attic insulation turned black

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  #1  
Old 06-14-14, 03:32 PM
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attic insulation turned black

I went up to my attic today. Hadn't been up there in a few years, and noticed that the pink insulation is black on the top along the side of the house where the vent is, in an area about 10 by 10 feet. (see attached pic) A few years ago we noticed that snow would blow in through the vent and so we put a screen over it. As well we also had an issue with leaky flashing that had discolored the wood as you can see in the pic. So there were some moisture issues that have been dealt with. However now we have the dark insulation. Any relation do you think? And what's with the black stuff only being right on the top of the insulation, not through it or underneath. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 06-14-14, 03:46 PM
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Welcome to the forums! It appears your attic is crammed with insulation all the way to the soffit vents. Do you have soffits, or is this a Cape? Your attic must breathe and it must be approximately the temperature of the outside air for it to work right. Post a few pictures from the outside of the house looking up into the soffit area. Do you have a ridge vent or any gable vents?
 
  #3  
Old 06-14-14, 03:51 PM
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Hi kat and welcome to the forum,
We will need some more information.
What is your climate, I see snow mentioned, but is it humid as well?
Do you heat and use air conditioning?
What venting do you have?
Where are the bath, kitchen, and dryer vents located?

One concern about snow blowing in is that light fine snow can go right through a screen. Is that precisely the area that the snow was seen before?

Bud
 
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Old 06-14-14, 07:08 PM
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The area in the attic that has turned black is right under the gable vent. The vent is just above the area in the picture. The area is over 2 bedrooms, no moisture coming from below. Our climate is cold and lots of snow in winter but hot and humid in summer. The 2 gable vents are the only venting. Our soffits are clear of insulation. We don't have any air conditioning. The house is a standard 2 story built in '48. Its got a few inches of cellulose under the pink and the standard recommended amount of pink for the climate.
The rest of the attic insulation is fine. This is the only area that is affected. Could this be mold? Would mold just sit on top like that?
 
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Old 06-15-14, 12:37 AM
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Still not clear. You say just 2 vents, I assume one on each gable end, but you say soffits are clear. Do you have low soffit venting as well?

With the dark area in question right below a gable vent I would assume you have a wind set-up that is driving some snow in through that side. I would also agree the dark area is the early stages of mold or mildew, but mold spores are everywhere so I wouldn't panic. The key is to not feed and water them. The binding agents on fiberglass insulation can act as mold food and of course the snow if providing the moisture.

Ridge vents are the best high vents and in this case I would advise closing off that gable vent and selecting one of the better ridge vents that are less prone to snow getting in.

Bud
 
  #6  
Old 06-20-14, 12:41 PM
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I would love to install ridge venting but that's just not possible right now due to cost. How about some whirlybird types of vents or box vents to relieve the excess heat. I have soffit venting so would I have to close the gable vents if I did this?
And is is OK to simply roll the top layer of the insulation off to get rid of the black layer?
Thanks again.
 
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