Depending on where you live, your house may have a slab foundation, or you may have a raised foundation with a crawl space underneath your home. If you have a crawl space, it is important that you are aware of the risks that crawl space mold can pose, as crawl spaces are one of the most common places in a home for mold to grow. If you have a crawl space in your home, keep reading to find out what you need to know about the risk mold growth can pose. If you have located mold, contact us today for a free mold inspection for our crawl space mold removal service.
Why Does Mold Grow in Crawl Spaces?
To understand why mold growth is so common in crawl spaces, you must first understand how mold works. Mold is a type of fungus that does not rely on sunlight to grow; in fact, it thrives best in dark, damp, humid environments, which is why crawl spaces are often a common place to find mold in a home. If even a small amount of moisture is able to enter your crawl space, mold can quickly start to grow on the walls, subfloor, and joists in your crawl space, which can cause a variety of problems throughout your home. This is particularly problematic since homeowners rarely go into their crawl spaces, and they may not discover the mold growth until it has spread.
Is Crawl Space Mold Dangerous?
One of the first questions you may be asking yourself is whether crawl space mold growth is really that dangerous. Since many people rarely access their crawl space, they may falsely believe that crawl space mold growth is not that big of a deal. However, once mold begins to grow in your crawl space, it will quickly begin to spread throughout your crawl space and eat away at your home’s subfloor, which can cause costly structural damage to your home. Furthermore, the mold will not stay contained to your crawl space for long.
Mold spores easily travel through the air and will begin to infiltrate the rest of your home once mold begins growing in your crawl space. This can not only cause mold growth to spread throughout your home, but airborne mold spores can also cause health problems for you and your family, such as respiratory problems, new or worsening allergies, and even flu-like symptoms. This makes it important that you are on the lookout for the early signs that can indicate mold growth in your crawl space, as this will allow you to have the mold removal before the problem spreads throughout your home.
Signs of a Moldy Crawl Space
Considering how important it is to discover mold in your crawl space before it spreads, you may be wondering how you will know if you have a moldy crawl space. To help get you started, here are a few of the early warning signs you can look out for:
- Visible Mold Growth: Of course, one of the clearest signs you can look out for is visible evidence of mold growth in your crawl space. Any signs of mold growth such as black, white, pink, or green spots showing on the walls, joists, or subfloors in your crawl space indicate that you should consider having your home inspected for mold growth. Since visual detection can be key in catching mold growth early, it is critical that you inspect your crawl space regularly to look for signs of mold, mildew, or excessive moisture.
- A Musty Smell: Even if you cannot see mold in your home or crawl space, you may be able to smell it. Mold gives off a distinctive musty smell that will begin to permeate your home as the mold in your crawl space begins to spread.
- Sagging Floors: As the mold damage in your crawl space becomes more severe, you may notice that the floors in your home begin to sag, warp, or buckle. Even if mold is not the problem, sagging floors indicate severe structural problems in your home, and it is then imperative that you have your floors and crawl space inspected immediately.
How To Prevent a Moldy Crawl Space
Of course, once mold begins growing in your crawl space, it can be nearly impossible to get rid of it without professional help. This makes it important that you take steps to prevent mold from growing in your crawl space in the first place. A few simple steps that you can take to prevent mold growth in your crawl space include:
- Redirecting Water: Preventing mold growth in your crawl space will require you to take steps to keep as much moisture as possible from entering your crawl space. One of the first things that you can do is to make sure that you have properly functioning gutters that direct away from your home when it rains. Make sure to keep your gutters clean, as water from overflowing gutters can easily enter your crawl space. You should also check when it rains to make sure that your property is sufficiently graded so that water flows away from your home. If water flows toward your home, this is a recipe for disaster, and you will need to have your property regraded to keep water out of your crawl space.
- Stopping Leaks: Whenever you inspect your crawl space for mold, make sure that you look for any signs of leaks or standing water. The presence of any water in your crawl space can lead to mold growth, so you will want to find the source of the leak and fix it.
- Putting Plastic Down: Even after you have taken steps to prevent moisture from entering your crawl space, mold can still grow due to moisture that can come up out of the ground. You will then want to install a moisture barrier on the ground in your crawl space as an additional precaution to keep your crawl space dry.
The Importance of Professional Crawlspace Mold Removal
However, even after taking every precaution possible, you may still discover mold growth in your crawl space. If this is the case, then you may want to consider having the mold professionally removed. Mold removal in a crawl space can difficult if you do not know what you are doing, and if you miss any of the mold, it will continue to grow and spread in your home. A professional mold remediation service will not only be able to safely remove all of the mold growth from your home, but they will also be able to determine the source of the mold growth and perform waterproofing services to prevent the mold from returning.
If you believe that there is mold growing in your crawl space, contact us to find out about getting a free inspection of your crawl space.