Found Mold Growing In Your Crawl Space? Here's What You Need To Know

If you are like many homeowners, you may go a long time without going into your crawl space. But then, one day you go down there for some reason and find it covered with mold. You start asking yourself questions like, "How long has this been going on?" and "Is that why my child has problems with asthma?"

With hindsight being 20/20, you realize that you should have checked the condition of the crawl space long ago. This is not the time to focus on what you should have done. You need to get to work! Here's what you need to know about the mold growing in your crawl space.

Mold Is Bad for Your Health

Some people are allergic to mold; however, even those who are not can still become severely ill when exposed to it. The health risks are compounded when you are exposed to mold on a regular basis, such as when it is growing somewhere in your home. Symptoms of exposure to mold can include respiratory distress, vomiting, diarrhea, skin irritation, nose bleeds, dizziness, headaches, and liver damage.

Caution: If you or a family member has experienced any of the listed symptoms, find somewhere else to stay until the mold has been removed.

Reasons Why Mold Grows In Crawl Spaces

Crawl spaces and basements are notorious for being damp. There may be hydrostatic pressure from the groundwater located on the other side of the foundation walls. There may be a plumbing leak somewhere in the crawl space. Poor ventilation is a contributing factor in the growth of mold because the moisture in the crawl space has no way to escape.

How It Affects the Rest of the House

There is a natural phenomenon that occurs inside your house called stack effect. What happens is this: the heat inside your home rises to the attic. This naturally pulls the cooler air out of your crawl space and into the living areas of your home. When you have mold growing in the crawl space, some spores can be mixed in with that cooler air. It may not be enough to cause the mold to grow in other parts of your home, but it can cause health problems.

Repair the Cause before Removing the Mold

You'll need to remove the mold but, before you do that, it's a good idea to repair whatever caused the mold to grow. That may mean you need to have the crawl space and foundation waterproofed with an application of sealants and the installation of drainage systems so groundwater can no longer seep in. Or, it may mean that you need to find plumbing leaks to make repairs. It may mean you'll need an improved ventilation system.

Given the health risks of exposure to mold, imagine how severe the risks can be when cleaning or removing the mold. For this reason, it is best to hire a professional mold remediation service to remove the mold for you. Don't be alarmed if they come into your home wearing hazmat suits to do the job.

Check the Crawl Space Regularly After Mold Remediation

After the necessary repairs have been made and the mold has been removed, you may want to check the crawl space again periodically to make sure the mold is not returning. Mold spores are tiny and, sometimes, it may be difficult to remove it all. Your mold abatement service will likely perform a follow-up inspection.

Discovering mold anywhere in your home can be concerning, and it may even cause you to say, "Oh, no wonder," if you or someone in your family has had medical issues recently. In the future, be sure to peek into the crawl space occasionally to make sure nothing is growing down there. 

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