5 Steps to Eliminate White Mold in Your Crawl Space
Have you recently noticed a mushy smell spread out in your house? Despite your best efforts to clean every corner of your home to get rid of that headache-triggering odor, it still lingers on. Aromatherapy is a relief, but sadly, it is only a temporary solution. The real problem is lurking in the uninviting, spiderweb-covered, and pitch-black crawl space of your home.
Now is the perfect time to investigate the often-neglected part of your house. Grab your flashlight and look for any white mold growing on the surface.
White mold, despite its name, can be of a grayish or greenish shade. If you spot its spores spreading on the surface of your crawl space, you’d better get rid of them at once before you have to deal with a serious mold infestation.
When left unchecked, white mold can turn into black mold, and both pose a number of health hazards. Waste no time and bookmark this page for an easy and effective solution to your mold problem.
How to Get Rid of Mold in a Crawl Space
Removing mold in the crawl space is a breeze with our 5 simple steps. The same process can be applied any time you spot mold buildup again. In rare cases, when mold spores have occupied most of the crawl space, it is better to hire a mold remediation specialist from Envirosmart Solutions.
- Gear Up
Mold is essentially fungi, and every fungus species is a bit scary to touch or eat. Crawl space mold is particularly scary since we heard so many times that it causes headaches and pollutes fresh air with mold spores. To be on the safe side, it is always better to put on protective gear when dealing with any kind of cleaning.
Don’t fret, you won’t need a radiation suit to get close to mold; gloves and a face mask are enough. If the crawl space mold is located in the hardly accessible high structure of the house, you may also need protective goggles.
If you have allergic reactions to mold, it would be better to ask someone else to handle mold removal.
- Air the Crawl Space
Before you start mold removal, make sure to ventilate the crawl space. Since mold has been growing there for some time, its spores may have accumulated in the crawl space. Keep the window open throughout the whole process of mold removal.
If it’s not possible to maintain sufficient airflow, consider using a dehumidifier.
- Vacuum White Mold
Over the years, the mold may build up in the crawl space to the point that you can simply vacuum it away. However, only a vacuum with a HEPA filter will prevent spores from spreading during mold cleanup.
Once finished, take out the filter outdoors and place it in the sealed bag before disposing of it.
- Scrub the Mold Off
Now that you have eliminated some mold in the crawl space, it is time to scrub off what remains. To do this, you will need a mixture of water, detergent, and some vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the killing solution onto the affected area and let it do its magic.
While you’re drinking coffee and taking a break from wearing personal protective equipment, you can gather up the energy for probably the most physically demanding part of the process – scrubbing.
Some mold can be harder to clean, so you will need to get a brush and do your best to remove the fungi.
- Sand Down the Wooden Structures
The final step is crucial – sanding down the wood and refinishing it. It will help you treat mold living deep inside small dentures and prevent a future mold outbreak.
If you properly control moisture and follow our mold prevention tips, you will be able to breathe with ease, free from worry about mold issues.
- Gear Up
Types of Mold in Crawl Space
There is an array of mold types in the world, ranging from allergy-triggering Alternaria to toxic Stachybotrys. But we’ve decided to divide them into white, yellow, and black since nobody is capable of identifying fungi species with the naked eye.
You might be familiar with white mold forming on food. Its appearance is similar to fluffy snow. It isn’t uncommon to see white mold in crawl spaces where there is a high level of humidity and a lack of adequate ventilation.
White fungal growth can be the first step of mold development, as it can later turn black.
Only a few people know of the existence of yellow mold. Similarly to other fungi, it feeds on organic materials and moisture – an accurate description of any crawl space.
Yellow mold commonly appears on wood, leading to its decay and eventual collapse. Therefore, if you spot yellow mold in your house, our mold removal company is ready to help.
Black mold grows on carpets, walls, subflooring, and other crawl spaces used by excess moisture. This fungus species is considered the most toxic and has to be taken care of immediately.
