We love having our adopted furry friends in our home, but what happens when an uninvited critter finds its way into the attic?

If you’ve ever heard something scurrying around in the space above your ceiling, you’ve probably wondered what it is, why it’s there, and how to get rid of it.

This article will outline what kind of animals live in attics, how they get in, and ways to get rid of them safely.

What Kind of Animals Get in Attics?

What Kinds of Animals Get Into Attics

Here’s a list of the most common animals that get into attic spaces.

Squirrels

If you’re wondering what those animals in the attic are, they could very well be squirrels.

Luckily (or unluckily), squirrels are easy to spot if you suspect they may be in your attic. A few of the signs to look for are a sudden increase in the number of squirrels in your yard or on your property, a lot of the characteristic chattering that squirrels do, and scurrying sounds above your head.

Removing squirrels usually requires some type of humane trap placed in the exit or entrance to your attic space. Repeating traps that are designed to capture multiple squirrels at once make removing them easier and faster. Just make sure to check on your trap often so that the squirrels don’t end up hurting themselves.

For more info on how to remove these animals from your attic or prevent them from getting into your attic, check out this article.

Mice

One of the most common animals that live in attics is mice.

Mice are excellent climbers and can fit in the smallest of spaces, so it’s no surprise that they easily find their way into your attic in search of food, warmth, and nesting materials like cardboard boxes.

You can tell that this is the critter in your attic if you see holes, chewed wires, and tracks in any dust you might have in your attic.

Luckily, since mice are such common critters in attics, you can find plenty of safe ways to remove them from your attic and prevent them from entering your attic in the first place. This includes things like humane traps or sealing gaps and removing nesting materials to keep them out.

Check out this article for more about how mice get into your attic and how to get them out.

Rats

Rats have quite a bit in common with squirrels, one of them being how they enter and inhabit your attic.

If there are rats in your attic, the signs will be similar to those of a mice infestation. You will see rat droppings in the corners of your attic, things like cardboard and insulation chewed through, and, as always, scurrying noises above your head.

Rats pose a threat when it comes to spreading germs through their droppings and possibly chewing through wires which could cause an electrical fire.

To remove them without killing them, set up traps similar to those that you would set for mice with tasty snacks to entice them in. Sealing off points of entry can keep them out of your attic.

For more tips on removing rats from your attic, check out this article.

Birds

An attic offers a safe, warm, dry space to live in, which is one of the reasons why we find so many animals in the attic. Among these are birds.

The most common birds found in attics are barn swallows, pigeons, house finches and sparrows, and starlings.

One of the most obvious signs of birds in attics is their chirping and fluttering of wings. They also make quick use of any nesting materials available and leave a large number of droppings behind, so even if they leave, you can tell they’ve been there.

To get rid of birds, it’s recommended to remove screens from windows and leave the windows wide open, allowing them to leave. Decoy birds like hawks or owls can act as the bird version of a scarecrow and keep birds away.

If you want to know a bit more about how to remove birds from your house, take a look at this article.

Bats

Though it may seem surprising to those of us who don’t see them much in general, bats are found surprisingly often in attics.

Their small size in combination with their flying ability makes it easy for them to squeeze their way into your attic.

Though things like droppings are common signs of any animal in the attic, bats leave a few distinct marks that other critters do not. 

If there are bats in your attic you may smell ammonia (the scent of their excrement) or see urine stains or stained holes on your wall. The sounds of screeches or squeaks and fluttering wings is also an indicator of bat presence.

To get bats out of your attic, using the scent of things like mothballs or eucalyptus oils can repel them. Installing bright lights can also deter them from hanging around in your attic.

For more info on humane ways to remove bats from your attic, check out this article.

Raccoons

Though you may only think of these critters as chunky little trash pandas rummaging through your garbage bin, they’re surprisingly good climbers and can chew and scratch their way into your attic in no time.

Once they get in, their size can make them even more damaging to your attic. This generally larger size does make them easier to identify, as the weight of a raccoon navigating your attic is easier to recognize than a lightweight mouse.

The easiest way to get a raccoon out of your attic is to use its strong sense of smell. Since they are so sensitive to scents, using things that they do not like the smell of, like onions, garlic, peppermint oil, or Epsom salt can deter them from your attic.

Learn more about raccoons and how to keep them out of your attic by reading this article.

Opossums

Another common critter in your attic is the opossum. 

As avid climbers who are surprisingly light on their feet, opossums can easily scale the side of your house and crawl into your attic through a gap in your eave or an open vent. 

You can tell that an opossum has made its way into your attic if you see damage to your insulation or the strong, unpleasant scent of their droppings.

To remove an opossum humanely, use a humane trap set with something sweet, like a honey bun, as bait. Check the trap often and once you have caught your opossum, call your local wildlife rescue to verify where you should release the opossum.

Check out this article to learn more about opossums and how to remove them from your attic.

