If you find mold growing all over your home, it's time to look at your crawl space. Crawl spaces can be sources of mold, mildew and other major issues if they're extremely humid and damp. Water can enter your crawl space when it rains heavily, or when you lack an efficient drainage system around the crawl space. There are things to know about your crawl space and what you can do to get rid of your mold problem.
Why Does Mold Grow in Your Crawl Space?
Your crawl space is one of the places you should examine regularly for problems, including mold. Even when they have air vents in place, some crawl spaces can become overly moist, especially in humid climates. Moisture from the soil around the crawl space can seep into it over time, or the space can become overly humid when outside air circulates through it.
The problem with mold is that it doesn't just stay in the place it originates. Mold has the tendency to spread quickly once it begins to grow. The fungus might attack the support beams, wooden boards and other structures in your damp crawl space before it enters the main living quarters of the home. Your air conditioning system and its ducts may pick up and circulate mold spores throughout the home.
Regularly examining your crawl space for signs of mold can help you catch it before it spreads.
What Can You Do to Solve Your Problem?
One of the things you might do is measure the humidity levels in your crawl space with a hygrometer to see if it's high enough to grow mold. Mold can grow well in places that have a humidity level of 70 percent or more. But if you feel uncomfortable about entering your crawl space, contact an HVAC contractor like Atlantic Heating and Cooling for help. A contractor can not only measure the humidity, they can take steps to remedy the problem.
If a contractor determines that the humidity levels are high enough for mold, they'll generally examine the crawl space for visible signs of the fungi. This may include inspecting the wooden structures that support the space for rot and black patches, which may indicate mold grow. After the inspection, a specialist may suggest that you encapsulate the crawl space to eliminate the mold and moisture in it. Crawl space encapsulation is often a five-step process that may include:
- Cleaning the crawl space of mold, insects, dirt, and other contaminants.
- Removing or blocking all sources of water that may enter the crawl space, which may include installing a drainage system around the home.
- Insulating the ground and walls in the space to prevent outside air from entering it.
- Conditioning the air inside the sealed space so that it doesn't become humid and moist again.
The contractor you select for services will also go over how they plan to encapsulate your crawl space.