When it comes to household mold and removing it, one of the toughest places to clean is a crawl space. With severe space restrictions and plenty of time and equipment spent trying to clean it, it’s not an easy job and it’s incredibly time consuming.
The fact of the matter is spaces like attics and crawl spaces are extremely susceptible to mold because it can easily accumulate. This is because these areas of a house aren’t paid that much attention and mold can grow frequently and quickly while a homeowner has no idea it’s happening. With moldy crawl spaces, there’s often lots of mold due to high moisture and humidity.
If you’re poking around your crawl space and you find mold, you’re probably wondering, what can I do to limit or eliminate it? Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make a home crawl space as mold-free as possible.
- Do an inspection of your home’s foundation walls. You want to look for cracks where water might seep through and fill those cracks. To that end, you also want to check the ceiling of a crawl space and make sure there’s no cracks or leaks there either.
- Walk around the outside of the house and make sure that any downspouts and gutters are channeled away from the house. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, water can very easily accumulate near your home and when that happens, it’s very easy for water to find its way into holes and cracks.
- Carefully check to make sure you’ve got proper ventilation in your crawl place. A good rule of thumb is one square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of crawl space. Depending on who you ask, there are different methods for ventilation and controlling mold. Some people favor closing vents and controlling moisture in different ways. Others argue that keeping vents open can help keep a crawl space dry and reduce mold concentrations.
- If you have a vented crawl space, you want to make sure that insulation is secured tightly to the subfloor and make sure that insulation isn’t sagging anywhere.
- Check your HVAC ducts and plumbing components for any signs of leaks.
When it comes to preventing crawl space mold, one of the most helpful tools a homeowner can have in their arsenal is a vapor barrier. It prevents moisture buildup in a crawl space by evaporating it and then seeping it into the air beneath a home. A vapor barrier is made up of foil or some sort of plastic to help prevent moisture from seeping into a crawl space’s air.
A vapor barrier can help a homeowner:
- Limit dampness: It’s been established that under the right conditions, mold and mildew can accumulate in a damp crawl space or wet crawl space very easily. Fortunately, a vapor barrier helps deter any moisture from entering a home and causing structure damage. It keeps a crawl space dry and helps cut down on the possibility of family’s breathing in mold.
- Protecting electronics and wiring: It’s well known that electrical components and water don’t mix. A vapor barrier can ensure that a home’s electrical components are moisture-free.
- Temperature control: Whether you know it or not, an increase in moisture can impact the temperature of your home. This is because moisture impacts humidity levels, making your home feeling cooler or hotter than it might normally be. When this happens, your home heating and cooling systems may run longer and before long, you might be staring at a hefty energy bill. A vapor barrier keeps energy costs down by cutting down the time that a home’s air systems run.
- Structure protection: Moisture in a crawl space can very easily lead to problems for your home’s structure such as wood rot and water damage. Vapor barriers keep this from happening by eliminating moisture and keeping your crawl space dry.
With a vapor barrier installed in your home’s crawl space, your worries about moisture and mold buildup will be put to rest. Vapor barriers will keep your crawl space dry, protect your home’s electrical components and help keep your home’s structure intact.