Here at Mastertech, we receive a lot of inquiries about crawl space mold and how to prevent it. Areas like the crawl space can be easily overlooked. It can be as simple as taking a moment to check your foundation walls, or even checking the insulation in your crawl space to ensure that everything is in good condition. As with any area of the home, routine maintenance and moisture control are essential to preventing mold. Actively keeping an eye on your home’s crawl space will be the best way to prevent mold, or intervene as early as possible if mold is present.
Crawl Space Mold Prevention Tips
Preventing crawl space mold may seem intimidating, as it is often an area that doesn’t get a lot of attention in the first place. The truth is, a few simple adjustments to your home maintenance routine can make all the difference when it comes to preventing mold in your crawl space. Here are some tips on where to start:
Keep an eye out for any cracks in your foundation, both inside and out. These cracks can lead to severe water damage, or slow leakage. Ensure that any cracks are filled promptly, and check the foundation regularly. In order to prevent crawl space mold, it is important that you keep water away from the foundation of your home as much as possible. This brings us into our next tip about managing drainage and water runoff…
Maintaining Gutters & Downspouts
As mentioned in the previous tip, keeping water from pooling around the foundation of your home is essential. That is where gutters and downspouts come into play. Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are free of debris so that water can flow without issue. The purpose of a downspout is to direct water away from the foundation of the home. It is essential that downspouts are properly positioned to do so. Properly positioned downspouts make a huge difference when it comes to preventing crawl space mold as they help avoid water damage to the foundation.
Checking For Leaks
This tip may seem like common sense, but the crawl space is an area that often gets forgotten. Unlike a basement, crawl spaces are much smaller, and often less convenient to get to. However, it is still important to ensure that there is no leakage happening in this area. Check both the floor joists of the crawl space and the foundation walls for signs of leaking or water damage. Should you come across signs of damage, act quickly and contact a professional mold inspection company in your area to assess the damage. Mold develops rapidly and you don’t want to wait, as this can lead to additional damage.
Proper Ventilation & Moisture Management Techniques
Crawl spaces tend to be rather stuffy, which can lead to a lot of excess moisture becoming stagnant in the area. Installing proper ventilation into the crawl space can help get some air circulation and manage moisture a bit more. This tip may require the aid of a professional, so proceed at your own discretion and make sure you do your research on proper ventilation. Aside from ventilation, you may want to think about employing the use of a dehumidifier in the crawl space to further aid in moisture control. The ideal humidity levels for any area of the home is between 35% and 50%. Additionally, you could even install a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from the ground from evaporating and becoming airborne. The use of a vapor barrier along with the dehumidifier can make a huge difference.
Handling Crawl Space Mold
In an ideal situation, you will be doing everything you can when it comes to preventing crawl space mold. These tips will make a huge impact on the condition of your crawl space and your ability to prevent mold in that area. However, sometimes accidents happen, and we can’t always control whether or not damage occurs. Perhaps there was a flood, or a leak that went unnoticed. Regardless of the situation, it is important for you as a homeowner to understand that mold is a time sensitive operation. Mold is opportunistic, and it will continue to spread so long as it is left to its own devices. Early intervention is the best course of action for these situations. This is why it’s so important to regularly be aware of the conditions present in your crawl space. When it comes to crawl space mold, prevention and early intervention are the best ways to keep your home and family safe.