Snakes

As terrifying as it may seem to many, snakes can and will find their way into your attic.

The most common snakes to hide out in attics are rat snakes that have slithered up the side of your house and entered through some type of hole or opening in the soffit of your roof, usually in an attempt to catch prey.

A slithering sound is a sure sign of a snake in the attic, but most of the time, people won’t hear them moving around. Visual evidence of a snake inhabiting your attic will be, of course, snake skins that it will leave behind.

Since snakes really don’t want to hang out in your attic if you’re around, a snake will often slither on out while you walk around your attic. Once it’s gone, make sure to seal off the hole that it came in from, preventing it from making a return visit. 

For more information on snakes in the attic and how to get rid of them, read this article.

Bees

We all know pretty well by now that bees are important pollinators that are vital to many ecosystems. But that doesn’t mean they are welcome in the attic.

You’ll know there are bees in the attic by, of course, the buzzing sounds that they make. Since they are so small and can fly, they often will make their way out of the attic and into the rest of your house, often causing some degree of panic.

Though it can seem tempting to swat at them or spray them with insecticide, there’s a reason that “Save the Bees” is a movement. Consider your other options to remove bees instead of killing them and reach out to a beekeeper or pest control specialist that can use special methods to safely remove and relocate the bees.

Learn more about bees in the attic and how to remove them in this article.

How Do Animals Get in the Attic?

How Do Animals Get in the Attic?

One of the most common questions we get asked is how animals get in the attic. It’s a fair question, and one that has many answers. The most common entry points are chimneys, vents, gaps in the roofline, and holes left by previous occupants.

Animals are often attracted to attics because they provide a warm, dry place to nest. Once inside, they can cause significant damage by chewing on wires and insulation, leaving urine and feces behind, and even causing fires.

How to Tell What Kind of Animal is in Your Attic

How to Tell What Kind of Animal is in Your Attic

If you think you have an animal in your attic, there are a few things you can do to safely determine what kind of animal it is.

First, take a look at the size and shape of the droppings. If they are small and tubular, it is likely a rodent, such as a mouse or rat. If the droppings are larger and more spherical, it is probably a bird.

You can also look for tracks in the dust or insulation. Mouse and rat tracks will be small and relatively close together, while bird tracks will be larger and farther apart.

Another clue can be the damage itself. Chewing marks on wires or wood are likely to be from a rodent, while holes in screens or roofs are more likely to be from birds or bats.

Finally, listen for any sounds coming from the attic. Rodents tend to be relatively quiet, while birds and bats can be quite noisy. By taking these steps, you can safely identify the type of animal in your attic and take appropriate action to remove it.

How to Get Rid of Animals in the Attic

How to Get Rid of Animals in the Attic

If you’ve got animals in your attic, you’re probably looking for a way to get rid of them as quickly as possible. After all, not only are they disruptive, but they can also cause damage to your home. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to get rid of animals in your attic, both DIY options and professional services.

One DIY option is to set up live humane traps. This involves setting up a cage with bait inside, and then waiting for the animal to enter the cage. Once they’re inside, you can then release them into the wild away from your home. This option is most effective for smaller animals, such as mice and squirrels.

If you’re dealing with a larger animal, such as a raccoon or opossum, you may need to call in a professional wildlife removal service. These experts will know how to safely remove the animal from your home, and they can also take steps to prevent them from coming back.

So, if you’re dealing with animals in your attic, there’s no need to panic. There are a number of different ways to get rid of them, both DIY options and professional services.

For animal specific removal guides, check out the list of animals above. Each article includes different types of ways to get rid of animals in your attic

Who to Call for Animal in Attic

There are many companies and professionals who specialize in animal removal, and they can safely and humanely remove the animals from your attic. They will also clean up any mess left behind by the animals, and they can repair any damage that has been done to your home.

In addition, they can advise you on how to prevent animals from getting into your attic in the future. If you have animals in your attic, don’t try to remove them yourself. Instead, call a professional who can safely and efficiently remove the animals and help you protect your home from future invasions.

One way to find these types of local professionals is by going to Google and searching for “animal or pest removal companies near you”. Alternatively, you can use a third-party website like Angi or Thumbtack to find companies to call.

Summary

If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of hearing animals in your attic, you’re not alone. Each year, countless homeowners across the country find themselves dealing with this problem. While it may seem like a simple matter of getting rid of the animal, the reality is that it can be much more complicated than that.

In addition to causing damage to your property, animals in your attic can also pose a serious health risk to you and your family. Use the above information to identify what type of animal might be in your attic. From there, you should be able to drill into the best methods to safely remove them and prevent them from coming back.

Finding mold in your home can be very stressful and removing it can be doubly so.

However, once it’s finally gone, it’s like a breath of fresh air — or, at least, it should be. If the smell of mold is still lingering in your home after you’ve removed all visible signs of mold growth, it can put quite the damper on things.

