Even though you may not be able to see it, crawl space mold can be hazardous to your health and your foundation. However, there are signs you can look for to catch mold early, we’ll discuss them in this article.
An added bonus to finding mold before it gets worse is that you’ll save money in the long run. Here’s everything you need to know about mold and your crawl space.
What Causes Mold to Develop in a Crawl Space?
Before reviewing the signs of mold growth, it’s helpful to understand why mold spores develop in some crawl spaces but not others.
In a nutshell, mold growth tends to occur in crawl spaces that are overly humid or damp. When a crawl space is not insulated or waterproofed, mold can occur very easily.
This is especially true in Florida and South Georgia, where the weather tends to be humid for much of the year. You can see how this is problematic.
Mold might not show itself easily, but you shouldn’t panic. There are plenty of ways to tell if a mold infestation has affected your crawl space.
What are the Most Common Signs of Mold in your Crawl Space?
The path to a mold-free crawl space begins with knowledge. As a homeowner, you can learn to recognize the warning signs that mold is present.
Here are some of the most common signs that mold is lurking in your crawl space.
1. A Musty Odor
Moisture buildup can cause the wood and structural material inside your crawl space to rot and decay.
The end result is an unpleasant musty smell that can permeate your crawl space as well as your home’s ground floor.
2. Warped or Sagging Floors
Standing water, mold, and mildew can ultimately cause the floors in your home to sag, bend, or bounce.
This is often because the moisture damages the wood beams that support your ground floor. As a result, your floor becomes prone to damage.
3. Increased Bugs and Pests
Bugs and pests are common in Georgia and Florida, but if you suddenly notice more pests invading your home, they could be entering through a crack or hole in your crawl space.
Furthermore, if pests are able to enter your crawl space, then rainwater and runoff may enter through the same location. This results in high moisture and more mold.
4. Discoloration of Walls and Insulation
When mold begins to take over your crawl space, it can leave an unattractive mark on your walls and insulation. Have you seen any greenish or blackish stains on the surfaces in your crawl space?
If so, you’ve probably got mold. It’s a good idea to have your home’s foundation inspected right away.
5. Worsening Allergies
Florida residents often experience a prolonged allergy season.
However, if you notice your eyes are more watery than usual or you are sneezing and coughing with greater frequency, your increased allergy symptoms could be the result of mold growth in your crawl space.
6. Powdery Patches on Floor Joists or Posts
Mold growth does not always look like a black or dark green stain. Sometimes it is lighter in color and can have a powdery-looking appearance.
If you have noticed any dirty or dusty-looking patches on the frame, posts, or joists of your crawl space, you could have a mold problem.
7. Decaying Beams and Joints
An overabundance of moisture can eventually cause your beams and other structural supports to erode. If you notice your wooden beams are starting to rot or take on a curved appearance, then mold is likely a culprit.
It’s wise to have your home evaluated immediately by a foundation repair specialist to prevent additional damage to your home.
Mold and Mildew FAQs
If you notice one or more of the symptoms above, you and your loved ones could be exposed to harmful mold. While this may seem a bit scary at first, it’s important to know mold can be removed and prevented.
However, unless you are a skilled mold removal professional, it’s best to entrust this process to a trained mold remediation specialist. If you suspect you have a moldy crawl space, the best thing to do is to contact the experts with Alpha Foundations.
A professional team can help you waterproof your crawl space through encapsulation, drainage systems, and dehumidifiers so that mold has no chance of developing in the future.
The encapsulation process consists of four key components: waterproofing with an interior drainage system and a sump pump, vapor barrier, vent covers, and dehumidifiers. Having all four of these systems combined can ensure this space will never face moisture issues again. The interior drainage system and sump pump will cut off any leaks or floods from infiltrating this space, instead redirecting it far away from your home. The vapor barrier will encompass the entire crawl space, preventing any groundwater, mold, or mildew from getting inside. The antimicrobial additive this barrier is coated in will also prevent mold or mildew from growing along the outside surface as well.
Contractors once believed that leaving open vents around a home’s crawl space would help to circulate dry air around this space. Unfortunately, it also lets in more moisture, mold, pests, and other issues into the crawl space as well. This is why you need to seal off your crawl space after all other repairs are implemented. Our sturdy vent covers will completely cover up any open vents.
Before we close off your crawl space completely, however, we recommend installing one of our powerful dehumidifiers first. These dehumidifiers can keep the air inside circulated, drier, and fresher than before. With our sump pumps handling any large floods, the vapor barrier and vent covers blocking off moisture, and the dehumidifier taking care of any humidity, you can count on this process to keep your Florida or South Georgia crawl space totally dry!
Mold is a microorganism that is capable of triggering allergies, illness, or in the worst-case scenario, hazardous breathing problems. Long-term exposure to mold damages your respiratory system, so a moldy crawl space is a health hazard. Even if you don’t spend much time in your home’s crawl space, mold can still cause health problems because of the stack effect.
This is because the air in your basement or crawl space rises into your home and pollutes the air. Mold releases spores in the crawl space, so the air that rises into your home is infected with spores and other particles from the crawl space. Breathing this poor air quality for long periods of time can lead to health issues. Plus, your nose quickly becomes used to the smell of mold, which can make identifying it even harder. Stay alert.
Mold is so persistent that you need to get remediation specialists to remove it. Professional mold removal is guaranteed to remove all mold from your Florida or South Georgia crawl space.
Professional Mold Control
To discover why residents across Florida and South Georgia trust Alpha Foundations to keep their crawl spaces mold-free, learn more about our crawl space repair services on our website.
Our products and services are fully warrantied, and our stellar reviews are a testament to our commitment to providing the highest quality service. We look forward to helping you keep your home’s foundation safe and healthy!
Contact us today for a free estimate on crawl space repair options so you can breathe easy – literally and figuratively.