Mold itself cannot destroy wood, but it can increase the wood’s ability to absorb moisture, which can make the wood susceptible to fungus growth; this growth can cause wood rot.
Mold and Health Issues
Have your allergies been bothering you? Maybe you have uncommon flu like symptoms?
Besides being a catalyst for wood rot, how about the health of you and your family?
The spores produced by mold are invisible. In a crawl space these spores can easily make there way through the ducting and vents in your home, causing mild to severe health issues. You don’t want to ignore mold.
Step 1 – Identify the Mold
Mold has scientific terms like Stachybotrys, but they basically fall into two categories – toxic and non-toxic. Toxic mold is usually identified as a black-greenish type of mold. This type of mold can cause health problems.
If you’re having trouble identifying the mold, call an expert in for a consultation. If it is black mold, and depending on the severity of the damage, you’ll probably use their services to eradicate the problem. Crawl space mold removal costs can range from $1,000 to over $5,000, depending on how far the mold spread throughout the home.
If the mold is not toxic, then you can move on to the next step.
Step 2 – DIY Mold Removal, Crawl Space
You’ll need plastic sheeting, lights a respirator mask and a fan/s.
Lay the plastic sheeting under the mold growth as a catch-all. The small fans should be pointed away from the mold; only used for air circulation.
The extent of the infestation will determine the removal process.
Exterior Mold Only – this is the simplest type of mold to remove. There are crawl space mold removal products you can use for this project. You can buy liquid removal products that saturate the affected area, or there’s a foam product for surface mold. Both kill mold on contact. Once dried, you will scrape off the mold deposits and dispose of it. Do a careful, detailed inspection of the area afterwards, making sure there’s no evidence of mold penetrating the wood or joints.
Contaminated Wood – contaminated wood is where mold has grown in the porous parts of the wood. This requires light sand blasting to thoroughly eradicate the mold. Scraping and sanding may be needed to fully remove all mold deposits.
Step 3 – Preventing Mold From Returning
You’ve removed the mold from your crawl space, now you need to take some preventative measures to make sure this unwanted visitor doesn’t return.
Moist, humid conditions are what mold likes. If you had dirt in the crawl space, you’ll need to either line the flooring with plastic, or better yet lay some insulation material. The other thing to look for is leaks and areas where moisture can enter.
The experts also suggest investing in a crawl space dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is especially effective in hot, humid climates. They also suggest keeping an eye on the dehumidifier itself. In some cases the dehumidifier itself can become a host for moisture; this doesn’t outweigh the protection it gives against mold growth.
Crawl spaces are not the first places homeowners look for mold. If you or any of your family members have been feeling off beat lately, then taking a quick glance at your crawl space may provide you with some answers.