We’ve covered how solar attic fans can help homeowners prevent mold problems from developing. But just how serious can a mold problem get?
The story of Allison Ballard’s family in Dripping Springs, Texas was one of the most extreme examples in recent history. In the late 90s, Ballard had moved into a large rural mansion with her husband and then three-year-old son. Some time after moving in, serious illnesses began afflicting the family. Her son began experiencing seizures and learning difficulties at school, while her husband began showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Ballard herself fell ill and coughed up blood.
Experts later found the family’s home was infested by a black toxic mold called Stachybotrys. Spurred by water damage, moisture-induced mold infiltrated nearly every inch of their home, destroying valuable possessions, seeping into the home’s air conditioner and breeding beneath the floorboards. By the time the family moved out of the home, mold had rendered the structure completely uninhabitable. Ballard was diagnosed with brain damage as a result of repeated mold exposure.
Their ensuing legal battles with their insurance company led many other homeowners to file claims for mold damage as well. In just two years, mold claims Texas grew from $420 million in 2000 to over $1 billion in 2001. Hit hard by the sudden wave of claims, some insurance companies in the state stopped offering mold coverage, and the state government intervened to allow insurers to exclude mold coverage from their policies.
Solar attic fans keep moisture and mold out of your home
It goes without saying that the best way to prevent such headaches from developing is to keep moisture from inducing mold growth in the first place.
Attics are a particularly notorious breeding ground for mold, and deserve special care and attention from homeowners. Mold removal professionals have found attic spaces typically house half the mold a house contains.
Solar attic fans, like iSolar Solutions’ bestselling 20W106-FLEX model, keep attics dry by constantly pushing moisture-laden air out of interior environments. This limits the effects of water damage caused by leaks, and in turn inhibits the growth of mold.
In the winter months, solar attic fans exchange the warmer than outdoor air out of a home’s attic. Keeping the attic only slightly warmer than the outdoor prevents snow from melting upon contact with the roof shingles, which otherwise causes runoff to build up and freeze. Without proper ventilation, the resulting ice dams that form can cause water to seep back into the home underneath the roof’s shingles, causing water damage and moisture that are a haven for mold growth. Ice dams themselves are one of the leading causes of insurance claims for homeowners in the winter.
Doesn’t my home already have adequate ventilation?
The built-in passive vents on residential roofs are usually not enough to achieve constant adequate airflow. This is because they rely solely on differences in air pressure to push out hot and moisture-laden air.
Solar attic fans give these passive vents a much-needed boost. They switch on automatically when the sun is beating down on the roof….when it’s most needed. They add nothing to a home’s utility bills since they are not connected to the local grid. As solar attic fans do not have any electrical wiring, one can be installed in as little as 15 minutes without needing to hire an electrician. In some areas, you may qualify for tax benefits for installing a solar attic fan.
To learn more about how a solar attic fan can safeguard your family’s health and real estate investment, please contact one of our knowledgeable staff.