Indoor Science has been deemed an essential service and is open for all services, including COVID consulting work.

It Can Happen To Me

I have been living in my home for a number of years now and really don’t have any reason to go up in my attic.  I would need to get a ladder out and set it up in the middle of my hallway and access the attic through a small door in the ceiling.  But one day I came to the conclusion after doing my job for a number of years that it was time that I perform a visual inspection to see what’s going on.  I dragged my feet for years.  Now was the time.

And what I found shocked me.

I discovered dark stains on the north side sheathing of my attic (See Photo #1).  These stains surrounded several roofing nails on this side.  This is especially concerning because my bathroom exhaust is located in this area and I noticed that the bathroom duct was not properly connected to the outdoors (See Photo #2).  It is highly likely that humid air from the bathroom is hitting this attic wall to create condensation.  With this condensation, we have the distinct possibility that the dark stains are mold growth.

Photo #1 – Stains on attic sheathing

Photo #2 – Improperly connected duct


I am sure that I will be writing about how we will respond to this in the future.  However, if this new discovery will teach me anything, it will be a new found sense of greater empathy for those who encounter this exact same problem.  So please take my advice as we start to go into this winter season.  Poke your head into your attic space and examine your attic walls to see if there are any stains or water damage.  Check to see if your bathroom exhaust is properly connected to the outdoors.  If your attic has a wood floor, examine if there are dark spots on the flooring that might indicate water dripping from the roofing nails.  And most importantly, don’t do what I did and put it off.  Regularly checking your attic (even if there were no problems in the past) will save you a load of headaches later.  Trust me, it can happen to me.

Scott Wieringa

Scott Wieringa

Scott Wieringa is a Project Manager that performs indoor air quality assessments with a specialty in radon and odors. Mr. Wieringa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin College. He is an ACAC Council-Certified Indoor Environmentalist (CIE) and Illinois Licensed Radon Professional with residential and commercial building endorsements. Prior to working at Indoor Science, Scott was a residential real estate appraiser with over 23 years of experience inspecting properties in varying capacities. In his words… “I have a special interest in helping clients track down how their homes or businesses might be making them sick. In my spare time, I’m involved in songwriting, sketching, and spending time with my family.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *