Crawl Space Mold and Your Health
Most homeowners avoid the dark, moist spaces beneath their houses. We understand. Why would you want to venture down there anyway? Unfortunately, that dingy space is quite vital to not only the support and foundation of your home, but it can also have a significant impact on the health of you and your family…because of crawl space mold.
How It Happens
Simply put: hot, moist air leads to mold growth. To clarify, mildew can easily be treated as it’s a surface fungi; however, mold (the black or green “fuzzy” fungus) is the sign of a much larger issue and infestation. The dreaded crawl space is a hub of humidity. Increased humidity is a result of a combination of factors, such as water (even just moisture from the ground), improper ventilation, and temperature.
Mold loves moisture, and given that the crawl space under your home is a humid environment, this checks off one of mold’s two favorite things. The second thing mold needs to grow is a food source, some type of organic matter, which could be the wooden beams holding your house up. As an article from US News reported, “Mold only becomes dangerous when it is able to attach itself to organic material and grow and spread with the right humid conditions.”
These “right humid conditions” exist in the majority of un-encapsulated, improperly ventilated crawl spaces, and no one (we repeat: no one) wants a moldy crawl space. Surprisingly enough, almost 40% of your home’s air is recycled from the crawl space. So if mold is rapidly spreading throughout your home’s scary “basement,” this gross air is entering your home and can affect your health.
Impact on Your Health
A few lucky souls may experience no health consequences when exposed to mold, while other people are incredibly sensitive. Either way, no one wants furry green mold affecting the quality of their air and their overall level of health. Symptoms of mold exposure range from mimicking the common cold (with coughing and irritation of the eyes and/or throat) to severe allergic reactions like lung infections. According to the Center for Disease Control, numerous studies have been conducted to link mold exposure to a variety of health-related issues, such as upper respiratory tract symptoms and the onsite of asthma in children.
REMOVE THAT MOLD
Removing crawl space mold will be more than some bleach-and-paper-towel combo can fix. You’ll need to call in professionals, like Economic Exterminators, to conduct a deep cleaning of the crawl space. Then, prevention, and that can be summed up in three words: crawl space encapsulation. Once the space is encapsulated (and by that, we mean your crawl space is covered in a barrier, and all entrances and vents are properly sealed), you have removed the ability for moisture, humidity, and mold to survive. In some cases, a dehumidifier may have to be installed to help in the process.
So long story short, call a professional to enter into the bowel of your home (aka the crawl space), conduct an investigation on the presence of mold, and seriously consider investing in crawl space encapsulation.