How Serious Is Mold Found In A Crawl Space?
Crawl space mold can directly affect both your home and the health of your family. Mold spores that float in on the breeze can attach to surfaces like insulation, support beams or subflooring and begin to weaken the integrity of wood and other organic materials that serve as a food source for the mold. Since the air quality of the crawl space directly affects the air quality in the house above, any mold present will cause family members with allergies, asthma, or immunocompromised health conditions to experience respiratory symptoms.
Is Crawl Space Mold Common In The Winter?
Unfortunately, the crawl space is one of the most common places for mold to grow in the winter months. Cold climates like the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas, that get a lot of precipitation, create a great environment for mold spores to collect and grow. Crawl space mold can begin to form within 24 to 48 hours after attaching to a damp surface. As a place that homeowners rarely visit, this breeding ground for mold has plenty of food sources and can go unnoticed for years.
Why Does Winter Worsen Crawl Space Mold?
During the winter months, homes are heated against the cold temperatures outside while the crawl space acts as an insulation barrier between the cold ground and your home. If there is poor air circulation and any accumulated moisture, crawl space mold will form and stick around. During the winter months, residents are less likely to inspect their crawl space vents, leading to damaged or blocked vents that block beneficial airflow that would prevent mold spores from landing on surfaces. Pair the lack of air flow with any moisture from leaky pipes or ground seepage, and mold is there to stay.
What Are The Signs Of Crawl Space Mold?
Black mold tends to be the most common type of crawl space mold found beneath the home, resembling a slimy, dark green, or black substance. Despite being cold, the air will feel stagnate and stuffy. Any air that does escape the infected crawl space will have a musky, mildew-like smell. Cracked or poorly sealed ducting in the subfloor space has the potential to bring the spores into the home through the HVAC system and with the potential to cause health issues to those living in the home.
What Are Some Strategies For Crawl Space Mold Prevention
Preventing crawl space mold starts with good ventilation. Keep crawl space vents clear of debris like fallen leaves, mulch, lawn clippings, or snow buildup. Repair any damaged vents that might invite rodents to seek refuge from the cold winter under your home, bringing in food scraps, building nests and harboring crawl space mold.
Second, keep your crawl space dry by repairing any leaking pipes, directing rainwater runoff away from the foundation and sealing any wall cracks. Any wet or damp insulation or other materials should be removed right away and you should add a plastic moisture barrier over the ground and walls. Consider installing a sump pump or self draining dehumidifier if your area is prone to flooding, to quickly dry out the space before crawl space mold begins to form.
Contact MSR Restoration For Complete Crawl Space Mold Remediation
If you suspect your home has crawl space mold, call for a free evaluation and consultation from MSR Restoration. Crawl space mold must first be removed and the area treated before any preventative action can be taken. The experienced mold removal team at MSR Restoration will thoroughly clean and treat the affected surfaces using professional remediation equipment and cleaning products to ensure all mold has been removed. Contact us today to ensure your home is protected this winter from invasive mold.