How to Prevent Attic Moisture

A darkly-lit attic full of antique junk.

Attic moisture can lead to mold and mildew, which will eat away at your house. Needless to say, you want to do whatever you can do avoid it. Here's everything you need to know about attic moisture and how to prevent it.

Air Out Your Attic

Regularly airing out your attic is a very simple and effective way to prevent the formation of attic moisture. Once a week, open your attic door and leave it open for several hours. If your attic features a window, open it as well. If you live in a warmer climate, you may want to air out your attic twice a week.

Because of their heavy insulation, attics tend to be very humid, moisture-heavy areas. Thus, it is imperative that you air them out on a consistent basis, particularly during the summer months, because too much moisture is bound to result in the formation of mold and/or mildew, which can be quite a hassle to remove. What's more, certain types of mildew and mold, particularly black mold, can have adverse health effects on you and your family.

Place a Fan in Your Attic

In addition to regularly airing out your attic, placing a fan in it is another good way to combat attic moisture. If your attic features a window, consider installing a window-mounted fan. Alternatively, a ceiling fan can help defend your attic against the formation of moisture. Keep in mind that many attics are not up to code for ceiling fan installation, so make sure to have the area thoroughly inspected before proceeding to put a ceiling fan in your attic.

If you're looking to de-moisturize your attic on a budget, a standard electric fan should adequately control the humidity of all but the most humid attics. If your attic is particularly large, you may want to use more than one electric fan. Regardless of the type of fan you choose, make sure to run it on a fairly consistent basis. Also, don't forget to regularly air out your attic, even if you incorporate the aid of a fan.

Install an Air Conditioner in Your Attic

Air conditioning units are arguably the most effective tools for combating attic moisture, although they are not necessarily the most cost-effective. If your attic features a window, you may want to consider installing a window-mounted AC unit. Alternatively, if your home has a windowless attic, a portable air conditioner can prove quite useful in keeping your attic moisture-free.

In addition, there's no tricky installation process involved with portable AC units. Given the high cost of portable air conditioners, however, it is sometimes more cost-effective to have a window installed in your attic and then install a window-mounted air conditioner. As an added bonus, the change in your attic's humidity will deter insects and other attic-dwelling pests who actively seek out moisture-laden environments.