Reasons Why Mold Grows in Your Crawl Space
- Date: 10-2019
A dark, and shallow space beneath the home. It is constructed for the purpose of creating a foundation between the ground and the bottom of the home. We are talking about the pretty creepy area that most people avoid visiting – the crawl space.
Crawl space is often inhabited by various species of rodent, an arsenal of poisonous insects, and shelter of airborne hazards.
Mold in Your Crawl Space
The crawl space beneath a house often provides the most mold-friendly conditions in the entire structure – darkness, moisture and ample food supply.
You may not suspect the black mold growth in your crawl space until
· your house smells musty
· you and your family begin to feel or display symptoms of mold and dust mite allergies
· your crawl space begins to rot and decay.
· the floor above begins to sag, buckle or becomes uneven.
Here are three tips for detecting suspect contamination under your house.
Trust your nose: Active mold growth releases a pungent, musty, stagnant smell. The smells given off by mold at certain stages of their growth and reproduction are called Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs). It is a mixture of various compounds (chemicals) that are being released by the organisms because it eats, grows and multiplies. A crawl space air carrying microscopic spores infiltrates rooms above. The air exchange also conveys telltale smells.
Monitor the moisture: If you have a vented crawl space, especially in a humid climate, it most likely has moisture problems. When the relative humidity of the air is 70% or higher, mold has sufficient water to grow. Source of crawl space moisture are plumbing leaks, uncovered soil, foundation vents and foundation walls. In addition to these sources are heavy rains, humid climates. The warm outdoor air entering the cool crawl space create sufficient condensation on surfaces to trigger mold.
Look for signs: Raw wooden joists and beams provide “cellulose” which is a favorite food source of mold. When exposed in crawl space, wooden understructure and subflooring may appear conspicuously discolored, typically mottled gray or black where mold grows. Wet conditions that support mold growth cause the wood to look rotted and deteriorated. Decaying woods often harbors active mold. Any stains of water whether pink, green or black spots showing up around baseboards are clear indications of moisture intrusion.
The crawl space is the most convenient areas for mold to flourish. Since it does not require sunlight to grow, it tends to prefer this dark, moist area of the home.
So what are the biggest contributing factors that allow mold to intrude on the crawl space?
Why Mold Grows in Your Crawl Space
1. Condensation: Building codes require crawl spaces to be ventilated to use the outside air as the main source of moisture control. Too much ventilation can actually make a mold problem much worse due to the air inside the crawl space that tends to be much cooler than the outside air. During summer or warmer months, this becomes problematic because warmer air is constantly flowing into the ventilated crawl space. When warm moist air comes in contact with cooler air, the warm air cools releasing moisture in the form of condensation.
2. Crawl space is the perfect environment for mold to flourish. The continuous source of moisture, humid temperatures and a steady food source or the building materials of your home creates an ideal home for mold.
3. The rising humidity: Habitually wet environment encourages many types of wood decaying fungus. When left untreated, this fungus will gradually rot and destroy the material on which it is feeding. Eventually this results in sagging floors, structural damage or eventual collapse.
4. Pest infestation: When pests gain access to your home from crawl space, they often damage the homes to get in. This can allow the rain water to enter your crawl space allowing for mold growth to begin.
Let Green Home Solutions Save Your Crawl Space from Mold
If you’ve got a vented crawl space with high relative humidity and condensation caused by one or more of the above, don’t hesitate to act. The tasks you have to work on are fixing the drainage and plumbing problems, cleaning up leaks, performing pest control, encapsulating your crawl space if water is evaporating from the ground or coming through the vents. As you discover mold and you have done your part, and you want to deal with mold safely and effectively, Green Home Solutions is one call away. Their mold experts provide, fast, effective, and affordable solutions. The mold remediation services are designed to discover the source of mold and eliminate it. If you suspect mold in your crawl space, feel free to call (774) 272-4481.