Many people call us because they believe they have a problem with mold in a crawlspace. Since a crawlspace is generally a dark and humid area with stagnant air, is is definitely a place that mold can thrive. However, there is a normal amount of mold growth so the situation that you have come across may not be as bad as it seems. Typically, people spot issues in a crawlspace after a water damage or a home inspector points it out on an assessment.
A crawlspace is a non-living environment. While we can take air samples from within these areas, they are actually very likely to come back elevated. Our inspectors can make judgements about just how bad the problems are from these levels but we usually recommend doing otherwise. Since it is a non-living environment, we prefer taking an air sample from outside the entrance to the crawlspace to determine if it is negatively impacting the indoor air quality. If the inspector sees any visible mold while inside the crawlspace, they’ll recommend a surface sample. This will determine specifically what species of mold are present. In a perfect world we would take a surface sample and one from both inside/outside the crawlspace to get as much data as possible. Since each sample costs money, this is not always possible and we leave it up to our expert inspectors to make the final decision on which is most important when necessary.
A vapor barrier is a great preventive measure to prevent mold growth. Since the floor of a crawlspace is literally in contact with the grown it can cause serious moisture problems that will eventually lead to mold growth. Laying a polyethylene plastic sheet over the ground can greatly slow any sort of excess moisture issues. It is a simple improvement on a crawlspace as it can be placed over the area and either tacked down with staples or held in place with a rock as there is zero wind in these areas.
There are instances that mold growth problem in a crawlspace is serious enough to warrant professional mold removal. Typically this happens due to some type of water damage. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours under the right circumstances. For this reason, it is very important to address these types of issues quickly and correctly. Water damage restoration companies have the knowledge and equipment to dry these spaces in a much shorter period of time than your average handyman. If you attempt to save money on this aspect, it may cost you even more in the long run.
If you are uncertain whether a home that you own or are looking to purchase has a mold problem, give us a call. Our experts will do a complete visual check and perform testing to determine exactly what is going on and what needs to be done. We can be reach via email or directly at 855-600-6653 for more information.