I was called to investigate a mold problem in an attic. The client had had a home inspection and the recommendation was to have the suspected microbial activity in the attic space further evaluated. I use that same wording on my reports. I asked of there were any pictures from the inspection he could forward to me . Usually the answer is no, the inspector did not take pictures. I take an average of 250 picture when I do an inspection. I digress. This inspector did take pictures and the client sent them to me.
The exterior inspection clearly showed a decent ridge vent and vented soffit panels. The interior showed soffit vent chutes. The inspector did the right thing in requesting a further evaluation. The inspector cannot disturb insulation while performing the home inspection. He couldn’t see that air sealing was not completed under the insulation. That’s not his job, it’s mine. Because there was no floor in the attic, the inspector could not enter to perform a complete inspection. Again, not his job, it’s mine. I brought some temporary flooring with me and crawled into the attic space. With the lights off I should have been able to see daylight at the soffit area. I thought this was another case of the siding contractor installing vents over solid wood soffits.
What I found was unusual. The siding contractor did cut the opening for the soffit. The soffit panels were covered with debris restricting air flow into the attic. We simply removed the soffit panels, vacuumed the panels and openings and re-installed the panels.
While measuring the attic for mold remediation, I noticed another problem. The insulation contractor used blown in cellulose insulation which is fine. However, he also managed to clog the ridge vent with insulation restricting exhaust at the ridge. We simply vacuumed that too. Proper ventilation was achieved with a vacuum cleaner. Air sealing was achieved with four cans of spray foam insulation. We remediated the attic , the deal went through and everyone was happy.