We rarely think about the crawl spaces in our homes until they become a serious problem. However, crawl spaces are especially vulnerable to mold growth due to the high moisture and humidity levels. Often, mold cleanup may be necessary for severe mold growth. Water leaks, damaged insulation, and inadequate ventilation can cause increased levels of humidity.
Why is Moisture a Problem in Crawl Spaces?
The location of crawl spaces is one important reason for why moisture becomes a problem. The crawl space is located on top of soil. Soil and dirt contain moisture. Dirt crawl spaces can become mold breeding grounds.
To prevent a mold in the crawl space, you have to control the moisture and humidity levels. Mold will easily grow if the humidity is above 70%. Follow these tips and the relative humidity in your crawl space should reach the desired level (30-50%), decreasing your chances of mold growth.
Check for water leaks in the foundation walls and crawl space ceiling. Make sure there are no cracks that allow water to leak into the crawl space. Also be sure to inspect the HVAC ducts and plumbing components for leaks.
Ensure that gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation. Water that flows toward your house could enter your crawl space and basement.
Make sure your crawl space is properly ventilated. There should be one square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of crawl space. However, consult a professional to determine if you should keep the crawl space vents closed and how to control the humidity in the crawl space in other ways.
Use plastic sheet covers to insulate the crawl space floor and foundation walls. Vapor barriers (such as plastic sheet covers) trap the moisture that is evaporating from the soil and walls.
If your crawl space is already insulated, inspect the insulation once or twice a year. Make sure the insulation is not missing or sagging. This could indicate a water problem.
Make sure dryer vents always discharge to the outside. Do not allow the vents to discharge into the crawl space, attic or other areas of your house. This can lead to a major increase in humidity.
Mold can be dangerous in your home by causing serious illness. Mold in the crawl space can cause other problems in your house. Air travels from bottom to top. Therefore, any moisture formed in crawl spaces will be carried by the moist air upwards to your living spaces, which can lead to mold growth beyond the crawl space.
Despite following these tips, mold may still grow to dangerous levels. When in doubt, call the professionals and keep your family safe. PuroClean Restoration’s expert mold cleanup services are comprehensive and include mold and mildew odor removal, cleaning and sanitation, and mold remediation.