7 tips to prevent odor and mold in your home's crawl space
The musty smell is not easy to hide; it penetrates your nostrils and is felt in the lungs permeating our entire respiratory system. However, for this smell to reach us from the home crawl space, the moisture problem must be advanced and may have caused problems such as mold.
For this reason, it is crucial to be very aware of the state of our home and avoid situations that could affect the structure of the house and our health. For example, if you suspect you have a problem in your crawl space, you can hire a mold inspection service; like those we have for you at Zeromold.
Also, we want to offer you some tips endorsed by professionals to prevent the appearance of mold and odors in your crawl space.
1. Adequate ventilation
The crawl space and the rest of the house must have good ventilation; fungal spores are constantly in the air and may become a health risk too quickly. If you do not renew this air, they accumulate and begins to take over the entire place.
These spores, added to high humidity, become an ideal environment for the appearance of toxic fungi such as black mold; these fungi lodge in the lungs and produce general symptoms such as headaches, memory loss, or nosebleeds. However, the CDC says there are few reports of rare conditions caused by mold.
2. Repair leaks
A small leak in a home crawl space can become a severe problem if it is not treated in time, causing the physical structure of our home to be affected. That is why I recommend you not to leave minor repairs for later and thus avoid problems in the future.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency indicates that being vigilant is the key. If there is any water leak crawl space, you must keep an eye on the areas that have been affected; if they dry completely in 24 to 48 hours, the probability of mold growth and odor is very low.
3. Check pipes and cracks in foundations.
To be sure that there are no water leaks that go to our crawl space, it is necessary to check both the pipes that go to it, the cracks in the walls, and the slopes near the foundations.
All this is to avoid the accumulation of liquids that can gradually erode the material of your crawl space. By checking the pipes, we can rule out affectations in other parts of the house; in the same way, by verifying that the slopes are far from the foundations, we lengthen the lifetime that these can have.
These checkups will work best if made by a professional who can add a mold inspection to give you a full assessment of the condition of your crawl space.
Insulating your crawl space is a way to maintain the correct temperature inside; whether it has ventilation or not, the insulation must be done with certain precautions, such as placing a vapor barrier. In this way, we will ensure that it does not become an environment conducive to the appearance of mold.
If your crawl space has ventilation, it is necessary to seal the insulation against moisture, preventing it from absorbing and keeping it in the environment. On the contrary, if your crawl space doesn't have ventilation, the insulation you must put in is less and very effective in preventing the pipes from freezing in winter.
5. Periodic review with professionals
Even if you have performed various verifications in spaces like the crawl space, you can miss things that only the trained eye of professionals can detect. For this reason, it is necessary to do a general review by a qualified team for this purpose at least once a year.
You can see it as an investment for the safety and quality of life of you and those you love: this can include a mold inspection to rule out early signs of damage. Remember that by keeping up to date with the revisions that correspond to the law, you will be protected and sure that your insurance will replace the damages that an emergency may cause.
6. Repair or dispose of all wood with signs of mold or odor.
It is difficult to detect moisture and mold before it becomes a visible problem, but if you check your crawl space and find wooden objects with a bad smell, or wet or strange appearance, it is best to get rid of them.
Once present in your home, mold spreads to all objects that can provide it with the nutrients it needs to continue growing. The odor and mold will only grow until they make your spaces uninhabitable for you and your family.
7. Place the extractors correctly.
A common mistake homeowners make when installing exhaust fans is to put them upside down. A professional will install them the right way, and if they realize on the mold inspection they are wrongly installed, they will surely provide you with an alternative for you to fix them and don't affect your crawl space.
Even with all these tips, if you notice some symptoms such as water condensation in the pipes or the air conditioners, a musty smell, bulging wooden floors, or insect infestations. It is better to hire a team of professionals before you put at risk the health of your loved ones.
CDC indicates moisture and mold can affect some sensitive people causing symptoms such as itchy eyes and nose, fever, or respiratory problems. However, since no blood test can confirm the impact of mold on health, it is preferable to take the necessary measures to prevent it.
As you can see, preventing the appearance of foul odors and mold in your crawl space is not complicated, but it does require dedication and perseverance to keep inspections up to date. These inspections will ensure that your house does not present short-term or long-term problems and will also alleviate your out-of-pocket expenses that may arise.