Mold is a living organism. Like all living organisms, mold requires an organic food source, such as wood or cellulose, and water to grow. You can’t remove the food source (wood) from your house but you can control the humidity levels (water). Before existing mold clean-up, the humidity must be controlled. There are sources of crawl space humidity and many considerations in its control. We’ve found the only effective method of crawl space humidity control is encapsulation.
There are many things to consider when buying a home with a crawl space foundation. For instance, when looking at a home with a crawl space, consider:
- Are there musty or stale odors or high humidity in the living area or has the homeowner tried to mask odors with candles or room deodorizers.
- Is there evidence of insects or rodents inside the house.
- Ask to see utility bills. Do the energy costs seem out of line.
- Is there signs of wood rot in the home’s structure.
- Is there standing water in the crawl space.Is there mildew or poor air quality in the crawl space.
- Are the hardwood floors cupping or buckling.
- Is there condensation on the HVAC ductwork or equipment.
While none of these concerns are real estate deal killers, they are issues that should be addressed before closing a real estate transaction. Carolina Energy Conservation will do a free, no obligation crawl space assessment to help you sleep better before closing what will probably be the largest financial transaction of your lifetime.
Water in a crawl space may enter through cracks in the foundation wall or from plumbing leaks. It may even find its way into a crawl space through a solid foundation wall due to hydrostatic pressure. But most crawl space moisture enters the crawl space as humid air through open foundation vents. The warm, humid outside air condenses on cool surfaces in the crawl space. Sealing crawl space vents and sealing (encapsulating) the walls, floor, and support piers is the only effective method we’ve found to deal with crawl space moisture problems.
Yes. A significant amount of the air moisture content in a crawl space is secondary to evaporation of water from the crawl space dirt floor. The floor may appear “dry”, but, the cool, moist dirt will release vapor into the warmer crawl space air, which in turn will condense on other cool surfaces such as wooden frame members. Even if there does not seem to be a major crawl space moisture problem, sealing the crawl space floor will make your home a healthier and more pleasant place to live.
Inhaling mold spores or touching mold may cause health issues in some people. Molds growing in buildings may cause odors and symptoms such as headaches, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat. Mold spores can cause difficulty breathing and allergic reactions. In fact, mold and mildew spores are one of the most common allergens found in a home.