When confronted with crawl space mold, some homeowners in Cleveland, OH, may panic, while others go into overdrive trying to get to the root of it. The problem may be worse if your crawl space is exposed and vented. And the culprit is moisture and water from the outside.
Should I worry about mold? Will it affect my health? How can I control it? We know these are some of the questions swirling around your head right now. Read on and learn more about mold so you can stay on top of things.
What Type of Mold Exists?
There are more than 100 types of mold species, and each can take different forms such as fungi, mildew, and normal mold. Some mold species appear white and may have a powdery texture. Notable examples of mold species that grow in homes are Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Alternaria. Other mold species can be gray, green, or black in color. White mold could mean their spores have no pigment or the mold is in a nascent stage. The latter is deadly as it releases mold spores and mycotoxins, which can be harmful to your health.
But that’s not all. Yellow mold is another species you should worry about. While it won’t put your health on the line, it can eat up all the below the ground wooden structures and weaken your home. A quick inspection can reveal the extent of their infestation so you can take remedial measures.
If you suspect mold has invaded your crawl space, contact your local crawl space repair contractor and seek their advice. You may also have to call a mold remediation company if there’s a serious infestation. As well as removing the mold, the remediation company will treat the crawl space so mold doesn’t re-grow.
What Are the Common Mold Reactions?
Whether you’re dealing with fuzzy white patches on your crawl space insulation or the slimy black spots on the crawl space wall, mold is more than unsightly. Prolonged exposure can make you sick, especially if you have underlying conditions such as asthma or allergies. You or loved ones may experience irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat as well as sneezing and coughing. Sometimes eyes can become red or noses stuffy. In the event of an intense reaction, shortness of breath and asthma attacks may occur.
Since mold affects people differently, it’s not easy to predict the degree of severity of the risks associated with mold. Many symptoms may also depend on the type of mold a person is exposed to and the duration of exposure. The elderly and individuals with immunological conditions, low immunity, or chronic lung disease are more susceptible than healthy people.
How Can I Eliminate or Control Crawl Space Mold?
While you can’t eradicate mold completely from the atmosphere, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure it doesn’t settle down and breed. Mold requires moisture and organic materials to thrive. So your efforts should focus on removing conditions that perpetuate its growth. Here are measures you can take going forward:
Cover the entire crawl space with a plastic vapor barrier to prevent moisture from entering this space. If there’s standing water or wet soil, drain out the water and dry the soil before covering your floor.
Further ensure your crawl space is properly sealed by covering crawl space vents. Venting isn’t a good idea as it introduces moisture.
Ask your basement repair contractor in Cleveland, OH, to inspect the crawl space for leaks and cracks and repair them where necessary.
Check the gutters to ensure they’re working properly. Faulty gutters tend to channel water to the crawl space or basement, especially if the grading slopes toward your home and not away from it.
Internal condensation may persist even after sealing the crawl space. You can control it by using dehumidifiers to keep indoor humidity at 50% or below. A hygrometer will come handy for this purpose.
Inspect the ductwork and pipes that run through the crawl space. If they’re leaking, it will only be a matter of time before they cause problems. Ask your plumber or HVAC technician to come and fix both.
Do you suspect mold has taken over the crawl space? Looking for lasting fixes to moisture?