Does your house have an unfinished space below the main living area? Crawl spaces and basements are prized for adding extra storage and square footage to a home, but they are also prime locations for mold to grow. Learn more about crawl space mold, why it matters and how to prevent it.

What is Crawl Space Mold?

All types of mold prefer to grow in dark, damp, cool places. Crawl spaces fit the bill to a tee. This mold may be found growing on the joists below the ground floor or the crawl space walls. Remember, air circulates from the bottom up. Therefore, any moisture and mold spores found in the crawl space can be carried upward into the living area, impairing your indoor air quality in the process.

Causes of Crawl Space Mold

Just a small amount of moisture can cause mold in the crawl space – there doesn’t even have to be standing water! Here are some possible reasons why mold is growing beneath your home:

  • Leaky plumbing can promote mold growth, especially if you don’t notice the leak right away.
  • Flooding saturates the soil below your house, which can increase the evaporation of moisture from the earthen floor of the crawl space.
  • Humidity can also cause a mold outbreak, especially if the crawl space has vents that allow humid air to enter from outside.

Symptoms of Crawl Space Mold

You have heard that mold is pervasive in crawl spaces, but you’re not sure whether this problem affects your home. Watch for these signs that you may need crawl space mold remediation:

  • You have heightened allergies, asthma attacks or headaches while at home. These symptoms indicate poor indoor air quality or sick building syndrome, which may be caused by mold growth.
  • You notice a musty odor throughout the house, especially on the ground floor.
  • A plumbing fixture or pipe recently sprung a leak.
  • Your cables or wiring systems have issues.
  • The floorboards on the ground floor are warped or buckling.

How to Prevent Crawl Space Mold

To keep mold from springing up in the crawl space, follow these tips:

  • Seal any cracks in the foundation walls to prevent water from entering.
  • Install gutter downspout extensions to divert water at least five feet away from the foundation.
  • Go over the pros and cons of a vented vs. unvented crawl space with your mold remediation company. The decision to vent your crawl space or not depends on the climate and other factors.
  • Install a vapor barrier on any exposed earth.
  • Insulate the subfloor below the living space.
  • Check the crawl space often for signs of plumbing leaks or condensation on HVAC ductwork.
  • Vent your dryer to the exterior, not into the crawl space.

If you suspect there’s mold in your crawl space, DKI Services can perform the mold remediation you need. Then, you can follow the above tips to prevent reoccurrences. To learn more, please contact us today.