In its natural state, mold has very positive effects on the environment. It helps break down and decompose organic material, such as leaves, vegetation, fruit, and other organic matter.
However, when present in houses, mold growth can cause severe health complications and cost a lot of money in property damage. Detecting any mold growth in your house should raise a red flag. You must address the matter immediately. If you wait, the mold will continue to spread and cause even more damage.
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The Effects of Mold and Unwanted Growth
Mold damage can be classified into two groups: health risks and property damage. There are several health complications that can arise from mold colonies in your crawl space. Your crawl space can harbor three main types of mold: allergenic mold, pathogenic mold, and toxigenic mold.
About 40% of the air in your house is drawn up from the crawl space, so harboring any of these three types of mold can result in grave health risks. All mold spores are airborne and can easily enter our respiratory system. The spores cause both allergic reactions and “mold poisoning.”
Allergenic molds release spores that can cause problems for people that are likely to have allergic reactions. Theses reactions include cold-like symptoms, respiratory problems, skin and throat irritation, coughing, watery eyes, nasal and sinus congestion, and mild to heavy asthma attacks.
Illnesses caused by mold — commonly referred to as ”mold poisoning” — are a set of health concerns triggered when toxigenic and pathogenic mold spores enter our body. Mold poisoning can result in bleeding of the lungs, organ inflammation, aches, weakness, headaches, disorientation, mood swings, vertigo, and has even been linked to cancer.
Property damage due to mold centers primarily on walls, supports, and insulation destruction. Most molds are difficult to eradicate once they have begun growing and may require a large investment to fully repair the damaged areas. For comprehensive infestations, property damage can easily add up to thousands of dollars.
Sources of Mold in Your Crawl Space
Mold requires dark, moist places to thrive, so crawl spaces with poor or no insulation usually provide the perfect conditions. High moisture levels mean vapor will condense into water, and cover your insulation and your house’s support beams. Feces, old insulation, wood, and any other organic material in your crawl space will encourage mold to grow, so keeping it clean and moisture-free is pivotal.
Identifying Mold in Your Crawl Space
Mold can grow in almost any climate, so there are more than one million types. Dangerous molds can be classified as allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic. As the name indicated, allergenic molds cause allergies and are the most common type of hazardous mold.
Pathogenic molds produce particular infections in people with weak or suppressed immune systems. The most common symptoms are very similar to bacterial pneumonia. Lastly, toxigenic molds produce mycotoxins that can affect everyone in your household. If these mycotoxins are inhaled, touched, or ingested, they can cause severe health complications.
Identifying what kind of mold you have requires professional knowledge, and sometimes even testing, so your best shot is to hire a local expert.
DIY Mold Remediation
Mold is extremely hard to eradicate, and if the conditions that created it are not addressed, it will become a recurring problem. If there is mold in your crawl space, you must clean out the old insulation and all organic waste, and install new insulation and a vapor barrier. If the mold problem is severe, you will need to kill the mold infection and remove wooden beams in your crawl space. There are over-the-counter solutions sold, but most of them are just temporary if not applied correctly. It’s best to avoid DIY solutions and hire a professional crawl space cleaning company instead.
Dealing with Mold Growth
If you have mold in your house, there are three steps you can take. These depend on the severity of your mold problem, and the type of mold growing in your crawl space.
One: Identifying Mold in Your Crawl Space
Although it doesn’t sound like much of a strategy, detecting mold growth early enough means you may be able to leave it. However, if this is the case, you must clean and insulate your crawl space immediately. The dangers of mold depend on what type of mold is growing in your crawl space and how much it has spread. If you remove the conditions that allowed mold to thrive in the first place, you can stop it from spreading and becoming a huge problem.
Two: Killing the Mold
If the mold in your crawl space is big enough to cause a problem, but not widespread, you can apply chemicals to the surface of your crawl space to kill mold. This won’t, however, remove the dead mold, which is still a powerful allergenic.
Three: Physically Removing the Mold
Removing the mold is the best way to handle any colonies you find. The mold is killed off by applying chemicals to the surface of your crawl space. Once dead, the mold is removed by using a soda-blaster. Soda-blasters are similar to sand blasters and use baking soda to remove all signs of mold. In particularly bad cases, the best course of action is to remove the surfaces which mold was growing on.
Preventing Mold Growth in Your Crawl Space and Around Your House
You can prevent mold growth in your crawl space and around your home by inspecting your crawl space. At Clean Crawls, we provide crawl space and attic inspection, cleaning, insulation, and vapor barrier installation. These services help reduce the moisture levels in your crawlspace and attic, preventing mold growth and animal infestations.
If you need to hire mold removal services for your crawl space, contact Clean Crawls today. Our team of qualified experts will be glad to help you identify the mold in your crawl space, and take necessary steps to removing it. Reach us at 866.606.2914 or fill out our online contact form today. Contact us now!