Steps to Prevent Mold in a Crawlspace
Mold in a home can cause a series of serious issues. The areas of the home that are most prone to mold are basements and crawlspaces since they are often dark tight spaces with plenty of moisture. Many homeowners do not spend much time if any at all in the crawlspace and it is not uncommon for mold to buildup up here and become a serious costly issue.
Here are six steps to help prevent moisture in your crawlspace that could cause mold
Gutters and downspouts
It is a good idea to inspect gutters and downspouts and ensure they are working properly. These items are meant to carry water away from the home during rain and snow so that water does not pull up near the foundation and get into the crawlspace. The next time that it rains or you have snow melting off it is good to take a minute to see if your gutters and downspouts are continuing to carry water out away from the home.
Check walls below grade level for cracks
Make sure that any walls sitting below ground level are free of cracks. It is a good idea to check along the foundation outside of the home and along the ceiling of the crawlspace. A hole in the crawlspace ceiling is a potential gateway for water to come in.
Check HVAC ducts pipes and plumbing
Make sure that all of these systems are in good condition. Check pipes and ducts as well as any fixtures for leaking as they can bring in a large amount of moisture.
Check out your dryer vent
This one may seem a little bit odd as a dryer vent is meant to carry air, but this air is moist air that is pulling water out of fabrics. You want to make sure that this air is going straight out of the vent into the air outside of the home and not into your crawlspace.
It is a good idea to insulate up against the crawlspace’s subfloor. This can be done by simply putting some plastic sheeting down to cover the floor and prevent any moisture from coming up from the ground. Plastic sheeting can also make it easy to spot any standing water from leaks in other systems of the home.
Consider the use of a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can help to pull any possible moisture out of the air. Mold can begin to grow in an environment where the humidity level reaches 60%. The bottom line is you want to keep the air in the crawlspace as dry as possible. The dryer the atmosphere the harder it is for mold to grow.
What if you find mold in your crawlspace?
If you find mold in your crawlspace it is a good idea to call up a professional and ask them to come and take a look at it. Even a small amount of mold could be detrimental. You want to ensure that the mold in the crawlspace first is not toxic mold and then get an expert plan on how to move forward with cleaning it up.
If mold is found quickly it could mean just a simple DIY cleanup on the homeowner’s part. But in some cases, mold could be a significant growth that requires professional cleanup and removal.
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