Basement and Crawl Space Mold Removal
Depending on your geographic location, many homes will have either a crawl space or a basement. Basements and crawl spaces are both susceptible to mold problems – potentially leading to health problems and structural damage.
Why Is Mold in Crawl Spaces Bad?
Mold prefers to grow in dark, dank places with plenty of moisture. Even a small amount of water in a subterranean space can lead to mold. Oftentimes, property owners will find mold growing on the walls, the underside of the subfloor or the joists of a wet basement or crawl space.
Mold in any part of your home should be cause for concern. The medical community and public health experts have linked mold exposure to health problems including breathing difficulties, headaches and gastrointestinal distress. Further, visible mold can be the tip of an iceberg and may signal a hidden water damage issue that can impact the structural integrity of your home, especially in or around the foundation.
How Do I Know If I Have a Basement Mold Problem?
We recommend that homeowners regularly inspect their basements and unsealed crawl spaces for signs of water damage and mold growth.
These signs include:
- A musty odor permeating the home, especially when the windows and doors are closed
- Standing water or weeping walls
- Cracked or leaking pipes
- Floorboards that are buckled or warped
- Visible mold – even if it looks like it is dead
What Causes Basement or Crawl Space Mold?
Basement and crawl space mold may be caused by several different scenarios.
Common causes of crawl space and basement mold include:
- Poor Ventilation
Like all parts of a home, ventilation is key to your basement or open crawl space. Most open crawl spaces feature vents that are supposed to prevent moisture problems, but recent research indicates that vents often cause more moisture buildup than they prevent. Some of these vents feature fan systems, which, again, are supposed to be helpful, but can cause more harm than good.
Basements and crawl spaces alike should be well ventilated and, when appropriate, be equipped with a dehumidifier to regulate humidity levels in the space.
New-construction homes are often designed with enclosed crawl spaces. Enclosed crawl spaces help control problems with moisture, promote energy efficiency and protect against infestations. If your crawl space is open, consider professional crawl space enclosure.
- Wet, Humid Weather
When vents or crawl space fan systems draw in air during humid or rainy weather, the crawl space can become a breeding ground for mold. The moisture is drawn into the space, where it is absorbed into organic materials like dirt and wood, encouraging mold growth.
Additionally, protracted periods of rain may cause the ground around your home to become saturated, leaving basements and crawl spaces susceptible to water damage and mold growth.
- Water Leaks and Floods
It’s a fact: basements and crawl spaces flood. It’s important that homeowners with a basement or crawl space engage in high-quality water damage restoration after their space has been impacted by a flood, broken pipe or other water damage event.
How to Get Rid of Mold in Basements or Crawl Spaces
If you suspect mold growth in your basement or crawl space, follow these steps:
- First, do not attempt to treat the mold with bleach or other household disinfectants – it will not kill the mold. Try to keep yourself, children, employees and others out of the affected area. Attempting to dry the area with a fan might disturb the spores and spread them to a new area.
- If the mold is contained to a room with a door, keep the door closed.
- Call a locally based professional mold removal service such as Rainbow International. Make an appointment with Rainbow International (available 24/7, 365 days a year at 855-724-6269).
- You may wish to notify your insurance company. Many homeowner’s insurance policies cover mold removal, and many policies require you to report your issue “as soon as reasonably possible.”
Crawl Space and Basement Mold Prevention
There are steps homeowners can take to prevent mold growth in their basement or crawl space.
- Installing proper ventilation based on the size and type of dwelling
- Running a dehumidifier during humid months
- Ensuring utilities and pipes are in good shape and up to code
- Keeping spaces clean and clear of household goods and debris
- Encapsulating the crawl space
Modern crawl spaces today are built tightly closed. The goal is to completely enclose the crawl space and separate it from the exterior with a moisture barrier on the floor and liners that extend up the walls. In addition to blocking moisture, closed crawl spaces reduce your heating and cooling costs. This is good news when the utility bills arrive and it helps reduce emissions as well, which is good for the environment.
Find Basement and Crawl Space Mold Remediation Near Me
If you suspect you have basement or crawl space mold, choose Rainbow International. From water damage restoration to mold remediation, our IICRC-certified professionals are ready to help you restore your home, fast. Request an appointment online or call 855-724-6269 for 24/7 emergency services.