Keeping a Mold-Free Crawl Space Through The Winter
With the right conditions, crawl spaces are one of the more common areas of concerns for mold growth. If you are not careful, you could be leaving your crawl space vulnerable to moisture buildup. Moisture buildup within your crawl space and its building materials can be easily over looked. Unaddressed moisture can mean potential mold development.
As the temperature slowly drops and with winter lurking just around the corner, we begin to prepare to close up our homes for the winter. This is an important time for home maintenance. Homeowners should take this opportunity to check your crawl space, so you can assess for and promptly address any signs of moisture concerns in the space. Simple routine checks to address concerns and implement moisture control methods can go a long way in preventing a serious and costly mold contamination in the future.
Crawl Space Mold Prevention Tips
Something as simple as taking the time to take a quick look at your foundation walls or checking your crawl space insulation can go a long way in avoiding a costly mold cleanup in the future. Most moisture control and maintenance is quick and fairly affordable.
Regularly Check for Leaks
- Routinely check for water leaks from the crawl space ceiling or foundation walls.
- If you spot any damage, you should address it immediately to prevent any potential water intrusion.
- Check all HVAC components and plumbing systems in the crawl space for leaks or condensation.
- Water leaks need to be properly resolved before you develop a mold problem– it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop in the presence of moisture.
Assess the condition of your foundation
- Look for any cracks, masonry damage, or interior signs in our main living space– these can all be warning signs of foundation damage in NJ.
- Manage drainage around your foundation. It is important that all rain runoff is draining away from your NJ home.
Routinely Check Gutters & Downspouts
- Make sure that gutters and downspouts direct water AWAY from foundation walls. Water that flows towards the home can seep into the crawl space and cause water damage and mold development.
- Clean your gutters regularly– your gutters should be free of all debris to avoid backups. Overflowing gutters can lead to roof damage and encourage water buildup around the foundation walls.
Install a Vapor Barrier
- A NJ crawl space vapor barrier is a layer of plastic installed over the dirt floor of a crawl space.
- Vapor barriers control moisture levels by slowing or preventing the evaporation of ground moisture into the crawl space air.
- If you detect signs of excessive crawl space moisture, a vapor barrier can go a long way to prevent potential mold damage.
- Check the condition of your crawl space insulation at least once or twice a year.
- Always conduct checks after any water intrusion, pest infestation, or any other crawl space problems.
- Look for sagging or missing insulation. Damaged insulation can be an indicator of water problems.
- Damaged insulation cannot do its job properly and will be ineffective in preventing moisture buildup and allow mold development.
- It is important to properly replace any damaged insulation as soon as possible.
- If your crawl space is not already insulated, you should consider hiring a professional to properly install insulation in your crawl space.
- Crawl space insulation helps to maintain consistent temperatures and environment– this will help to prevent humidity and condensation.
- It also promotes energy efficiency and a smaller energy bill (who doesn’t like cheaper bills?!).
- Properly installed and sufficiently sized crawl space vents can help air flow to aid moisture control.
- It is recommended that there be 1 square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of crawl space.
- However, ventilation needs depend on various factors, so please consult a professional for an expert opinion. There will be times when vents may be better off closed versus open.
- Make sure that vents from other parts of the home empty outside and away from the home. For example, if your dryer vents empty into your crawl space, you may face some serious humidity issues.
Place a Dehumidifier
- Placing a dehumidifier in your crawl space can help to keep your crawl space dry.
- Make sure that you pick a dehumidifier that is the right size and capacity for the needs of that specific space to ensure effectiveness.
- Regular dehumidifier maintenance will help to preserve the quality and effectiveness of your unit.
Crawl space moisture and humidity control can be very simple. Homeowners just need to take the time to educate themselves on the matter and take the time to properly maintain the crawl space. However, sometimes despite all the preparation, unexpected water problems may still arise. The nature of mold allows it to grow rapidly, and in some cases, before the homeowner even has time to notice the water problem.
If you discover mold development in your NJ crawl space, do not panic. A certified mold removal professional in NJ can properly remove the mold and help to address the moisture problem that caused the mold in the first place. MasterTech’s expert mold removal team is thoroughly trained to safely and effectively handle your NJ crawl space mold remediation. When it comes to crawl space mold, it needs to be addressed promptly and properly to avoid compromising you and your family’s health and safety.