A Homeowners Guide To The Risks Of White Mold In A Crawl Space
When was the last time you had a good look around your crawl space or basement? Is it possible that one or two horrors might be hiding in plain sight?
Environments like these are naturally humid, so white mold could be present and dangerous. What potential harm could it pose, to your house and health?
For starters, studies have estimated that 21% of asthma cases are relatable to mold. Read on, and well break down everything you need to know about these harmful fungi.
What Causes A Moldy Crawl Space
Humidity. If you have a high-humidity environment in your crawl space, the odds are good that you have mold. If you see puddles of standing water, then youre almost certainly going to have mold in your crawl space.
Before you can even think about killing the mold in your crawl space, youll need to remedy any moisture issues. Leaky pipes, poor drainage, or rain and snow freely entering the crawl space will all cause mold growth. You should dry out the crawl space as much as possible to prevent the mold from coming back. Getting the humidity level in the air to below 45% is ideal. You can also check the moisture content of the wood in the crawl space with a surface moisture meter. You should aim for a moisture level of below 15% in the wood.
Redirect Gutters & Downspouts
You can start your inspection outside by checking your houses gutters and downspouts. You need to make sure that they are diverting water away from the foundation. Rainwater can seep through to your crawlspace or basement after it accumulates near your foundation. And once you have water in your crawl space, youre in trouble.
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Black Mold In Crawl Space:
Black mold is one of the most dangerous types of mold that can grow in your Crawl Space. Black molds have two different types Stachybotrys atra and Stachybotrys chartarum. Black mold located in a crawl space usually produces mycotoxins, which is why you may experience allergy problems. Black molds are generally dark gray or greenish. They can appear as flat, bumpy, fuzzy, or even powdery.
Dealing With Crawl Space Mold In Chicago Il Or Suburbs Were Here To Help
If you decide to take on mold in the crawl space, removal techniques are very important, so please follow our guidelines carefully. We want you to stay safe. Wear protective gear, and take your time.
Dont hesitate to call us if you have any second thoughts about doing it yourself. We have years of experience with crawl space cleaning services in Chicago and the suburbs. Our services cover residential and commercial properties, and our team members are industry certified in mold removal and remediation.
When the job makes you think twice, call us first here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba: 773-647-1985
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Mistakes To Avoid While Mold Cleanup
When doing mold remediation on your own, make sure to avoid the following mistakes:
- Choosing the wrong mold cleaner. Again, bleach is not what kills mold. Cleaning mold with bleach is not going to help. The best way to clean mold is by using natural products like the ones mentioned above.
- Not addressing cross-contamination. Heres one important thing you should know. Once you start scrubbing off the mold from the surface, some of the spores will become airborne. This means that your entire home can be exposed to mold infestation. Thus, it is essential to containing the area. Dispose of all the cleaning materials and clothing you used to prevent cross-contamination.
- Not eliminating the moisture source. No matter how hard you clean the parts of your home infested by mold, it will just keep coming back until you address the moisture problems. After the cleanup, speak with a mold remediation professional to determine the causes of water problems or leaks in your house.
Is There Mold In Your Homes Crawl Space
Mold loves hiding in dark, damp places. So it might not come as a surprise that mold could be hiding in your homes crawl space. If a crawls space isnt insulated, it can easily become damp with condensation. Leaky pipes or areas in the crawl space that are susceptible to rain or snow can also be sources of moisture. That dampness, combined with the darkness of the crawl space, could make it the perfect breeding ground for mold.
In this article well talk about how to identify mold in a crawl space, what causes mold to grow in a crawl space, how to get rid of mold in a crawl space, and well teach you how the professionals kill mold in a crawl space.
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Swipe Down The Residue:
Finally, you need to scrub off the residue properly. But before that, make sure, the area is dry enough. You can use bristle brushes. The brushes are stiff enough to remove residue. However, in this step, you have to be more patient since the task is time-consuming. Try to remove all the mold residue. Even if a small bunch of mold spores is left anyhow, they will infest the whole area.
How To Prevent Mold In Crawl Space
Preventing mold growth in crawl space can easily be done by sealing it. Encapsulate the area such that no moisture will be able to find its way through. Dehumidifying the area can also a lot to control the moisture in the air, keeping it dry. The bottom line is, mold infestation is a serious situation and must be addressed properly at the soonest time.
