Five Steps For Repairing A Water Damaged Attic

Most homeowners rarely visit their attic, which is why a small leak can lead to a lot of water damage before the problem is discovered. If you do discover water damage in your attic, the following steps can help you fix it.

1. Leak Repair

Before any restoration can take place, the source of the leak must be found and repaired. In the attic, the culprit is usually roof damage, which may require a spot repair or a full roof replacement. In some cases, leaks could also be caused by a poorly sealed vent or other rooftop appliance. More rarely, plumbing pipes may run through the attic. If one of these pipes is leaking, it must be replaced or repaired.

2. Moisture Mitigation

Once the repair is made, you need to dry out the attic as quickly as possible in order to minimize damages. Rarely are puddles or standing water an issue, instead the problem is likely saturated boards and insulation. Wet insulation must be pulled out, and then large industrial fans may be set up to begin quickly drying the space. If you used your attic for storage, you must remove all the stored items and dry them quickly before mold sets in.

3. Timber Cleaning and Sealing

Mold spores settle on surfaces almost immediately, which means you likely have mold and mildew growth on any surface that was wet whether you can see it yet or not. A restoration service can use a mold killer or a bleach solution to wipe down every surface in the attic, including wallboards, rafters and trusses, and the underside of the roof decking. Once this is done, the wood may be sealed to further prevent mold growth.

4. Insulation Replacement

Once everything is thoroughly cleaned and sealed, you can reinstall insulation. In most cases, any old insulation that was exposed to water will need to be discarded. Previously moistened insulation is prone to mold and it won't insulate as well, so replacement is typically necessary. You can use batt or blown-in insulation as desired.

5. Ventilation Improvements

Ventilation improvements can help prevent future mold growth, since good airflow will dry out any moisture that makes its way into the attic quickly. Consider adding additional soffit or ridge vents to the attic. Gable end vents or an attic ventilation fan are other useful improvements.

Contact a water damage restoration service for more information.