Unless your crawl space is ventilated and insulated well enough to keep moisture levels to a minimum, chances are, mold could develop. Crawl spaces are notorious for becoming damp and moldy over time, but there are some things you can do to get rid of the mold and keep it from coming back.
Warning Signs Your Crawl Space Has Mold
It’s not uncommon at all for crawl spaces to develop mold. The good news is, there are some early warning signs you can look for before the problem gets out of hand.
As mold spores multiply, damp musty smells occur. This unpleasant musty or mildew aroma coming up through the first floor is usually the first thing people notice before there are any visible signs, and can be smelled near vents and entryways. The scent coming from the crawl space will likely be almost impossible to mask with candles and other air fresheners.
Problems with HVAC
The mold that grows in the crawl space travels up through your home’s air ducts and can spread to the HVAC system. This can lead to further problems, as the HVAC can spread the spores throughout the home, which could lead to new growth.
As the mold colony feeds on the organic materials of your home and grows, it can cause severe enough damage to the structural supports within the crawl space. Over time, this can jeopardize the safety and security of your home. If this continues long enough without being addressed, the structural damage could lead to cracked floors and collapsed ceilings.
Mold spores can have negative health impacts on those living within the home. Symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Skin rashes
- Postnasal drip
How to Get Mold Out of a Crawl Space
When it comes to mold removal, it’s usually best to have a professional handle the job. They have the tools and equipment to safely get the mold out and dispose of it properly. Some types of mold are safe to handle yourself if you have the right safety gear and cleaning supplies.
There are more than 100 types of mold that can grow within the US, but these are the 4 most common types of mold to be seen in crawl spaces:
Stachybotrys and Cladosporium both can lead to some unpleasant health consequences and should be removed by a professional mold remediation crew.
Before you start, be sure to collect the following protective gear and cleaning supplies:
- Brush, putty knife, or other scrapers
- Cleaning solution
- Plastic sheeting
- Protective clothing
- Respirator or dust mask
- Sponges or cleaning brush
- Spray bottle
- Textured gloves
- 5-gallon buckets
- Put on your protective gear and cover any openings, like air conditioning vents.
- Scrape large mold growths into a garbage bag.
- Spray the affected area with your preferred cleaning solution with enough solution to soak the area without damaging the wood. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then scrub it with a brush or sponge until no more mold is visible.
- As you leave the crawl space, spray down the floor with your cleaning solution to kill any mold spores that landed on the floor.
- Leave the door open to allow fresh air to dry the area and UV light to help kill the remaining spores. Fans and a UV lamp can help this process.
When You Should Contact Professional to Remove Mold From a Crawl Space
Mold removal and remediation from a crawl space can be labor-intensive, and it can put your health at risk if not done properly. Rather than worry about how to remove mold from a crawlspace, reach out to your local mold experts at Sensitive Environmental, and let the professionals keep your home and family safe.