If you’re wondering how to remove the mold smell from your house, we regret to say that removing the smell of mold from your home can be just as lengthy of a project as removing the mold itself. However, with the right know-how, tools, and gusto, you can have your home smelling fresh and clean in no time.

What Does Mold Smell Like?

What Does Mold Smell Like?

Before you sink more time into this project, it’s best to ensure that you’re actually dealing with a mold problem. Identifying the smell can help you make sure you’re on the right track.

One of the first signs of mold that people notice is the smell, which can be musty or stale. Imagine the scent of old socks that haven’t been dried properly.

You may also notice an earthy smell in a room, which can indicate that mold is growing on damp wood, like pillars, floors, or walls. It’s like the smell of a dense forest after a rainstorm or the dirt beneath decaying leaves. This damp smell in your home is a surefire sign that there’s a leak somewhere, which is a big red flag for mold growth as well.

If you have a more serious case of mold growth, it can even emit a rotting or pungent smell; if the odor in your home has reached this level, mold may be spreading throughout your house very quickly.

What Causes the Smell of Mold?

Mold is a kind of fungi that emits gaseous chemicals as it breeds and spreads.

The byproducts of the specimen’s fungal metabolism are called microbial volatile organic compounds, commonly referred to as mVOCs. These gaseous compounds are the root of the smell of mold.

Different mVOCs release different types of odors, so the smell may vary by the species of mold and the stage of the life cycle that the mold is currently in.

Is the Smell of Mold Harmful?

Aside from making you and your family uncomfortable, the mVOCS that cause the smell of mold have been inconclusively linked to headaches, dizziness, and nausea, among other things.

However, the negative health impact of mold spores is much more conclusive. Inhaling mold spores can cause respiratory or trigger existing problems, such as asthma. These can result in sinusitis, wheezing, and other breathing difficulties. T

he amount of spores in the air is not related to the strength of the smell, though, so this may be happening in your home even if you can’t smell the mold yet.

Can Air Fresheners Help?

Air fresheners only mask the smell; they don’t eliminate the root cause of the odors. While they can lessen the scent, they don’t provide a solution to mold growth in your home.

In fact, these products can even contain toxic chemicals that can cause or worsen respiratory damage. You’ll likely exacerbate allergic reactions to mold by covering up the scent with an air freshener.

How to Remove Mold Smell From Your House

Eliminating the smell that the mold has transferred to your home, especially if it has been around for a long time, is a challenge. Here are some tips and tricks for refreshing your kitchens, bathrooms, clothes, and carpets.

In Kitchens and Bathrooms

When removing mold from kitchens and bathrooms, you should expect to do some vigorous scrubbing. You can use a sponge or another scrubbing tool for larger areas. For thin spaces or delicate surfaces, a toothbrush is also a good tool — just be absolutely sure to throw it away immediately afterwards.

You can use bleach in these rooms, since they don’t usually have porous materials. Put a bleach solution in a spray bottle to reach small cracks and spaces where mold might be growing.

On Clothes

Once you’ve figured out how to remove mold smell from your house itself, removing it from all of your belongings, like your clothes, is pretty easy in comparison.

You can remove the smell of mold on your clothes through dry cleaning or washing. For blazers or coats, you may want your dry cleaner to handle the mold smell removal. However, you must make sure to tell them about the fungal growth so that they clean it separately and avoid contaminating other people’s clothes.

You can also use your washing machine if you have multiple pieces of infected clothing. Choose the hot water setting, and once the tub is filled, add any of the recommended cleaning solutions above, like borax, essential oils, or vinegar.

On Rugs

To remove the smell of mold from your rugs, it’s best to apply some elbow grease and hand wash them. Use a gentle brush and pure vinegar to scrub the affected area; make sure the vinegar reaches well into the rug. Sprinkle baking soda on top to remove the smell and absorb moisture.

Hang the rug outside to dry if possible, and make sure it gets sunlight. If air drying isn’t possible, you can place it in a room with good airflow and use a hairdryer to hasten the process. Once it is fully dried, you can vacuum the baking soda off.

Protect Yourself When Removing the Smell of Mold From Your Home

Protect Yourself When Removing the Smell of Mold From Your Home

If you’ve done all of the above but the smell keeps returning, it is likely that you still have a mold infestation in your home.

The most comprehensive way to eliminate the smell of mold from your home is to get to the root of the issue and remove all traces of mold spores before they spread and cause further damage to your home.

Mold grows in moist places, so it is often found in bathrooms, kitchens, roofs, windows, or pipes, especially if there are leaks. Cardboard, tiles, drywalls, and wood products can be habitats for these fungi as well.

However, you need to know how to remove mold smell from your house safely. If you’re planning to remove mold from your home, you must protect yourself. Here are some precautions you can take:

Wear Protective Gear

Make sure to protect yourself by wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, protective glasses, and gloves.

Don’t touch mold with your bare hands, and be careful to not allow spores into your body through your nose, mouth, or eyes. You don’t want to end up with inflamed or infected eyes before you can finish removing mold from your home.

