Mold thrives in dark, damp environments—unfortunately, many crawl spaces meet those two criteria. However, when mold and rot are allowed to grow in a crawl space, they lead to health and structural problems that affect the entire home. Mold can cause wooden support beams and other structural elements in your crawl space to deteriorate, compromising their ability to support the weight of the floor above. Not to mention that having mold in your crawl space can also take a major toll on your health, especially if you suffer from allergies. The air in your crawl space will circulate through the rest of your home and negatively impact the quality of the air you breathe.
To prevent and eliminate mold in your crawl space, you have to solve the problem at its root cause: excess moisture. Aquaguard in Atlanta specializes in basement and crawl space mold prevention as well as waterproofing.
Mold growth in your crawl space—or anywhere in your home for that matter—will always be accompanied by a moisture problem. Mold needs a damp environment to thrive, so the best way to prevent mold growth is to keep your crawl space clean and dry.
At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions of Atlanta, we offer crawl space encapsulation as a waterproofing method to prevent mold growth, as well as the other dangers a damp crawl space presents, including wood rot, water damage, high humidity, odors, and pests. The installation of a complete crawl space waterproofing system usually takes less than a day to complete and is a small investment to make for the peace of mind it will bring for years to come.
We offer free crawl space repair quotes in Atlanta, Marietta, Decatur, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to prevent basement and crawl space mold growth for years to come!
Signs You May Have Mold in Your Crawl Space
Your crawl space likely doesn’t get much traffic—so how do you know that there is mold growing in your crawl space? Luckily, there are a few signs of crawl space mold growth that you can spot without having to enter the crawl space at all.
- Musty Odors: Thanks to a phenomenon known as the “stack effect,” your crawl space air is pulled up through the rest of your home. If your crawl space is infested with mold, you’ll be able to tell because your house will smell musty.
- Allergies: Mold growth in your crawl space can lead to worsened allergy symptoms.
- Sagging Floors: As crawl space support beams begin to deteriorate, the floor above your crawl space will sag and become uneven. In some cases, mold may even begin to grow on your first-floor carpeting.
- Visible Mold: In the crawl space itself, you may see visible signs of mold growth along with musty odors, discoloration, and wood damage. A white, powdery substance on your crawl space walls is not likely to be mold, though it is indicative of moisture seeping into your crawl space.
Why Is There Mold in Your Crawl Space?
- For mold to grow, it needs the following conditions:
- Temperatures of 40° F or greater
- Relative humidity of 60% or higher
- Organic materials
- Exposure to oxygen
Mold spores are everywhere, no matter how clean your home is. That means that If your crawl space provides the perfect conditions for mold to grow, it’s only a matter of time before it will wreak havoc on your home (that is if it hasn’t already).
Where Is the Excess Moisture Coming From?
In order for mold to grow, there must be a source of moisture. This moisture can enter your crawl space through exposed dirt floors, cracks in foundation walls, crawl space vents, plumbing leaks, poorly designed downspouts, dryer vents, and improper yard grading.
Crawl Space Vents: Good or Bad?
One of the most common causes of high crawl space humidity is crawl space vents. In the summer, these vents let in humid summer air. As the air enters the crawl space, it cools and loses its ability to hold moisture. The excess moisture is dropped on surfaces as condensation. Over time, the condensation saturates the wood, creating the perfect environment for mold to grow.
- If you have crawl space vents, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:
- Are my crawl space vents drying my home when it’s rainy, foggy, or damp outside?
- If crawl space vents work, why is my vented crawl space damp and rotting?
- When cold winter air is blowing through my vents in the winter, what’s happening to my furnace, hot air ducts, water heater, and hot water pipes? What is that costing me?
- Will my open crawl space vents keep out termites, ants, mice, and other pests?
Types of Mold in Crawl Spaces
There are two types of mold that you will likely find in your crawl space: surface mold fungi and decay fungi. Surface mold fungi grow on the surface of materials in your crawl space. This type of fungi will only cause cosmetic discoloration. Decay fungi, on the other hand, can cause significant damage to the structural integrity of wood in your crawl space. Decay fungi darken and shrink the wood, leaving it soggy and spongy and eventually causing the wood to crumble.
While surface mold fungi can be simply cleaned off the surface, decay fungi may require you to replace affected wood.
In addition to surface mold fungi and decay fungi, there is another type of fungi known as dry rot. Dry rot is often mistaken for termite damage. Like termites, dry rot fungi actually digest parts of the wood. Dry rot damage deteriorates wood into small squares or rectangles, eating away at the parts of the wood that give it its structure and stiffness.
How to Prevent and Get Rid of Mold in a Crawl Space
When it comes to addressing crawl space mold problems, simple mold removal or mold remediation does not provide a long-lasting solution. Because mold relies on moisture to grow, keeping your crawl space dry is the only way to keep your home safe from future mold growth.
At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we provide the following crawl space waterproofing solutions to keep your crawl space mold-free and clear of excess moisture for years to come.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl space encapsulation refers to the process of completely waterproofing, sealing, and conditioning the crawl space to prevent moisture and high humidity problems. It involves combining a number of crawl space waterproofing products, including a drainage system and vapor barrier. Not only does crawl space encapsulation help to stop the growth of mold, but it also increases the energy efficiency of your home and transforms your crawl space into usable storage space.
Crawl Space Dehumidifies
Our dehumidifiers are the best performing residential dehumidification systems on the market and they are designed to permanently regulate the relative humidity and, in turn, air quality, in your crawl space. Their self-draining capabilities further add to your peace of mind as a homeowner and ensure you never have to experience a highly humid climate again.
Crawl Space Vents
Our CrawlSeal™ Crawl Space Vent Covers install quickly and prevent humid outside air—as well as pests—from entering your crawl space.