A horrible smell has been wafting through your home lately. You also notice that your allergies have been going haywire. You’re not sure what the cause is but you need to find the source and soon.
You check about everywhere and don’t find anything and that’s when it hits you. You haven’t been down in your crawlspace yet. Sure enough, there is a healthy amount of crawl space mold growing down there.
How did that happen? It’s easy for moisture to collect in your crawl space and when it does, mold will gather. You’ve got to make sure it stays dry in order to keep mold away.
To help you in this endeavor, here are a few tips for keeping mold from entering your crawl space and dealing with it once it’s there.
1. Gutters and Downspouts
The main role of gutters and downspouts is to deter water away from the foundation of your home. You need to check them ever so often to make sure they’re still doing their job.
If they’re not, water will gather around your house and seep into the crawl space. Over time this water will collect mold.
2. Cracks in the Foundation
If you’ve got any cracks in the foundation of your home or in the ceiling of your crawl space, water will be allowed to leak down inside. If you start smelling a musty smell, check around for these cracks and holes.
If you see any you can fill them up with caulk so no more water can get in and cause a problem.
3. Looking for Leaks
Certain appliances can leak and cause moisture to gather throughout your crawl space. Usually, you can tell if you have a leak somewhere if you start to get higher utility bills.
Check your HVAC unit, pipes, and plumbing. If you notice any leaks, call someone out to fix the problem.
If none of the things we mentioned above are causing the issue then you should check your dryer vents. They should be carrying moisture outside your home but there is a possibility that they can send it into your crawl space instead.
Another way to make sure moisture isn’t getting into your crawl space is by keeping it insulated. Placing plastic sheeting down is the best method for doing this because it has two jobs.
The first is to stop the moisture that raises up from the ground from getting into the room. The second is to show you if there is any moisture leaking in from the ceiling. You’ll be able to see any water collection on the surface of the sheet.
The last method for combating moisture is to use a dehumidifier. It will help you get a good feel for the amount of moisture causing humidity that’s in your crawl space. they do have their drawbacks though.
First of all, it causes you to have to buy equipment. Second, if the equipment fails you may end up with a puddle of water in your crawl space. If you feel like the cons outweigh the pros then you can opt for crawl space encapsulation instead.
Getting Rid of Mold if You Find it
The best way to get rid of mold in your crawl space is to not allow it to get in at all. Sometimes you can’t get this lucky though. Here are a few steps that you can take to get rid of mold.
Look for the Mold
Before you can get rid of the mold you’ll need to find out where it’s at. Put on some protective gear and head down to the crawl space to access the situation. You’ll want to set up a few lights so you can see what you’re doing and lay down some plastic to catch the mold that you clean up.
Keep in mind that if you’re dealing with a great deal of mold it’s better for you to leave it alone. Let a professional handle it instead.
Use a Foaming Spray
Pick up a foam cleaning solution that’s made specifically to tackle mold and spray it on the problem areas. The foam will expand and loosen the mold up so you can remove it later.
The foam spray will handle a great deal of the mold but it won’t be able to get all of it. You’ll need to go behind it with a mold killer. Allow the solution to soak on the left over mold for a bit before you wipe it away.
Get Rid of the Residue
There may still be a little bit of mold residue behind. Let the area dry and then use a brush to get rid of the rest. Mold is stubborn so it may take a little while of scrubbing before you get everything off.
Get Rid of Everything
Once the job is done you’ll want to bag up and get rid of everything. Gather the plastic, all your gear, brushes, and even the clothes you are wearing if they touched the mold at all and put them in a heavy-duty trash bag. Take this trash bag straight to the dump and don’t look back.
Keeping Crawl Space Mold Out
If moisture is allowed to gather in your crawl space it could cause a healthy amount of mold to form. This mold can make you and your family sick and even cause structural damage.
Use the tips that you read here today to remove crawl space mold and keep it away for good.
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