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How To Prevent And Remove Crawl Space Mold
When was the last time you considered the health of your crawl space? The area beneath your home is its own ecosystem and there are a lot of factors that need your attention. The levels of humidity, temperature, and air flow can have drastic effects on the quality of life enjoyed within your home.
We generally place a lot of our focus on keeping moisture out of the crawl space. And while this is a very important consideration, it is not the only threat to the quality of your crawl space. Keep in mind that the quality of your crawl space directly affects the quality of your home. This can show itself both in the quality of air we breathe on a daily basis as well as the structural stability of the home itself.
So how do we avoid falling victim to the various forms of mold?
Get Rid Of Mold On Floor Joists In Crawl Space: In 7 Easy Steps
Floor joists in the crawl space are not inviting at all yet they are one of the best friendly places for mold growth. Basically, humid regions are highly susceptible to mold growth. Therefore, mold on deck, under the sink, or even on floor joists in crawl space is a very common thing to occur. Unfortunately, you hardly realize the fact since you are not a regular visitor of the place.
However, mold on floor joists in crawl spaces can be very severely dangerous at times. The intense occurrence of mold causes bad odor and an unpleasant environment. You surely wont like to live in your house knowing the fact that mold has taken over your crawl space. Hence, knowing how to get rid of mold on floor joists in the crawl space is very important.
However, intensive mold growth may require professional help. But if the mold spores are only in their earlier stage, then this becomes a DIY project that you yourself can handle. The main reason behind the crawl space being a mold breeding ground is its tendency for collecting moisture quickly.
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How To Seal Crawl Space Vents
Knowing how to seal off crawl space vents in your home is one of many approaches you can take to prevent any unwanted moisture from entering your home. Although sealing your vents is an effective way to keep air out, it wont stop any moisture or air from entering through gaps and cracks in your crawl space.
How Do I Remove It
If youre wondering how to get rid of white mold in your crawl space, youll need to assess the size of the problem. With a small emerging issue, you might be able to take care of it yourself, but you should not attempt anything over 30 square feet.
Use Personal Protective Equipment , even for small jobs. Youll need an N95 mask, gloves, and googles as a minimum since mold in the air can be as much as 10 to 1,000 times higher during removal/cleaning.
If the mold is on soil, and only a few square feet, you can dig down an inch to remove the affected area. After removal of the dirt, consider the installation of a plastic vapor barrier to help prevent reoccurrence.
Bleach may kill the mold but it doesnt prevent the spores from being airborne and you dont want to use bleach on porous materials. This action starves the mold of its food source.
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How To Get Rid Of Mold In The Basement / Crawl Space
You walk into your basement and find a patch of mold growing! What do you do? Mold growth can be a serious issue, but knowing how to get rid of mold in the basement will help you avoid hazardous conditions it may bring. A mold outbreak isnt just unsightly, it can slowly damage the structure of your home and pose serious health risks to you and your family.
It isnt difficult to recognize when you have a mold problem. One of the first signs is a strong, musty odor. Mold can have a slimy, fuzzy, or powdery appearance and different varieties present with different color variations. In homes with a crawl space you may notice a musty smell or find mold along the baseboards. The crawl space is not likely a place you regularly visit so mold growth may go unnoticed until it starts to permeate through the floorboards.
Heres How To Get Rid Of White Mold
Moisture is essential for mold growth, and it must be removed as soon as possible.
Suppose youre searching for a way to get rid of white mold or any other type of mold in your home.
In that case, we recommend inspecting the area or hiring a professional to discover the moisture source so you can address it right away.
If youre handy with a moisture meter, you may be able to test for wet building materials on your own. To remove and prevent mold growth, you must
Locate the source of the moisture, fix the moisture problem, remove the affected materials, and dry the areas.
Its also a good idea to remove and replace any materials that were exposed to mold as part of this process in some cases, you can sanitize the area with an approved biocide.
Its crucial to note that bleach will not effectively kill mold on porous surfaces, and it will frequently cause the mold to regrow.
