The Hazards of Crawl-Space Mold and How to Keep Your Crawl Space Mold Free

Construction & Contractors Articles

You likely know that mold in your home can be hazardous to your family's health, but you may not think of your home's crawl space as a true part of your home and realize that mold inside of it is also hazardous to your health. Read on to learn how mold in your crawl space can affect your family's health and how a crawl-space repair professional can get rid of the mold and keep it from coming back. 

Why Crawl-Space Mold Is a Health Hazard

Of course, you can likely understand how crawl-space mold would affect your health if you were in your crawl space frequently, but you may not realize that mold in the crawl space is hazardous to your family even if no one in your family ever enters your crawl space. While the wood and other building materials that lie between your crawl space and the first floor of your home keep this mold out of site, these materials don't keep the tiny mold spores from entering your home due to the stack effect. 

You have likely heard of the stack effect through the common saying that "heat rises." The air in the crawl space can be much warmer than the air in your home, especially in the summer when you have the air-conditioning system running. When your crawl space is not properly sealed off from the rest of your home, not only does this warm air seep through your flooring, but the tiny mold spores in the air come up as well.

How Professionals Combat Crawl-Space Mold and Prevent Its Return

Now that you know why a mold-filled crawl space is such a health hazard, read on to learn how a crawl-space repair specialist can rid your crawl space of mold and keep it from every returning. 

Step 1: Mold Removal 

The first step to a mold-free crawl space is the removal of current mold. This is a hazardous job, so it is important not to try it yourself unless you are trained in mold removal and own the right protective equipment to wear to protect your health during the process. 

While every professional has their own specific technique that they have perfected over years of practice, the general steps of crawl-space mold removal include the following things.

1. Setting up a temporary ventilation system to protect their health. Your technician may set up a few fans to blow fresh air into the crawl space to protect them during the job and lay a plastic tarp on the ground to catch the mold that falls as they work. 

2. Applying a chemical mold remover and then scraping the mold off. The chemical mold remover kills the mold to make it slightly less hazardous and loosens it to allow it to be scraped off more easily. 

3. Surface-blasting more severe mold infestations. In most occupied homes, the mold accumulation is light enough that it can simply be scraped off. However, if there is more mold accumulation than typical, a surface blaster may have to be used to remove tough mold stuck in all nooks and crannies of a crawl space. 

Step 2: Crawl-Space Waterproofing or Encapsulation

As you may know, mold flourishes in moist environments, so the key to keeping a crawl space mold free is keeping it as dry as possible. One important step to keeping your crawl space free of moisture is waterproofing, or encapsulation (the two terms are often used interchangeably). The ground under your crawl space naturally contains moisture, and when this moisture evaporates, it accumulates all over the interior of your crawl space, making the entire place a mold breeding ground. 

Encapsulation steps include prepping the ground, installing a vapor barrier (often made of polyethylene) on the ground under your crawl space and on the walls of it, insulating the walls and band joists, sealing and insulating the crawl-space door, and installing a dehumidifier to further prevent moisture accumulation. 

Not all crawl spaces are suitable for full encapsulation, so if your crawl-space repair technician decides that some steps are not right for yours, then they will speak to you about the steps that can be taken and additional techniques that can help keep your crawl space moisture-free. 

If you suspect you have a mold problem in your home crawl space, then realize that mold spores are spreading to the rest of your home, whether you realize it or not. Contact a crawl-space repair technician and ask them to come remove the mold in your crawl space and then waterproof the space to keep mold away for good. 

Contact a company such as Perma-Dry Waterproofing & Drainage, Inc. for more information and help.

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10 October 2016

New Trends In The Construction Industry

My name is Brandon McCauley and this blog is about new trends in the construction industry. In this blog you'll learn about new types of materials that are long-lasting and durable. You'll also find out how new homes and businesses are being built to be more energy efficient. I continually study new trends and the latest developments in construction because this is an interest of mine. I'm always amazed when I see new building and home designs that are out of the ordinary. If you also like learning about new construction trends, I think you'll find my blog very interesting and informative.