If you suspect mold has developed on crawl space walls or floors, make sure to eliminate the infestation as soon as possible. Otherwise, breathing in black mold spores may lead to health complications.
Common Reasons for Mold Growth
There are many reasons why crawl space mold appears, but we want to highlight the most common problems we encounter in our work. Here are the four most common reasons our clients have mold in crawl spaces:
A humid crawl space creates suitable conditions for mold to grow. Lack of moisture control is likely to attract mold to accumulate. Commonly, it is a bathroom, attic, or basement that we inspect for mold buildup.
Crawl space flooding that is left unattended is likely to create a moderate growth of mold within the first two days. Therefore, it must be your priority to dry and ventilate the crawl space in case of flooding. Otherwise, water damage and humidity will let white mold accumulate on the surface.
- Poor Ventilation
One of the ways to reduce humidity is to ensure proper ventilation. Without constant airflow, a room remains moist so mold can emerge in very tight spaces.
- Roof Leaks
Roof leaks are another cause of mold growth. Leaks can damage not only the floor but also infect the ceiling, creating a double mold problem.
How to Prevent Mold in Crawl Space?
As you can see, fighting with mold is a tedious battle. If you haven’t struggled with cleaning mold, then it’s best to keep it that way. To prevent mold growth, follow these easy tips:
- Reduce Room Dampness
Never allow water to build up in any room. Whenever there is any leak, make sure to clean it up before your room or crawl space becomes damp. Otherwise, you’re creating a perfect environment to grow mold.
In addition to keeping your crawl space dry, ensure there is sufficient ventilation.
- Purchase a Dehumidifier
Some places in your house are impossible to ventilate, but there is an easy fix for that – a dehumidifier. Place the device in your basement or attic to keep the humidity level low. As a set, you can purchase a moisture meter to monitor which part of your house has a moisture problem.
Useful note: Don’t forget to check and clean your dehumidifier, as mold can appear inside the device, too.
- Repair Foundation Cracks
You may think that a few cracks won’t do any harm to your house. However, that’s a big mistake. Those cracks in the foundation walls are the gateway for the dampness to enter your crawl space. Mold growth is often overlooked since homeowners rarely check the crawl space. Mended house cracks will eliminate the need to check every corner of your home so often.
- Install a Vapor Barrier
Although it won’t completely eliminate the problem, a plastic vapor barrier can be installed in a crawl space to reduce moisture. As the name suggests, the barrier protects your house from vapors that rise up from the moist soil.
- Clean Gutters
Don’t let rainwater ruin your house walls with mold. Every now and then, check the gutters and make sure the flow is directed a few feet away from the foundation.
Cleaning the gutters is particularly important if you haven’t fixed cracks yet. Otherwise, during heavy rain, the entire crawl space may be flooded.
- Reduce Room Dampness
Get a Free Inspection Now
Mold in crawl spaces is fixable when identified in the early stages. An affordable solution is to add vinegar, water, and detergent to a spray bottle and apply the mixture to the infected areas.
Mold can be harmful, and it can pose numerous health risks to people who are either sensitive or allergic to the fungus, including respiratory problems and rash reactions.
Envirosmart Solutions is a mold remediation company that specializes in HVAC systems that can help you get rid of mold problems in the most inaccessible spaces.
Get a free crawl space inspection now, and never spend a day in a house with a musty smell all day long.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is white mold dangerous?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, inhaling or touching mold spores may cause allergic reactions. Some sensitive people may suffer from asthma attacks. Other symptoms may include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat or other fever-type symptoms (e.g., sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose, etc.).
Is it safe to touch mold barehand?
Although most mold in crawl spaces is safe to touch barehand and won’t make you sick, some types of fungi can cause skin irritation and rashes. Despite it, it is always better to get rid of mold with protective gloves and a face mask.
Can I vacuum the mold?
Yes, you can use any vacuum with a HEPA filter for mold remediation.