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What to Do About Crawl Space Mold

Crawl Space mold left untreated can cause serious problems. Learn why it's happening and how to solve the problem.

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When homeowners in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Grand Junction notice mold in their crawl space, their first instinct is to fix it right away before mold spores cause allergic reactions or musty smells. The local experts at Peak Structural not only solve your crawl space mold problem but put an end to the high humidity and moisture problems that caused it in the first place. Review the photos below. Peak Structural can help schedule your free inspection.

Why Do I Have Crawl Space Mold Problems

Since your crawl space may not be an area of your home you often frequent, crawl space mold growth may have been festering for some time. Regardless, in addition to mold remediation, it’s important to understand what caused your crawl space mold problem so you can permanently solve it. 

High Humidity

The soil in the Colorado Springs, Denver, and Grand Junction area receives less than the national average rainfall per year, but it’s the region’s clay soil to blame for high humidity levels in your crawl space. 

The dirt floor in your crawl space contains high levels of clay. Clay soil absorbs any water quickly and expands. As the water eventually evaporates, it becomes water vapor or moisture in the air. This is known as humidity. Humidity makes your upstairs living environment uncomfortable, costing you money by forcing you to turn down the AC. Unfortunately, it does more than that. Moisture in the air clings to organic material and leads to mold growth.

Condensation

Similar to high humidity, condensation in your crawl space is a result of water vapor from the area’s dirt clay floor. When humidity is high enough, it converts from a vapor to a liquid and collects as droplets on anything it comes in contact with. 

Unfortunately, in a crawl space that typically means the crawl space walls and floor joists, structural stanchions and beams, and any other organic materials within the space. 

Water Problems

In addition to excess moisture in the air, it’s also very possible to have standing water in your crawl space. Even though the Denver area doesn’t receive a large amount of rain, if rain combines with snowmelt, standing water in your crawl is entirely possible. Homes with open crawl space vents are especially prone to water damage since water finds easy access through the vents.  

Water problems can also result from a faulty HVAC system, which is commonly stored in the basement. It’s important to have your HVAC appliances serviced and maintained according to recommendations to avoid issues with standing water.

Crawl Space Mold Frequently Asked Questions

Although it may seem the case, not all crawl spaces have mold problems. Mold is a result of unwanted water, either from groundwater or excess moisture in the air.  

If a crawl space is treated, meaning it is waterproof or encapsulated, moisture and humidity are sealed out, creating a dry, healthy space. An encapsulated crawl space is mold-free because of the sump pump, vapor barrier, and perhaps a dehumidifier to take care of the excess moisture.  

Additionally, you’re also safeguarding your home’s structural integrity because mold can weaken wood floor joists or stanchions.

The short answer– perhaps. Depending on the type of mold in your crawl space and your family’s overall health, mold may or may not be dangerous. For those with weakened immune systems, like children or the elderly, mold spores traveling through the home are usually more impactful.  

Most mold causes allergic reactions to flair and upper respiratory problems. But some research suggests mold poisoning can cause aches and pains, changes in mood, headaches, memory loss, and nose bleeds.  

If you suspect you may be experiencing mold poisoning symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor and address mold remediation as soon as possible.

Crawl space mold, like most mold, is often described as smelling musty, damp, stale, or earthy. The problem with crawl space mold smells is that they don’t stay in the crawl space. 

Thanks to the stack effect, crawl space mold smells, and spores travel up from the crawl space, through your living spaces, before escaping through the roof. That means the musty smell lingers in the air throughout your home. 

Although opening the windows to circulate air and remove the smell sounds sensible, this solution only masks the smell. Be sure to call a crawl space expert, like those at Peak Structural, to assess the situation and solve it permanently.

The only way to permanently prevent crawl space mold is by sealing the crawl space from any outside air and enveloping it into the envelope of the home.  

This means having a crawl space company remove existing mold, waterproof, and seal off the crawl space. Unfortunately, this is not a DIY project and should be left in the hands of professionals.  

There are a few things you can do to help. It’s important to keep as much water away from your home’s foundation as possible. Ensure gutters are free of clogs and downspouts extend at least 6 feet. Also, take a look at the slope of your lawn. Does water travel back to the foundation? If so, build up the grade, so any water flows out and away from your home.

Crawl Space Repair & Encapsulation Experts- Peak Structural. Call for FREE Inspection.

Peak Structural understands the homeowners along Colorado’s Front Range. From Denver to Colorado Springs, our proven products have been developed to solve the problems presented by the unique soil conditions in your area.  

We offer a free, no-obligation inspection to access your crawl space and address your mold concerns. Our inspectors will do a full inspection, take pictures and discuss the best action plan with you. Our solutions are customizable to fit your home, your family, and your budget.  Contact Peak Structural to schedule your free inspection.

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707 County Line Rd.
Palmer Lake, CO 80133

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Denver, CO 80216

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