Clean One Room at a Time

Spores can easily float through the air and infiltrate other rooms in your home. Knowing this, you should isolate the colony and focus on cleaning one room at a time. Make sure to close the door and try to seal any gaps around the door to avoid infecting other areas.

Open the Windows

While your door should be shut, any windows in the vicinity should be wide open. This will let out the smell of mold and allow the spores to drift outside. This will also protect you from any fumes or odors from your cleaning supplies.

Cover Your HVAC System

Seal any air ducts that connect to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system before tackling the problem. Once you disturb the colony, mold spores can escape through these room openings and make their way back inside after you’ve scrubbed down the place. Turn the system off and cover all parts that lead to it.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Lastly, dispose of the waste properly. Bag everything in plastic and bring it directly to your outdoor garbage can; don’t let it stay inside your house. For disposable masks and gloves, you should wrap them in plastic and throw them right away. If you’re wearing reusable ones, wash them separately with very hot water and air them out to dry, preferably outdoors if the weather allows.

Products that Can Help You Remove Mold Smells

Products that Can Help You Remove Mold Smells

Mold in residential homes can be removed easily using natural and safe solutions. Only use strong commercial products when absolutely necessary, especially if you or your loved ones have sensitive skin, noses, or allergies.

Nonetheless, these cleaning solutions have their advantages; just remember to use them properly.

Hot Water

You can soak carpets and clothes in scalding water (140+ degrees Fahrenheit) to remove the fungi. Afterward, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to eliminate the bad odor.

Hydrogen Peroxide + Baking Soda

You can also make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. These compounds are known for eliminating bacteria and odors. Just combine water, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda in a spray bottle and mist the affected area. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove the mold with a wet cloth. Follow it up with a dry towel to remove all of the moisture.

However, note that hydrogen peroxide can affect the color of fabrics. Be careful when applying it to curtains, carpets, and other textiles.

Vinegar + Baking Soda

The acetic acid in vinegar can remove fungi, and when paired with baking soda, it will also eliminate stubborn odors. Combine two teaspoons of baking soda with four tablespoons of vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake, and then fill with warm water. Just like the mixture above, you can soak the affected areas, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, wipe the areas down with a wet cloth, and then eliminate traces of moisture with a dry cloth.

Borax Powder

Borax is a potent mineral that’s known to extinguish mold and fungi and neutralize odors. It transforms water molecules into hydrogen peroxide, so it’s essentially a hydrogen peroxide spray. However, you can increase its potency by altering the ratio of borax to water.

Combine half a tablespoon of borax with four or five cups of warm water. Make sure to dissolve the powder fully. You can use this as a cleaning spray or pour the solution into your washing machine to clean mold-infected clothes and fabrics.

Antifungal Essential Oils

Pure tea tree essential oil has been found to be effective against mold. You can spray it over the affected area or diffuse it in the air to eliminate spores and odors. Clove, geranium, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and peppermint are other essential oils that can help here. However, make sure to use 100% natural oils so you can protect you and your family’s well-being.

Bleach

Bleach is ideal for cleaning nonporous surfaces, like tiles, countertops, and bathtubs. Do not use it on porous materials, like wood or drywall. Just like hydrogen peroxide, it can also lighten darker fabrics and materials, so it’s best to use it on white surfaces only.

Commercial Mold Removal Products

Commercial mold killers can be very useful for deep-cleaning your home. They don’t require much preparation, since you can use them right out of the bottle; however, they can emit strong odors, so you should schedule when you will utilize them and keep the house or room unoccupied for at least 24 hours while the smells ventilate, preferably through a window.

Should You Hire Professionals?

While you can eliminate mold and mold smell using homemade cleaning solutions, it’s still best to enlist the help of professionals to remove the colony completely and make sure nothing will grow back. For instance, if you notice a musty, earthy, or pungent smell in a room, the presence of mold is all too likely. However, you might not know where to look. In this case, it’s best to hire professionals; they have the knowledge and experience to inspect potential habitats, find the colony, and eliminate it completely.

Additionally, infestations that have grown to 10 square feet or more should be left to the professionals. They also know how to handle the situation without causing harm to themselves or allowing it to spread throughout your home.

Lastly, if mold keeps coming back even if you’ve scrubbed down your bathroom, kitchen, or any other room, you should contact mold removal experts. You may not have eliminated all of the spores, or there could be another source that you haven’t considered.

Takeaway

Getting rid of mold and its smell is crucial for the wellbeing of you and your family.

If you notice musty or rotting smells, you should learn how to eliminate small infestations and the odors they entail through homemade solutions, as this can help things from worsening.

However, if things have gotten out of your control, contact the professionals to do a thorough inspection and removal of any mold on your property; they know how to remove mold smell from your house better than anyone else, and they’ll ensure that the problem is taken care of thoroughly and effectively.

