Your home is a place of relaxation and quality time, whether that be with friends, family, or yourself. And when it comes to your home, no one likes uninvited guests. But that’s exactly what happens when mold is growing in your crawl space.
If left uncontrolled, thousands of microscopic spores are released into your living space, damaging your health and your home’s structure in the process.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about mold: from general facts, to mitigation, to the repair process.
Crawl Space Mold: The Different Types
Thousands of mold species exist in the world and naturally occur wherever moisture and oxygen can be found.
While the exact number of mold types is unknown to scientists, this fungus can be organized into a few general categories, all of which could grow in your crawl space.
- Yellow Mold – known as the “house eating mold”, often appears on organic materials like wood
- Green Mold – usually appears on spoiled food or in dark, damp spaces like a crawl space
- White Mold – white, blueish and fuzzy in appearance, often confused for efflorescence
- Black Mold – known for being more toxic than other types, rarely occurs in crawl spaces
While there are minor differences between each type of mold, all of them grow in similar conditions, and have the potential to appear in your crawl space. But why?
Why Does Mold Grow in Crawl Spaces?
Mold needs three things to survive: humidity, organic material, and ideal temperatures (usually between 60°F and 80°F).
North Carolina provides all these conditions for mold throughout the year, so let’s take a look at why exactly mold grows in your crawl space.
Humidity is high in nearly every city across the state, making it easy for mold to grow.
For instance, Charlotte has an average annual humidity of 67%. Hickory has an average annual humidity of 73%. That’s a lot of moisture in the air throughout the year.
On top of this, most crawl spaces are built with open vents along their foundation walls. This is one of the main causes of mold growth because they allow humid air to get in.
After snow or rain, water drains into your yard’s soil. Specifically, North Carolina is prone to heavy rainfall during the summer months. Some of this water is absorbed by the dirt floor of your crawl space.
After a particularly heavy storm, crawl space flooding can leave standing water below your home. Over time, this groundwater evaporates out of the ground and fills your crawl space with humid air.
As a result, moist air seeps into wooden structures below your home, creating prime feeding conditions for mold.
Natural Building Materials
Since wood is a natural building material, mold uses it as the primary source of food in your crawl space. As humidity and precipitation levels rise, mold spores latch on to it.
Don’t Wait to Treat Crawl Space Mold. Here’s Why:
According to the CDC, mold of all types can cause a variety of health problems in some individuals. For those that are sensitive to mold exposure, symptoms may include a stuffy nose, wheezing, or red and itchy eyes or skin.
Some people are allergic to mold, and this can cause severe reactions like fever, shortness of breath, and, (only sometimes) even fungal infections.
In general, being around mold for an extended amount of time isn’t healthy for anyone, even if no physical symptoms appear.
We talked about how mold literally feeds on organic matter, and in the case of your crawl space, that means wooden beams. This is a problem for your entire home, because your walls and floors rely on those wooden beams for support.
As mold feeds on wood, fungal infections occur and lead to dry rot. This makes the wood increasingly brittle.
Eventually, you will notice sagging floors throughout your home that seem to bend under your weight. Structural damage caused by mold in your crawl space is the reason why.
Mold feeds on carpets, drywall, wooden furniture, and more. Damage to your personal items like this will force you to spend money on repairs and replacements.
Moreover, high humidity, the main cause of mold growth, will also spread into your home from the crawl space. When humidity levels rise in your home, it causes higher energy bills that take even more out of your wallet.
Frequently Asked Questions – Mold
Our specialists at Dry Pro have visited thousands of homes in North Carolina. The overwhelming majority of homes in the state have at least a little bit of mold in the crawl space.
Many homeowners don’t take mold seriously, but when left unchecked, your home and health face dangerous consequences.
Not directly. Your dehumidifier won’t collect mold spores from the air or make them disappear. Instead, dehumidifiers aid in mold remediation.
Since mold needs moisture to survive, a dehumidifier removes this vital resource. Without any humidity below your home, it becomes impossible for mold to grow.
Without the proper tools or protection, removing mold on your own is dangerous. It can enter your lungs or irritate your skin, leading to other health issues. Even worse, household cleaning supplies aren’t guaranteed to actually remove mold effectively.
Spores may be released into other areas of your home as you clean.
Lastly, removing mold on your own doesn’t solve the actual problem behind its growth in the first place – excessive moisture. Only professional solutions will provide long-term moisture control that stops mold for good.
How to Remediate Crawl Space Mold
Remediating crawl space mold isn’t something you should do on your own. Removing mold without the proper materials can cause serious health effects to your lungs or skin.
Instead, hiring a professional company like Dry Pro is your best bet at safe and effective mold remediation.
Remove the Mold
The first step in preventing mold from growing in your crawl space is removing any mold that has already appeared. Dry Pro provides mold removal, using an antimicrobial solution on affected areas before using specialized tools to scrub off remaining residue.
Remember, don’t attempt to remove mold on your own, as this puts you in close proximity to spores that may damage your health.
Drain Remaining Water
Next, removing moisture from your crawl space will remove a vital resource for mold. If standing water or condensation is present below your home, our team will make sure to get the area as dry as possible.
You may also be tempted to do this step on your own, but maneuvering a crawl space is difficult, especially with a lot of water. One wrong move could result in damage to your home or personal injury.
Installing Crawl Space Encapsulation
To prevent mold from reappearing in the future, Dry Pro installs a crawl space encapsulation system below your home. With a variety of waterproofing devices, crawl space encapsulation actively removes and keeps water out.
These devices include a vapor barrier, drainage matting, a dehumidifier, crawl space drains, and vent covers. With all of these in place, moisture cannot penetrate your crawl space.
What to Consider When Hiring Crawl Space Mold Remediation Specialists in NC
Here’s what a lot of crawl space repair companies get wrong about mold remediation:
- They only install a partial waterproofing system. For example, one dehumidifier won’t solve mold issues alone.
- Generally, they don’t provide wood repair services
- They only provide a one and done result without regular maintenance
- They’re behind the learning curve on cutting-edge solutions.
Dry Pro is the leading crawl space mold remediation company in North Carolina.
In our 20 years of professional experience, we’ve tried it all and learned the best solutions.
So, here’s some of the pros that come with working with us:
- Industry leading solutions that provide long-term moisture control
- Transferable warranties for all solutions ranging from 25 years to lifetime
- EPA regulated, antimicrobial mold removal solution that is non-toxic to humans
- We repair damaged wood that has been destroyed by mold
- We use a multi-step encapsulation system that is proven to provide the absolute best protection
Call Dry Pro for a Free Crawl Space Inspection
Want to stop mold growth for good?
At Dry Pro, our crawl space solutions make that possible so you can focus on doing what you love.
Contact us today to learn even more about crawl space solutions, and to schedule a free inspection with one of our professionals.