What To Do When You Discover Mold In Your Crawl Space
If you own a home for a significant amount of time, you will likely run into a mold issue in your crawl spaces. Crawl space mold removal is a process that you should familiarize yourself with to maintain the indoor air quality of your home and guard against health hazards like itchy eyes, sore throats, allergic reactions, and more severe respiratory problems.
However, if you are concerned about mold removal, contact a restoration company like Flood Kings for an accurate estimate and a thorough remediation process.
Signs of Mold in Crawl Spaces
First, you must be able to identify where your crawl spaces are and what signs could indicate mold growth in the hidden areas of your home. Watch out for the following indicators of crawl space mold.
- Musty smells
- Allergic reactions
- Mold on baseboards
- Discolored crawl space materials
- Visible infestation in crawl space
If you notice any of these indicators in your home, it could signal that there is mold in your crawl space.
Why Does Mold Growth Happen?
A humid crawl space creates the perfect environment for mold spores to develop. Mold thrives when four ingredients are present; moisture, warmth, a food source, and oxygen. Crawl spaces contain those four ingredients more frequently than other parts of the home.
There are many types of mold that can range in colors, including yellow, orange, green, brown, and black mold. All variants can cause health problems for those living in your home because of the negative impact on indoor air quality. Plus, mold could be a sign of further water damage that could compromise your belongings and the home’s structural integrity.
Needless to say, dealing with crawl space mold immediately is the best way to protect your property and its inhabitants.
Tips for Crawl Space Mold Removal
Crawl space mold remediation can be a lengthy and complicated process. You do not want to complete the job halfway, as this may result in the mold returning or the source of the initial water damage continuing to cause problems in the house. With that said, let’s go through the best strategies for removing mold in your crawl space.
Contact Remediation Services
Even if you feel confident in your abilities to remove the problem, the team at Flood Kings is far more equipped to handle this type of issue than you are. Our knowledge and equipment will be valuable if you want your home restored.
In addition to the removal, we can document the whole process to help with any insurance claims you may file.
Since breathing in the contaminants from a mold infestation can be dangerous, you should always wear protective gear when attempting to treat mold problems yourself. Consider using gloves, face masks, eyewear, and full clothing to protect your skin and lungs from the dangers of mold. Lay down plastic sheeting to catch mold debris as you clean it.
A thorough crawl space inspection will be required to assess the extent of the mold problem. Ideally, this will be performed by professionals who know what to look for. But if not, look around the foundation walls to search for cracks where water might be entering the space and causing the mold outbreak. Light up the area so you can see every crack, crevice, and corner as you search for mold-covered surfaces.
Leaving just a little mold behind could ignore the original cause and allow the infestation to continue.
Use Mold Remediation Cleaning Agents
There are many materials that you can use to specifically target the mold problem. Some effective cleaning agents include vinegar, baking soda, chlorine bleach, and borax. Create a solution with these products and put them in a spray bottle for dispersal. Additionally, you could invest in a foaming spray that loosens mold particles from the surfaces they are attached to such as the floor or wall.
There are many commercial-grade products on the market that make it much easier to remove mold in a crawl space, so shop around for cleaning agents that will work. Be sure to read all warning labels or rely on removal services to clean the mold for you.
Mold can be very clingy, and you will need to scrub thoroughly to remove all traces. Use a brush with firm bristles and scrub every affected surface very hard until there are no more signs of discoloration. Porous surfaces like wood floor joists may be especially difficult to clean, but even metal vents will need a good scrubbing to rid them of all traces of mold.
Dispose of Waste
When the cleanup is finished, you must dispose of all the contaminated items that were used for cleanup, including brushes, cloths, towels, plastic sheeting, infected materials, and even clothes in some cases. If there are items you want to clean further, bag them up so they cannot spread mold in the air and to other parts of your home.
You might also have to throw out rotted wood or other ruined building materials that must be replaced.
Install Climate Control Measures
One of the main reasons that mold grows in crawl spaces is the lack of climate control in these spaces. Your crawl space may not be dry enough to prevent water from seeping in through the dirt or the air around the home.
Consider buying a dehumidifier that can operate in tight spaces to remove water droplets from the air, depriving the area of one of the key ingredients required for growing mold.
How to Prevent Mold Growth in Crawl Spaces
Removing mold after it has developed is never fun. It could be very costly depending on the scope of the infestation, and you will probably never want to see mold in your home again. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risks. Flood Kings can also advise you on steps to mitigate the risks, so call our team to learn more.
Plumbing leaks often cause moisture getting into the home when it shouldn’t, especially in the form of condensation. Better insulation on your pipes can reduce the spread of moisture within the building and lower the chances of having to invest in mold removal in the future.
Insulate Crawl Space
Since your crawl space is very vulnerable to moisture collection, investing in crawl space insulation could also make a positive difference. Vapor barriers over dirt are a simple strategy for reducing the likelihood of moisture in the crawl space, as well as other insulation methods like foam, weatherstripping, and caulking.
Your crawl space may have very poor ventilation, and there is a lack of fresh air entering the area. Stale air can be the ideal environment for moisture and mold to thrive in, so improving the ventilation of your crawl space with better HVAC systems can prevent you from covering the cost of mold removal down the road.
Reroute Water Drainage
Rain can also impact the moisture levels in your home, especially in a poorly insulated crawl space. One affordable solution to the drainage issue is to change the dirt grade around the home’s foundation so that water runs away from the building.
You can also place shrubbery around the home since the root systems of these plants will help soak up groundwater to prevent it from entering the house.
Seal Up Cracks
During your inspection of the crawl space, you may have noticed cracks in the foundation, walls, floor joists, the floor itself, or other surfaces. These issues are either contributing to or resulting from the water damage issue that has caused the mold to grow.
Sealing up these cracks either by replacing the materials or applying some type of adhesive can prevent more water from getting into the crawl space, developing mold, and contributing to respiratory problems for you and your family.
Causes of Mold in Your Crawl Space
There are several scenarios that could be causing mold to develop in your crawl space, including:
- Burst pipes
- High humidity
- Poorly sealed windows/doors
- Failed sump pump
- Broken water appliances
These circumstances and more may cause your crawl space to have enough moisture to foster the growth of mold, so keep an eye on your property’s interior when these scenarios occur.
Contact a Mold Remediation Company For Help With Your Crawl Space
While mold removal can turn into a DIY project for ambitious homeowners that want to take care of the problem themselves, the reality is that most of us are not equipped to eliminate mold infestations effectively. When baking soda and sponges are not enough to handle the mold issue in your crawl space, it is time to call in a mold remediation specialist.
Flood Kings has worked with a large number of clients to clear every crawl space of mold infestations. Our team will ensure that the affected area is cleaned thoroughly and that the root cause of the problem is dealt with. After all, mold removal is not just about getting rid of the ugly growth, but preventing the problem from returning in the future.
We will clean the floor, ceiling, joists, HVAC components, and every other material that is affected by the spread of mold for a fair cost. Contact an experienced mold remediation company today to return the air quality in your home to perfect condition.