If you want to keep your roof in tip-top shape, it’s essential to maintain proper ventilation. For this reason, you should find the ideal vents for your roof. They come in various shapes and sizes, but they have one common goal: to let your home breathe.

One of the most cost-effective ways to achieve your roof goals is to use ridge vents. They increase your roof’s energy efficiency and prolong its life. Additionally, they’re one of the best types of attic ventilation you can find anywhere.

This article will discuss what ridge vents are, how they work, and ultimately, if they’re worth the investment. Read on to discover if they’re a viable solution for your ventilation needs.

Best Ridge Vents

Best Ridge Vents

Below is a list of some of the best ridge vents for your reference. To achieve the best results, choose the brand that addresses your particular needs.

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GAF 2005 Cobra Ridge Vent

The GAF 2005 Cobra Ridge Vent offers unmatched protection during the hottest days of the year. Plus, because of its flexible, easy-to-cut material, you can use it to seal roof gaps that attract bats and rodents.

We recommend using nails on this vent instead of screws for a more convenient installation. Also, make sure to use enough product to achieve desired results.

Owens Corning VentSure


If you’re a fan of do-it-yourself projects, we recommend using Owens Corning VentSure. It’s a lightweight and malleable product that comes with a set of nails. A 20-square-inch piece should be enough to ventilate four feet of living space.

Certainteed Ridge Vent


We recommend the Certainteed Ridge Vent for homeowners who value aesthetics. It uses a high-impact copolymer with a slim profile, making it easy to blend with various design preferences.

This product installs at the roof’s peak, allowing ventilation across the roofline. It also contains ten pre-formed nail bosses for convenient positioning.

Quarrix Shingle Ridge Vent

The Quarrix Shingle Ridge Vent is ideal for contractors and homeowners alike. This 20-foot roll enables quick insulation and top-quality ventilation. Clients rave about how this product can drop attic temperatures by up to 50°C on extremely hot days.

Air Vent Ridge Vent


The Air Vent Ridge Vent is one of the top U.S.-made roofing products. The brand offers unmatched convenience through its nail gun-friendly features and clean, uncluttered rooflines. Additionally, users appreciate its lifetime warranty.

What Is a Ridge Vent?

What Is a Ridge Vent?

A ridge vent is an air exhaust homeowners install on roofs to allow humid air to pass. Usually, these products are flexible enough to plug gaps and cracks filling materials cannot cover.

Using this ventilation system provides users with continuous exhaust at the peak of the attic. Its goal is to enhance home ventilation, preserve roofing systems, and keep attics from collecting moisture. As a bonus, it can also keep rain, snow, and insects at bay.

How Does a Ridge Vent Work?

How Does a Ridge Vent Work

There are two essential components to a ridge vent’s capabilities. First, this product allows hot air from the attic to exit through the exhaust and pulls in cool air from below. In turn, this process creates a negative pressure across the house’s ridge to bring in cool air from the soffits. 

For a ridge vent to perform its tasks properly, air should enter and exit the attic to ensure continuous airflow. The vents will then allow dry air to replace the warm. This passive system is an efficient way to ventilate your home because it doesn’t require any energy.

What Does a Ridge Vent Look Like?

What Does a Ridge Vent Look Like?

A ridge vent is a continuous strip — often four feet in length — installed at the highest portion of the roof. It needs two to three inches of opening across the roof’s peak and a continuous air supply from both ends to work.

It may look like a simple contraption but it’s really a state-of-the-art ventilation system. This tool uses the sun to accelerate the airflow inside the house, aiming to maintain the roof’s temperature to match the air outside.

Because of the strip’s shape, roofers don’t have to cut cap shingles individually to fit it. Also, if you install it correctly, you shouldn’t have to worry about an eyesore on your roof.

How Do You Install a Ridge Vent?

How Do You Install a Ridge Vent?

One of the most popular ways to boost an attic’s ventilation is using a ridge vent. This product is an ideal low-profile alternative to raised vents that interrupt the roofline. The best part about it is that it’s almost unnoticeable.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing a ridge vent on an existing shingle roof:

Step 1: Remove the Shingle Caps

First, remove the nails holding the shingles down. In most cases, you will find two nails per ridge cap. Afterward, remove the nails and the shingle cap.

Step 2: Cut the Ventilation

The next step is to cut the shingles back from the ridge as recommended by the manufacturer. Take off all underlayment from the ridge to expose three inches of wood decking. Next, mark your cutting lines.

Afterward, take off all nails across the chalk lines using a hammer and cat’s paw pry bar. Then, secure the decking under each chalk line with new 8d nails. With a circular saw, cut the decking without damaging the rafters or trusses. 

Step 3: Install New Shingles

If necessary, install new shingles to cover any exposed decking. Afterward, reattach existing shingles with roofing nails.

Step 4: Install the Ridge Vent

Whether you prefer a shingle-over or aluminum ridge-style vent, the process is virtually the same. First, measure the manufacturer’s recommended distance from the ridge and mark it with chalk. Place the vent over the reference line and nail it accordingly.

