What does mold in crawl space look like? Here are seven signs of crawl space mold infestation.
A lot of times, homeowners are oblivious to mold presence in their crawl space until the problem degenerates significantly. Without urgent action, mold issues are likely to worsen.
An effective preventive strategy requires understanding common signs and symptoms of mold issues.
Signs Of Crawl Space Mold
Mold problems don’t simply appear, they steadily develop and give subtle signs which can help take early action. This article is written to help homeowners take proactive measures to fix their mold issues.
It’s also necessary to understand the role moisture plays in causing mold growth. So, taking future preventive strategies like crawl space encapsulation would be a great idea.
The Dangers of Mold Growth
What is of primary concern to most homeowners dealing with mold issues is the health risk.
These are widely known as allergens which cause a wide range of health issues including worsening asthmatic conditions in persons with such. When it to these health risks, they’re quite varied.
The longer you’re exposed to mold spores, the more serious these symptoms get. Common symptoms include wheezing, running nose, fatigue, watery eyes, itching, difficulty breathing, headache, coughing, sneezing, and serious illness in cases of prolonged exposure.
Once any, or a number of these conditions are noticed, it’s necessary to call for mold inspection and possible treatment. Now, most of these conditions happen in confined spaces.
In other words, they’re common when mold grows in indoor spaces. Since we’re talking about the crawl space which is outdoors, it shouldn’t be this bad right? Let’s find out!
Mold in Crawl Space: How Dangerous is it to Health?
Crawl spaces of homes are largely exposed or open and get a great deal of ventilation.
This means mold issues around such areas aren’t as serious as in confined or indoor spaces. With mold presence in crawl spaces, the focus isn’t more on the health risks, but on moisture presence which has to be addressed.
First off, due to exposure to the crawl space, there’s always air blowing across the open space. So, mold growth isn’t that much. However, it doesn’t negate the fact that there’s a problem.
Moisture presence in the attic needs to be addressed to prevent further incursion into the home.
Plus, not all mold types are considered dangerous. Certain species pose more health risks than others. The most common types found in crawl spaces are Cladosporium, Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, and penicillium.
Now, let’s get into the main focus of our discussion.
7 Ways To Confirm Mold In Crawl Space
Are you suspecting mold presence in your crawl space? There are simple ways to find out. You only need to look out for certain signs.
The most common of these include high humidity, musty smell, worsening allergy conditions, discoloration on walls & insulations, as well as buckled hardwood floors.
Other signs to look out for include increased pest presence, and powdery patches on posts and floor joists. One or more of these symptoms might be evident.
A further professional assessment will be necessary to establish the presence of mold in your basement. With this said, let’s get to the details by looking at each symptom.
One of the primary symptoms you’re likely to find is the presence of high humidity in the crawl space. With such moisture presence, it’s almost impossible not to find mold growing there.
Extra moisture can be introduced to your crawl space by leaky plumbing.
What more? Expect high humidity around the kitchen and bathroom areas of your crawl space. These areas are mostly warm and are likely to extend below to affect humidity levels within the crawl space.
These are ideal conditions for mold to grow.
The dampness caused by moisture presence coupled with mold growth results in a musty smell.
When this is perceived, it’s a clear sign that things aren’t right. Sometimes, conditions may worsen with the decay of wood and other structural materials within the space.
Moisture, coupled with the absence of sunlight will easily make your crawl space have a musty odor. A closer inspection will likely reveal mold growth. The best time to take action is when such smells become noticeable.
Don’t wait for long before calling for help. You’ll need to act fast to arrest the mold problem.
Worsening Allergy Conditions
The allergic conditions mentioned earlier are caused by mold presence. When there’s significant mold growth, it will only lead to a worsening of such conditions.
You’ll have to pay closer attention to any changes or worsening of these symptoms. The best thing to do is take immediate action before conditions worsen.
Discoloration on Walls & Insulations
One of the easiest ways to identify a mold problem in the attic is by looking out for discolorations on insulations and walls. Mold growth mostly appears black or grey.
Whatever the color, you’ll notice a patch or discoloration which wasn’t there before. When such is noticed, a closer inspection will be necessary before treatment commences.
Buckled Hardwood Floors
Buckled or sagged floors are reflective of moisture problems.
There’s hardly a moisture problem without mold growth. Here, it’s likely that the wood beams holding your floors in position are partially or completely damaged.
The point is; you shouldn’t be having buckled floors except there’s a problem.
By calling a pro, you get to know the cause(s) for such sagging floors. Chances are you’ll need to perform or carry out mold remediation treatments.
Increased Pest Presence
Pests are opportunists who take advantage of any situation they can to gain entry into homes and ultimately to a food source(s). Holes or cracks are likely to result when there’s an issue with the crawl space.
This results in a sudden influx of pests that may be inexplicable at the onset.
With such cracks or holes present, it doesn’t take long before mold growth appears. Here, several remedial actions need to be taken to fix the pest problem, the openings, as well as mold growth in the crawl space.
Powdery Patches on Posts & Floor Joists
To find out if your suspicions are true, you only need to take a look at your crawl space.
You might also require a flashlight. When you discover powdery patches on posts and floor joists, it’s a sign of possible mold growth.
Now that you know what the common signs of mold growth are, you’ll need to compare these with what’s obtainable in your situation. Getting professional help is of the utmost importance.