Although most people have a natural fear of crawl space mold, some people wonder whether it’s really important to clean it out when you find it. These impacts are just a few of the more significant ones you’ll find if you don’t fix the crawl space.
Physical Impacts of Mold on Organic Materials
You already know that mold requires organic materials to grow, but what you might not have realized is that this growth isn’t wholly innocent. In fact, mold essentially “eats” these organic materials, breaking them down into a slimy mass you may have unfortunately seen in your own crawl space or other areas of your home.
In this concept, it’s extremely important for you to clean up mold as soon as possible. If you don’t clean up the mold, you run the risk of the mold continuing to eat through whatever organic material it’s on. After a period of time, which may be very long or very short, those organic materials may fail, leading to foundation failure in your home.
Musty-Smelling Crawl Space and Home
When you say you have a “musty-smelling” area of your house, you’re really smelling the mold that’s growing in the crawl space. As air moves up from your crawl space into the rest of your home, that mold may settle into other areas of your home, and you may end up with that smell all over your home.
Without considering the health effects of the mold spores floating through the air, this musty smell can be very distasteful. It’s common for people to hate the smell of mold, and having that smell become all but permanent in your home can be extremely frustrating. Whether it’s borne of a health concern or just an aesthetic one, removing the musty smell is a driving factor for some people in their choice to tackle mold problems.
Respiratory Issues and Allergies
One thing mold is very good at is igniting respiratory concerns and allergies. If you already have an allergy to dust, for example, you will probably have wildly exacerbated allergic reactions if there are mold spores in the air. If you have respiratory concerns like asthma, mold spores can make your asthma much worse on a daily basis.
If anyone in your home has allergies or respiratory issues, it’s crucial that you solve your mold problems to make sure these issues don’t become a strain on their quality of life. If you find that all of a sudden your family members have started to experience these issues, you may also want to question whether mold may have taken root in your crawl space.
The Stack Effect
Possibly the biggest reason for all of these problems is something called the stack effect. When you have an opening for air in the lower area of your home, like open crawl space vents, and an opening in the higher area, like attic openings, you’re creating an expression of the stack effect. This causes air to enter the crawl space, warm up, then move up throughout the home.
The thing is, as the air moves up through the home, it’s not really just air that’s moving. You’ll also see tiny particles of any airborne materials that move up. This may include mold spores, dust mites, and moisture, among other things. That’s why it’s so important to encapsulate your crawl space entirely; if you have no entry for air from the bottom, you won’t have to deal with the stack effect .