No one likes to think they may have mold growing under their house, but the truth is that vented crawl spaces are prone to mold and other fungus. The humid environment in the Charlotte area creates the right growing conditions for fungus. If you have standing water or moisture intrusion, the chance of mold growth in your crawl space increases exponentially. In fact, surveys from individual studies estimate that nearly 50% of homes in the U.S. have some dampness or mold.
Mold remediation, or removing mold from a crawl space, is a pretty straightforward process, but it is best left to professionals. Mold is a byproduct of moisture, so in order to control mold, you must control moisture. Mold removed from a crawl space will return unless the cause of the moisture is determined and repaired.
What is the best way to remove mold from a crawl space?
If you search online, you’ll find a number of articles and videos on DIY mold removal. While these methods can be helpful for removing mold in a bathroom or other concentrated area in a house, it is a huge undertaking to try to eradicate mold underneath your home. Crawl spaces can be tight and not well-lit, making it difficult to access and see the entire area. It is also an area that you don’t want to risk failing to remove all mold. If left untreated, mold can cause significant damage to the wood support system under your home. Betting that you can remove all the mold on your own may result in a large loss if you have to replace wood beams or joists later down the road.
Our crews are trained in mold remediation and they are accustomed to working in crawl spaces. We also stand behind our work with mold remediation warranties. Our steps in mold remediation are:
- Determine the cause and extent of the mold problem and any damage. Our trained crews will inspect your crawl space thoroughly and identify any areas where there is mold growth. If the wood is already damaged, they will create a plan for and perform the repairs. They will also determine the cause of the moisture that has encouraged mold growth and provide a solution for correcting that moisture problem.
- Remove insulation. If you have the typical crawl space found in the Charlotte area, you most likely have fiberglass batt insulation installed. If there is mold present on the wood adjacent to the batting, all of the insulation will be removed and disposed of properly. Fiberglass insulation is porous, so even if mold isn’t visible on the surface of the insulation, it is impossible to know whether the spores are living inside. A report made for the EPA on flood-damaged homes recommends removing and replacing fiberglass and other porous insulations when they have been exposed to water.
- Remove the mold. We use the federal cleanup guidance method of damp wiping with detergent to remove mold spores from wood and other hard surfaces. We use a mild, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly detergent solution for cleaning. The surfactants in our detergent adhere to the mold spores and help to remove them. Some DIY methods call for spraying the mold with a bleach solution. This is not a recommended method because even though the surface mold will be killed by bleach, the spores will still be attached to the surface and will regrow over time. Also, dead mold spores are still allergens that can cause respiratory symptoms and illness. According to the EPA, it is not enough to kill mold, you must also remove it.
- Correct the moisture problem. If there is standing water in a crawl space, either through water intrusion from the outside or from faulty plumbing, it will need to be addressed in order to prevent mold from returning. Plumbing leaks should be fixed by a plumber and monitored for recurrence. Water intrusion will require waterproofing, generally through a crawl space drainage system with a sump pump. A dehumidifier can control the moisture in a crawl space, and though one can be used in a vented space, we always recommend a full crawl space encapsulation when using a dehumidifier. Encapsulation ensures consistent humidity levels with less work for the dehumidifier, resulting in a longer life span for the dehumidifier and lower energy bills for the homeowner.
Living with mold in the crawl space of your home should never be an option. Doing so puts your health and the health of your home at risk. Leave your crawl space mold remediation in the Charlotte area to the experts at HydroHelp911. Contact us to schedule your free inspection.