mold in the attic

Originally Posted By: bill platchett
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We recently found mold on the OSB board in our daughter’s attic. The house was built four years ago and the contract specified 9" insulation in the attic. It looks like she only has around 4 inches. The insurance adjuster came out today - you guessed it - no coverage for mold. Only single occurrences.

He did tell us that he could see the water spots on the insulation. The last time we were up there about 12 days ago, it was like a rain forest. However, the weather has gotten a lot colder and the board does not "seem" as wet. But the mold is there. It seems the inadequate insulation has let warm air up from the second floor and caused moisture to form and take over. There are soffit vents and a ridge vent, but I am not sure the ratio of vent to sq. ft. is correct, I just don't know about that. The roof pitch is about 9/12. The drywall has also cracked in a few places. That was supposed to have been caused by the ceiling rafters moving up and down from moisture. Adjuster suggested a "floating" cornice.

In addition her two sons, age 6 & 2, whose bedrooms are below the mold on the second floor, have had some nasty colds, respiratory infections, etc. Calls to the contractor go unanswered. I think he feels "don't feed them they will go away."
Should we contact an attorney, has anyone had any experience with this? Is the statue of limitations up, or can we do something under the FTC section 460.1? Is there now a 12 year statute for some problems.

Anybody have any ideas for a somewhat bewildered pair of grandparents?


Originally Posted By: jmichalski
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Sounds like your daughter has some problems. Have you had the air quality checked in the kids’ rooms?

Here is the 2000 International Residential Code for attic ventialtion. It was the version that was in place when the home was constructed (I think) but has sionce been revised:
R806.1 Ventilation required. Enclosed attics and enclosed
rafter spaces formed where ceilings are applied directly to the
underside of roof rafters shall have cross ventilation for each
separate space by ventilating openings protected against the entrance
of rain or snow. Ventilating openings shall be provided
with corrosion-resistant wire mesh, with 1/8 inch (3.2 mm)
minimum to 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) maximum openings.
R806.2 Minimum area. The total net free ventilating area
shall not be less than 1 to 150 of the area of the space ventilated
except that the total area is permitted to be reduced to 1 to 300,
provided at least 50 percent and not more than 80 percent of the
required ventilating area is provided by ventilators located in
the upper portion of the space to be ventilated at least 3 feet
(914 mm) above eave or cornice vents with the balance of the
required ventilation provided by eave or cornice vents. As an
alternative, the net free cross-ventilation area may be reduced
to 1 to 300 when a vapor barrier having a transmission rate not
exceeding 1 perm (57.4mg/sm2Pa) is installed on the warm
side of the ceiling.
R806.3 Vent clearance. Where eave or cornice vents are
installed, insulation shall not block the free flow of air. Aminimum
of a 1-inch (25.4 mm) space shall be provided between
the insulation and the roof sheathing at the location of the vent.

I have no experience in trackign down contractors, but it does sound like you will need a lawyer (sorry to day)...

Originally Posted By: bill platchett
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Thank you for the reply. We have decided to have our house inspected every four or five years, not just if we sell.

Yes, it does look as if she will need an attorney. We live in Erie and the Attorney we are going to contact was head of consumer protection in Erie. He is now in private practice.

Thanks again,

Originally Posted By: rfeiler
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Bill; I am a lab certified mold tech. Give me a call I’ll be glad to go over the mold issue with you. Ron 717 487-3702

Originally Posted By: troberts1
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Hi Bill,

do the soffits vents have Baffles installed? if so are they blocked with insulation? if so this could be your problem. It seems to me that it has inadequate venting. also check for exhaust vents from bathrooms, and kitchens to see if they might be discharging into the attic, these should be vented out side if this is the case. Also check for possible heat duct separations.

hope this helps

Originally Posted By: mkober
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My niece recently bought a home with lots of black mold in the attic (on sheathing, rafters, etc.). Hearing her description via telfoncon (she’s 1100 miles away from here), I suggested she do a thorough inspection of the attic ventilation and bathroom fan vents–sure enough, soffit vents blocked and bath fans venting directly into the attic. After correcting the culprits and a healthy dose of mold remediation, she’s in and happy. Good luck!

Michael J. Kober, P.E. and H.I.

"NACHI Member and Proud Of It!"