Roof Ridge Vent Pros and Cons

Roof Ridge Vent Pros and Cons

Many roofers consider roof ridge vents an essential part of modern homes. However, they may still not be the ideal ventilation solution for you. We created a list of pros and cons to help you decide if you should invest in this system.

Pros

Let’s go through the advantages of installing roof ridge vents first.

Balance Home Temperature

Whether you need a new roof or a replacement for an old one, a ridge vent moves the hot and cold air around your home to balance the temperature. This feature keeps your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter.

Minimize Energy Bills

With proper installation, you can boost your home’s energy efficiency. Using ridge vents is one of the most convenient ways to minimize your electric bills.

Prolong Roof Life

Ridge vents protect your roof against moisture and prevent mold and rot formation. If you want to stop your roof’s premature aging, we recommend installing these ventilation systems.

Match Exterior Aesthetics

Modern ridge vents have a sleek design that you’ll hardly notice from the ground. In most cases, it won’t affect your roof structure.

Keep Animals Out

Ridge vents are flexible materials that seal roof gaps and keep rats, bats, raccoons, and other pests out. We recommend installing them if you’ve noticed animal droppings in your attics.

Cons

Now, it’s time to check some of the disadvantages of installing ridge vents.

Leak Water

Sometimes, homes get in the way of storms. During these instances, the wind may damage ridge vents and cause water damage in the attic.

Work Better in Cool Climates

Most roofing ventilation systems don’t work as well in warmer climates. Generally, the colder an area is, the more attics benefit from ventilation systems.

Need a Roof Peak

Homes with a flat roof will not benefit from ridge vents. We only recommend using this product if you have a slanted pitch on your roof.

Common Ridge Vent Problems

Common Ridge Vent Problems

Before investing in ridge vents, discover some of the common problems consumers experience when using them.

  • Wrong installation: If you don’t install your ridge vent properly, you won’t achieve desired results.
  • Improper sealing: Ridge vents use a special sealant to complete installation. It ensures that contaminants and moisture cannot seep into your attic.
  • Product cracks: Most ridge vents use high-quality materials that withstand the elements. However, after years of use, plastic ridge vents can crack.

Final Thoughts

Ridge vents are some of the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to achieve ideal ventilation levels for your roof and attic. Additionally, they balance your home temperature, minimize your energy bills, and prolong your roof’s life.

If you’re ready to elevate your living situation, invest in these items now. They can keep your home safe and comfortable for several years.

Before you invest in one, choose the ideal brand and install it correctly. Contact our experts now to identify the best ventilation solutions for your home.

Imagine walking into one of the lesser-used rooms in your home and experiencing an unpleasant smell. You try to air it out to invite fresh air and remove the odor. However, this doesn’t eliminate the stench. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you may have a mold problem in your home.

About 20-50% of homes suffer from dampness, which is a conducive breeding ground for mold. Properties with insufficient ventilation, heating, or insulation will most likely have some form of mold growth. It’s also reported that billions of dollars are spent by households on the treatment of allergic rhinitis caused by dampness and indoor mold.

Because mold isn’t always visible, it’s easy to overlook the damage it can cause in the long run. If you need help with mold removal, you should look for mold removal experts on Home Advisor. You should also invest in the mold removal products to hamper and prevent their growth after the professionals have eliminated them.

In the below article, we’ll cover what mold smells like and other potentials odors that might smell similar to mold.

What Does Mold Smell Like?

If you’ve ever experienced walking into a home that has leaking or has been flooded, you may notice a strange, musty smell in the room. However, if it’s your first time encountering the smell, you might not recognize it as mold right away.

As mold breeds and spreads, they emit gaseous chemicals as a byproduct of fungal metabolism, called microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs). Different mold types produce different odors, which can make it challenging to identify whether the smell is from mold or some other causes.

The smell of mold can have some of these common characteristics:

Musty or Stale

A musty or stale smell is similar to old socks that haven’t dried properly. It can also be likened to a room that hasn’t been aired out for a long time. This type of smell typically means that mold is just starting to form. To prevent further growth, you should look for their possible habitats, particularly damp areas in the home, such as the bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen, or basement.

Earthy

Mold may also emit an earthy smell, especially if they’re growing in damp wood, like pillars or walls. The odor is like a dense forest or the dirt underneath decaying leaves, especially after a bout of rain. It might seem harmless and even agreeable for some, but it indicates a mold problem that should be eliminated as soon as possible.

Damp

Having a damp smell in your home is an indicator that there’s a leak. Hence, it’s highly likely that there’s also mold growth somewhere in your home. As mentioned, mold thrives in damp places, so smelling something wet can be a sign that your residence might also have a mold problem.

A damp smell is similar to that of a river or rain. It can be noticeable because of the mold spores that evaporate along with the water vapors.

