Attic mold

Even when mold is observed on the sheathing of an attic, how much info should an inspector give? If it is a general home inspection and you observe mold I would have to put that in my report. But that being said we all know a high % of the attics we inspect in northern climates have attic mold. Most is minor and never is an issue to the livable environment due to stack effect
So the double edge sword! You want to be informative and give the prospective homeowner all the info they need, but you don’t want to scare the crap out of them as well. any suggestions?

Shawn L. Seely

Student Inspector

I wonder should this not be in a different section ???

Student Discussions
This is a forum for discussing InterNACHI’s Inspection Courses.

Report what you observed, if you didn’t test it then you can state you observed Apparent mold growth, if you are trained and certified properly then you can give more precise details. As an inspector you job is to report what you find with an Unbiased view and not to pretend that your findings will alarm someone or not in a good or bad way.


How do you know what you observe is actually mold?
Only way to know for sure is with a lab testing it.

I don’t agree that a high% of attics have “mold” I always stated that "staining was observed. Suggest increasing ventilation. " Attics are not generally considered livable space so, as you said, not a serious concern and explain the reasons it’s not.

Keep learning


I have seen a lot of mold from attics get their spores pulled into the living areas. This is not common, but does happen. I am assuming it is due to the negative air pressures inside a home when an attic is not properly vented. Not really seeing it with well vented attics.
Either way if visible possible mold is inside an attic it needs to be noted. Most mold growths will slowly each away wood structures according to some studies. I personally think the rot fungus, that starts to grow around the same percentage of wood moisture, is more destructive to wood than the mold growing on it.