Creating An Allergen-Free Attic

08/18/2023 | By Pamela Vargas-Touchard |

Do you or someone in your household suffer from chronic, year-round allergies? Your attic could be the source. Neglected attics become a hotbed for all of the most common allergens, including mold and mildew spores, rodent fur and dander, dust, pollen, and other irritating particulates.

If allergies are a constant source of irritation in your household, investigating the attic could be the best thing you can do to free up the airways and stop the waterworks caused by irritated eyes, noses, and throats. 

Attic Inspections & Routine Cleanings Keep Attics Allergy-Free

Most people worry about the quality of outdoor air - a source of air pollution and allergy-causing irritants. However, the EPA warns us that most households’ indoor air quality (IAQ) is more “polluted” than outdoor air. They write:

In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.

Don’t let your attic be the source of poor indoor air quality, respiratory issues, or chronic allergies.

Common Allergens And Irritants Found In Household Attic 

Here are some of the most common allergens and pollutants found in household attics:

Dust & settled particulates

A neglected attic may have years or decades of dust and other particulates. These are shuffled around and can circulate through living areas and the home’s forced air system via drafts, leaky ducts, and poorly sealed penetrations. 

Mold and mildew spores

Any moisture control issues due to roof or plumbing leaks, poor ventilation, or inadequate insulation provide a perfect environment for mold and mildew spores. These spores wreak havoc on the lungs. The potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.

Pest dander, waste, and fur

Do you hear a scurrying in the attic from time to time? Have you recently eliminated rodent pests but neglected to schedule an attic cleaning? If so, the rodent dander, fur, and remaining waste products could be significant allergy triggers.

Decomposing storage items

Do you use your attic to store old stuff? We frequently access attics that house decades - or generations - of stored items. This can lead to various allergy sources, including decomposing cardboard particulates, mites that feast on old down or feather pillows, dust mites, etc. 

5 Steps To Create An Allergen-Free Attic

Ready to clean up the attic and make it an allergen-free space? We promise that whether or not the attic and your allergies are connected, cleaning up the attic and eliminating potential allergens improves indoor air quality.

Schedule an attic inspection & cleaning

The first step is to schedule an attic inspection with a licensed attic contractor. We’ll go into your attic and can provide video and photo documentation if we see signs that the attic needs a cleanup. Once we determine what’s needed, we’ll give you a list of “to-dos” to get the attic cleaned up and back into shape. We’re happy to do the attic cleaning and sanitizing for you.

Clean the HVAC ducts

How old are your HVAC ducts? If they’re more than five years old, and you’ve never had them cleaned, now’s the time. Ducts often come apart at the seams or develop separations or small leaks that allow particulate matter, mold spores, or pests inside. Then, this debris circulates through the forced air system, literally blowing allergens and potentially-harmful particulates into the air you breathe each day.

Replace outdated or insufficient insulation

Insulation can also be a source of allergies, particularly if it’s old or breaking down. Old, compromised, or inadequate insulation also makes the attic more susceptible to moisture control issues that lead to mold outbreaks. We’ll let you know if we feel the attic insulation should be replaced or at least amended, leaving you with a sufficiently insulated attic space.

Assess attic sealing & ventilation

The roof and attic systems work in collaboration to maintain whole-home comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality. The attic system combines insulation, air sealing, and ventilation to do its job. If your attic has leaks or isn’t adequately ventilated, household occupants are more likely to suffer from allergies and respiratory problems due to polluted indoor air quality. Adequate home and attic ventilation requires balance air intakes and vents, and any imbalances show up via poor moisture control, erratic humidity levels, condensation, and polluted air.

Change your HVAC filters as much as you need to

Most HVAC manufacturers recommend changing the filters every 90 days (that’s four times per year). Filters are cheap, and you can get them at any local hardware store. However, if you suffer from allergies, have recently remodeled the home, or live in a particularly dusty area, you should change the filters more often than that. Some of our clients with allergies or asthma change their filters once a month, especially during allergy season.

Attic Solutions Helps To Create Allergen-Free Attic Spaces

Is your attic overdue for an inspection and clean-up? Do you suspect a dusty, neglected attic triggers your family’s allergies? Don’t let what’s lurking above prevent your family from breathing fresh, clean air. 

Contact Attic Solutions and schedule an attic inspection. In addition to learning more about potential allergy triggers, we’ll provide a list of recommendations on how to improve your attic from top to bottom, and we’re happy to schedule attic cleaning and improvement services that respect your goals and budget. 

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