Crawl Space Mold and Mildew – And Your Health
In general, crawl space mold is often overlooked by homeowners. It’s easy to ignore, since most of us try to avoid the dark, musty space.
However, the reason why we’re ignoring our crawl space is the very reason why we need to start paying attention to it.
If you have a musty crawl space or notice a mildew smell in your home, then you could have mold in your crawl space.
Why Should I Care About Crawl Space Mold And Mildew?
Mold and mildew can have a negative impact on your health. In addition, exposure to crawl space mold can cause a variety of health problems. These issues can range from coughing, wheezing, and eye irritation to problems such as obstructive lung disease. i
To clarify, you don’t have to go into your crawl space to be exposed to the mold. The air in your crawl space is circulated through your home, courtesy of the stack effect. As you know, heat rises. When that warmer air rises, it brings all of the particles in the air with it – like crawl space mold.
“You don’t have to go into your crawl space to be exposed to the mold.”
So, you can see why crawl space mold and mildew are very serious problems.
Crawl Space Mildew and Mold – The Causes:
Mold loves moisture and dead, organic matter – like wooden floor joists.
If you have open crawl space vents or a loose door, then you’re letting moisture into your crawl space.
In the summer, your crawl space is typically cooler than the air outside. Regardless, when the warmer outside air is let in through your crawl space vents and combines with the cooler air, it creates condensation.
The condensation, or moisture, is the first part of making your crawl space the ideal home for mold. The second part is a food source, which is some form of organic matter, like wood. Unless your home is built on steel girders, you have wooden floor joists and beams. Specifically, mold loves wood.
If your crawl space vents are open or you have an open or loose door, then you may also have dead insects and other critters in your crawl space. More food sources for mold. Yuck!
Crawl Space Mold and Mildew – How Do I Prevent It?
The best way to prevent mold, mildew and a musty crawl space is to encapsulate it. The science behind encapsulating or sealing your crawl space is simple: by removing the source of the moisture, which mold and mildew thrive in, you’ll prevent and minimize mold growth.
Here’s how it works. A thick 20-mil barrier – think of it like an industrial pool liner – is placed over your crawl space floor and walls. This seals your crawl space from any moisture that may leak up from the dirt floor or through wall cracks. Finally, all entrances and vents are sealed, protecting your crawl space from any water or humidity that may come through open vents and doors.
In some cases a dehumidifier is necessary to help keep your crawl space dry. As you know, a dehumidifier removes any extra moisture from the air, which helps prevent mold growth.
When in doubt, call your crawl space encapsulation experts and request a free inspection.
Let JES Help Solve Your Crawl Space Mold Problems
We’re here to help you find the perfect solution for your home, and find out the source of your crawl space problems.
Requesting your free inspection takes 60 seconds, and you can download your Free Homeowner’s Guide to Crawl Space Repair immediately!
i. CDC. Facts About Mold and Dampness.