We realize working in a historic Victorian presents a unique set of conditions and requirements and you continually meet or exceed our expectations.
- Ed Fortino and Dayle Duchossois, Chicago
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Archive for May 2013

Venting a Dryer or Bathroom Fans in an Attic Creates Mold

Mildew Problem on Eaves – 1

Mildew Problem on Eaves – 2

When doing exterior house painting, especially in Northern areas like Chicago, you can expect to have to deal with mildew. In order to flourish, mildew needs moisture, darkness and food. Not surprisingly, the North side of a house is especially vulnerable to mold. However, when we see mildew thriving on the sunny side of a house, we ask more questions to find out what may be going on with the house.

We recently saw such a situation, as shown in the attached pictures. The eaves, all around the garage were loaded with mildew. After taking a quick visual of the problem, I asked the owners: “Is there something venting in your attic?” A quick answer followed: “Yes – our dryer, but we have louvered openings in the gables.” I said that the moisture thrown off by the dryer was such that it overwhelmed the attic’s ability to vent off the moisture. They never thought the mildew issue was related to the dryer’s moisture. They said they would have the venting issue corrected immediately. I also advised them to have the attic inspected. If the mildew issue is this bad outside the attic, I could only imagine what the inside looks like.

A few years ago, we ran into a similar situation, where the bathrooms on the second level all vented in the attic. The attic was actually covered in mildew – it was black! The client had to have a mold remediation crew come over to eradicate the problem. With the benefit of hindsight, I remembered my eyes getting itchy and teary after fifteen minutes in the house on my initial visit.

As house painters, we see our role as going beyond paint. We look to understand what is at the source of the problems, so we can empower our clients to be good stewards of their property.