Rotting or Fermenting

If something smells like aging cheese, decaying fruit, or fermenting alcohol, you should also look for visible signs of mold. The odor can propel you to action because it can become unbearable. More than musty, earthy, or damp smells, rotting or fermenting odors can mean that mold is rapidly growing and spreading. 

Sour or Tangy

Aside from a rotting smell, mold can also emit a pungent odor. It can be similar to the smell of armpits after an intense workout. Again, this type of smell can be excruciating, especially if you have kids, so make sure to contact professional mold removal experts right away to address the issue.

Household Odors Similar to Mold

Household Odors Similar to MoldMold is a relatively common household problem. However, there might also be other causes for the moldy smell in your home, such as:

  • Wet or dirty laundry
  • Unattended garbage
  • Rotten food
  • Pet waste
  • Pests
  • Natural gas leaks
  • HVAC problems
  • Sewage or drainage issues

Other Mold Warning Signs

Other Mold Warning Signs

These smells can be an early indicator of mold. If you notice any of these smells, you should verify your suspicions by inspecting your home for visible signs of mold. This way, you can nip the problem in the bud as soon as possible. 

Another sign that you might have mold in your home is when you or your family experience allergic reactions. Coughing and sneezing are common reactions to mold spores that float in the air. Having a sore and itchy throat or congested and runny nose can also be signs of a mold problem.

These symptoms can compound and lead to other issues, such as sinusitis, headaches, wheezing, and breathing difficulties. You or your family might also experience skin irritations. When left ignored, these will likely result in more respiratory problems.

Ways to Prevent Mold

Ways to Prevent Mold

If you have an existing mold problem in your home, it’s best to contact professionals to remove all its traces. Afterward, make sure to follow these tips to prevent mold from growing again in your house:

Monitor the Humidity

Make sure to keep your home’s humidity levels as low as possible. It should be no higher than 50% all day, especially during winter when you use the heater often. You can use a meter to monitor the humidity. An air conditioner or dehumidifier can also help you keep the level low. 

Boost Airflow

Whenever possible, open your windows to let the air flow freely. You can also use exhaust fans to vent air outside the home, especially in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. 

Watch Out for Leaks

Be on the lookout for leaks in the plumbing, particularly in the roofs and walls, to prevent moisture and mold growth. Fix them right away when you spot them.

Dry Wet Items Immediately

In case your home gets flooded, you should remove objects that have been soaked and dry them out under the sun. This includes furniture, carpets, and other items that trap water.

Takeaway

Mold is a common problem for most households. A musty, tangy, or rotting stench can be an indicator of mold presence in your home. If you encounter these odors, you should look for visible signs of the fungi to prevent their growth. If you’re looking for ways to get rid of mold smells in your house, make sure you read our detailed post. 

Without proper ventilation, attic temperatures can reach up to 150 degrees during the hotter days of the year. Two products can prevent this scenario: whole house and attic fans. Choosing the right one can make your home more comfortable.

Whole house and attic fans essentially perform similar functions — one of which is to improve ventilation. However, it’s best to understand their pros and cons to identify which one would serve your requirements best. Read on to learn everything you need to know to choose the ideal product for your property.

What Are Whole House Fans?

what are whole house fans

A whole house fan is a cooling appliance used to eliminate or reduce the need for artificial cool air. Many homeowners appreciate this device because it produces about one-third as much electricity as a standard air-conditioning unit. You can turn on this machine when the temperatures outside drop to use the cool air to ventilate your property.

Here are some things to remember about whole house fans:

  • You mount them between your living space and attic.
  • It’s best to use them in the evening and early morning — or any time the temperature is much lower outside
  • These instruments pull warm indoor air toward the attic and push hot air out of your home.
  • When you open windows in your living spaces, they draw cool air from outside.
  • As they cool your living spaces, they drive heat buildup out of your entire home.

What Are Attic Fans?

what are attic fans

As the name suggests, you install attic fans on your attic ceiling. They draw hot air out of your loft and push it outside. They work well with your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system.

Unlike whole house fans, it’s best to use attic fans during the hottest times of the day to reduce heat buildup. Doing so helps you ventilate your attic space only.

Below are some features of attic fans:

  • You mount them between your attic and outside space.
  • It’s best to run attic fans when it’s hottest outside.
  • These mechanisms actively remove hot hair from the attic.
  • They create negative pressure in your loft and pull outside air through the roof.
  • These instruments minimize the heat buildup in your attic and keep temperatures as comfortable as possible.

Whole House Fan vs Attic Fan Comparison

In a nutshell, below are some of the factors that differentiate whole house fans from attic fans.

