Mold, Your Health, and Your Home’s Structural Integrity
As mentioned above, a certain percentage of air in your home’s crawl space flows up and into your home’s living area due to the stack effect. If this air is full of mildew spores, it could cause problems for anyone living in the home, including allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Mold can also trigger skin problems, itchy eyes, and rashes.
Mildew in a crawl space can also encourage wood rot which could eventually threaten your home’s structural integrity.
How to Get Rid of Crawl Space Mold?
Although many homeowners think this is a DIY project, we recommend contacting a mold remediation specialist instead of trying to get rid of crawl space mold by yourself. Your home’s crawl space is full of nasty things like pests (spiders, rate, snakes), dangerous rodent droppings, sharp things, etc. Never enter your home’s crawl space without protective gear, including a respirator.
We also recommend letting a mold remediation specialist handle the job simply because they have experience getting rid of mildew in a crawl space. They know what it looks like, where to find it, and how to make sure it’s gone. If you DIY, you might spend a lot of time and effort only to find out later that you missed a spot or two.
After the mildew in your crawl space has been eradicated, you’ll need to ensure it doesn’t return.
How To Prevent Mildew in a Crawl Space?
Once you’ve gotten rid of the mildew in your crawl space, you’ll need to ensure it doesn’t come back. You can do that by making sure the crawl space stays dry. The only way to do that is to get the groundwater around the foundation under control. If you’re trying to keep your crawl space dry, you don’t want excess water in the soil around the foundation.
How to Make Sure Excess Water Can’t Build Up in the Soil Around the Foundation
The best way – by far – to ensure the soil around the foundation stays dry is to install a drain tile system. There simply is no better way to control groundwater around your foundation. For more information on drain tile systems, see How Does A Drain Tile System Work?
Other things you can do include:
- Crawl space encapsulation and a dehumidifier – After installing a drain tile system, many homeowners have their crawl space encapsulated. Encapsulation involves covering the floor and walls of the crawl space with a thick vapor barrier. For more information, see Is Crawl Space Encapsulation Worth It? Yes!
- Make sure you don’t have any leaking pipes.
- Insulate your pipes so condensation can’t form on them.
- Make sure your dryer vent isn’t blowing air into the crawl space.
- Check your foundation wall for cracks. If you find any, call a foundation repair contractor and have them fixed.
- Regrade your yard, if necessary – The yard around your home should slope away from the foundation. This prevents water from draining toward the foundation. A landscaping professional can help you with this, or you could DIY.
- Clean your gutters regularly – If the gutters are full of leaves and other debris, water could spill over the side of your home and soak into the soil around the foundation.
- If your downspouts are too short, install extensions – You don’t want your downspouts releasing water next to the foundation. Extensions are easy to install and will carry water away from the foundation before releasing it.
- Install an underground downspout with a pop-up emitter – Water from the gutters flows into the underground downspout and gets channeled toward a pop-up emitter situated around 10 feet from your foundation. When it fills with water, it pops up and releases the water away from the foundation. (When the pop-up emitter is empty, it’s virtually invisible on your lawn.)
If you’re having trouble with mildew in a crawl space and are in our service area in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri, contact us today for an inspection and estimate.