A few years ago I bought a home. The inspector found mold in the attic and pointed out that the upstairs bathrooms did not have vents. I remediated the mold and had an electrician install vents that would vent to the outside.

Now it's 3 years later and I am selling my house. The inspector comes over and there is mold in the attic, and he does some digging in the insulation of the attic and sees that the vents don't actually go anywhere....they vent right into the attic!

I now need to have this mold remidiated AGAIN. Is the contractor in the wrong? Should I pursue having him pay me for the remediation as well as have him fix the fans so that they vent to the outside?

What other steps could I take?

-Edit- This is Southern New Hampshire, USA.

-Further Edit- I found this link which explains it's a code violation. Does that strengthen my case? In what year did venting bathroom exhaust out of the house become a code requirement?

  • How bad is the mold? Pictures? Did you pay him to vent it out? Lot of times mold in the attic can be cleaned.
    – DMoore
    Jun 2, 2014 at 21:37
  • The mold isn't too bad, but it's bad enough that I can't take care of it myself, especially since the buyer's inspector caught it. She expects professional remediation and I don't blame her. It'll probably cost around $1500 bucks. I did pay him to vent it to the outside, but none of the receipts say that was needed...but isn't it his job to do the work correctly and safely?
    – JMD
    Jun 2, 2014 at 21:38
  • I'm still researching and it seems that there is a code for this and you are not supposed to vent into the attic...I just can't figure out if that's state or federal...or if it actually IS a real code.
    – JMD
    Jun 2, 2014 at 22:28
  • If the contractor pulled a permit, you may still be able to get the inspection records. While you are checking that, I'd ask the local inspector what the ventilation requirements are for new exhaust fan installations. That said, you might have a tough time proving that the ventilation was the cause of the mold in the first place, and if the installer is uncooperative, your legal fees will quickly surpass $1500 unless it's a slam dunk.
    – Comintern
    Jun 2, 2014 at 22:42
  • @Comintern thanks for the response. I'm hoping he will at least come and vent to the outside like he was supposed to.
    – JMD
    Jun 2, 2014 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


Venting to the attic is never correct, and was not good 'workmanship' even before the 2006 IRC cycle. Even if you asked a contractor to vent to the attic, they should have refused, or made you sign a waiver.

Your first step is to research the contractor claims process in your state. Your second step is to contact the contractor and explain what happened. Your third step is to contact the bonding company of the contractor: they have teeth, if need be.

You paid to have fans routed to the outside: the contractor should be liable to finish the job as specified, and to pay any consequential damages for failing to do so.

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