Danger No. 3: Mold
If you’ve ever poked your head into the attic and gotten a whiff of what you assume must be an ancient mummy your spouse boxed up and forgot to tell you about, then you may have a mold problem.
You may be thinking, well, it’s just a little mold. I can’t even see it. What’s the big deal? I’ll keep the attic doors closed.
If it were only that simple! For one, a little mold always turns into a lot of mold unless you deal with it promptly. Two, mold can be toxic. Three, just like rodents, mold feeds on materials such as flooring, insulation, and wooden beams. It can destroy things.
Finally — and maybe worst of all — mold may look about as mobile as a grease puddle, but it doesn’t stay put. Mold spores travel through the air like animal dander or dust. When they get sucked into your HVAC ducts, their next stop is your lungs, potentially causing severe respiratory damage that’s tough to diagnose.
What you should watch out for: The main ingredient for mold in the attic is condensation. Besides dampness, you should also be on the lookout for a rotting vegetable smell that goes beyond the typical musty box smell we find in attics. If members of your family are suffering from chronic allergies, chest pain, or asthma, that may also be a sign you have a mold problem.2