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Worrying About Mold In Crawl Space Here Are Some Best Ways To Get Rid Off Them
Crawl Space refers to a shallow area situated just under the home. More specifically, it is a narrow, unfinished space under a building between the first and the ground floor. Mold in your basement can become a serious issue you should think about. It can be hazardous for your health and quality of life. When you find mold in crawl space, you better know ways to get rid of it. This article will help you solve problems that you are facing with mold in your Crawl Space or Basement.
Signs You May Have Mold In Your Crawl Space
Over 60% of your crawlspace air flows throughout yourhome so a seemingly isolated mold issue in the crawl space can compromise yourindoor air quality and begin to affect your health. For early detection ofcrawl space mold, it is imperative to know what signs to look for.
- You feel cool air from your crawl space entering your home through the floor.
- There are water stains or green/pink/black spots showing up around the baseboards.
- There is an odd odor coming from your crawlspace. Remember mold can smell like anything.
- Existing insulation is missing or sagging, both of which can suggest you have a water problem.
- Patches or clusters of what looks like dirt or powder on the floor joists, posts, girders, and corners of the area.
- You have an increased number of pests entering your home or have noticed animal activity or scat near or in your crawlspace. When animals gain access to your crawl space they often damage the area which can allow moisture to enter the crawlspace.
- You live on an elevated water table.
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Negative Effects Of Mold
Mold spores are very small. They can be released from the centralized location of mold and be pulled into the homes air conditioning, slip through cracks, or otherwise invade the living area. Mold can be an issue even if you might not venture down into your crawl space too often.
There are a variety of health issues that can be caused by inhaling mold spores. Symptoms similar to allergies are on the mild end of the spectrum. But the physical ramifications can be much more severe than that. Those with compromised immune systems are prone to infections. And those with asthma can see an increase in symptoms when in continuous contact with mold.
And while mold itself is not responsible for wood rot, a similar fungus can form that will have negative effects on the structure of your home. Wood rot fungus often accompanies crawl space mold because they need similar conditions in order to grow. The joists beneath the house can become infested with wood rot fungus and lead to expensive repairs down the road.
Dont Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Although you can do so yourself, remember that it is extremely important to remove the entirety of the mold as quickly, safely and effectively as possible, meaning some situations do require professional services.
For example, if there is more mold than expected that has spread to places you cannot properly clean, it is best to get professional help. Mold can create multiple different health issues, from coughing and nasal congestion, to asthma and throat irritation, when it releases microscopic scores into the air. Its always wise to ask if professional mold removal services are needed before attempting to remove the mold yourself.
However, many mold situations can generally be taken care of without costly, professional intervention, so put these tips to good use!
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Assessing Damage From The Mold Growth
The dangers of mold to your home go far beyond health concerns. If mold is left unaddressed, you run the risk of serious damage to the floor joists, floorboards, and other support structures of your house. Wood that retains moisture is weakened, and an invasion of mold takes the damage even further. The boards and beams can crack and separate as the fungus eats through the materials. You may not know that your flooring is unsafe until its too late.
After you have thoroughly cleaned up the mold, you need to assess the area for damage. Look at the joists or boards and determine if there are soft spots or areas of deterioration. You want to have any structural concerns evaluated by a professional contractor, as you may need some parts of board, beams, or flooring replaced for safety.
Use Mold Treatment And Waterproofing Together For A Clean Basement
If you’re trying to waterproof your basement then it is a good idea to remove mold at the same time. Likewise, waterproofing is a key part of a mold removal job. While some waterproofers might ignore mold, and some mold removal professionals might not consider waterproofing, at Southeast Foundation & Crawl Space Repair we know that both are important.
While an extensive mold problem might require a dedicated mold specialist, we can take care of most mold problems you might have in your basement. Either way, when our team inspects your crawl space or basement we’ll diagnose the problem and help you choose the best solution for you.
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Diy May Be An Option But Always Be Safe
We hope that the above tips and tricks will help you eliminate and prevent mold growth in your basement or crawlspace. Hopefully you can do some of the work yourself to save some money, but remember, safety first! Some of these areas can be very challenging to work in, such as the crawlspace. Check out our DIY Mold Removal eBook to see how we can help you with your project.
If youre not comfortable doing the work yourself, dont take any chances and just hire a professional. Its not worth risking your safety to save a few bucks.