lugano at Lake Construction in Charlotte, VT. Lugano is a weatherization expert who used to write a lot of stuff for Fine Homebuilding. He specializes in dense-packed cellulose and air sealing issues.

I heard he'd stepped back from active construction but that he was still consulting. Give him a shot. I don't have his current phone number but Lake Construction is 802-425-3090. They probably know how to get in touch with him.

I agree with the others, air movement from below appears to be severely impacted there; however, it looks to me like you might have a very tiny leak. Look very closely at the ridge vents. If moisture is finding it's way in around one or more of the fasteners holding the ridge vent in place and is then draining down along the rafters there might be more moisture there than normal ventilation can remove.

Do something quickly before that fungi spreads and damages the roof deck and rafters.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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