Whole House Fan

Attic Fan

Air Movement

Pulls warm air from the house upward toward the loft

Moves air from the attic into the great outdoors

Cooling Mechanism

Removes humid air and provides a fresh gust of wind

Cools down the area above the ceiling to minimize heat impact

Functionality

Drops the temperature around the whole house

Cools the attic by up to 50 degrees

Potential Deal Breaker

More expensive than attic fans

May increase electric expenses

Usage

Control manually through a switch

Activate automatic thermostat controls

Requirement

An attic space between three to six feet with a designated outlet

Attic space with a designated outlet

Materials Cost

Typically between $200 and $1,600

Usually between $75 and $400

Keep reading to delve deeper into the mentioned components.

Major Differences

One of the most obvious differences between whole house fans and attic fans is the areas they serve. While a whole house fan pulls out air from the entire house, an attic fan only works its magic in the attic.

Depending on your whole house fan’s capacity and home size, your electrically powered machine can change the air up to six times per hour. The vents open and close in sync with the fan’s movements.

For whole house fans to perform at their best, it’s essential to allot one square foot of opening for every 750 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of fan capacity. You can use various vent types, including dormer, eave, or ridge to stimulate attic vending.

On the other hand, attic fans or attic ventilators shoot out hot air from the attic upon the signal of automated thermostat triggers. You also need air intake for the technology to work. There are two usual attic fan types:

  • Gable attic fans: You can mount this fan type on your existing gable. As soon as temperatures drop, they push warm attic air out the gable.
  • Roof attic fans: As the name suggests, you can find a roof attic fan partially inside the attic and partially toward the roof. It should not be closer than two feet to your roof’s ridgeline.

Aesthetics

whole-house-vs-attic-fan_aesthetics

Winner: Attic Fans

Whole house fans end up in your attic, but you have to connect them to your ceiling through a vent. In most cases, they reach a span of 36 to 40 inches. This length should be long enough to cover ceiling joists.

Attic fans are always less visually obtrusive than whole house fans because you don’t need to connect them to your living space. However, if you put one behind an existing gable vent, you can almost see it from the outside. These appliances are not as noticeable as whole house fans because they can fit behind a gable’s opening vent.

The Installation Process

whole-house-vs-attic-fan_the installation process

Winner: Attic Fans

If your attic has live electric power, the most challenging part of installing whole house fans is going through walls to attach the damper box to ceiling joists. Naturally, big fans are more complicated to install. However, you can use 20-inch vent tubes to suspend your fan with ranger straps.

On the flip side, attic fans are easier to install than whole house fans. You can install one quickly as long as you have a power source in the attic. However, keep in mind that this process becomes more difficult if you have powered roof vents because you need to make a hole in the roof.

Cooling Capabilities

whole-house-vs-attic-fan_cooling capabilities

Winner: Whole House Fans

As long as the temperature outdoors is lower than inside your home, whole house fans will work to your advantage. During such times, you can use these machines instead of energy-hungry air-conditioning units.

In most cases, whole house fans are better at cooling your home than attic fans are because they move air throughout the house. Their effects are not the same as standard room fans, but you can feel the temperature difference when you turn it on.

Attic fans may cool your home, but you might not need them if you have a well-insulated property. Their goal is to produce comfortable living temperatures and lessen the instances of searing humidity inside the house.

However, if your attic has poor insulation, attic fans can help you cool down the living areas. These appliances drop home temperatures by reducing the heat in the attic and never move air around the house as whole house fans do.

One bonus benefit of using attic fans is preventing mold and mildew growth in your home.

Ease of Operation

whole-house-vs-attic-fan_ease of operation

Winner: Attic Fans

Using whole house fans involves manually turning them on and off. You’ll have to open screen doors before you can open the fans.

However, there are ways to make the process more convenient for users. For instance, you can install a pull cord from the ceiling or with a wall switch. One major drawback is that these machines only work when the air outside is colder than the air in your house.

For attic fans, you won’t have any trouble operating them as long as you install them properly. It’s also best to have easy access to a switch. However, these appliances can turn on and off automatically. If the temperature inside your attic shoots up, the mechanism will send the fan a signal to turn on.

Noise Levels

whole-house-vs-attic-fan_noise levels

Winner: Whole House Fans

Older whole house fan models are known for their noise, especially after many months of use. The moment your fan blades get weak, they knock around the machine as they turn. Loud sounds are signs that you might need to replace your fans.

However, whole house fans have evolved into quiet indoor tools. You can find some on the market with lower sound levels than 42 decibels — just like a quiet library.

On the other hand, attic fans are mechanical devices that can be noisy. They may be several feet away from the gable but they can still reach high sound levels. If you find that they make too much noise for you, you can check out soundproofing options.

The Verdict

Winner: Tie

Sure, attic fans look better and are easier to install and operate. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for any home, so the best investment to make is the one you need. Also, remember that these products are not mutually exclusive. If you need whole house and attic fans to make your home more comfortable, you can install both of them on your property.

If you need to keep your whole house cool during the hotter days of the year, it’s best to go with whole house fans. And if you want to add ventilation to your attic, choose attic fans. Now that you understand their similarities and differences better, you can determine which product suits your needs best.