It is pretty obvious that a home or building has a mold problem when it is visibly growing on walls, ceilings or the floor. Other times, a structure may have a mold problem that could be causing concerns for building occupants that is taking place completely out of sight. Three common problem areas include attics, basements and crawl spaces. In this video we will be focusing on crawl spaces.
Crawl spaces are a common form of construction in numerous parts of the country. For many property owners with homes constructed on a crawl space, they may go years without inspecting for leaks or other types of moisture damage under their homes. These problems can quickly develop and may not be apparent for a long period of time or until they have become a major issue.
Crawl spaces where the relative humidity is high are common sites of hidden mold growth, particularly if the crawl space has a bare earth floor. The soil will wick moisture, through capillary action, from moist to dry areas. The relative warmth of a crawl space can dry the soil by evaporation, adding this moisture to the air in the crawl space where it can cause mold growth. Also, due to flooding events or in areas where the water table is high and weather conditions are suitable, ground water may enter a crawl space.
Crawl spaces also often contain water and sewer pipes. These can develop leaks over time or have issues related to condensation. During extreme cold weather they can also freeze and burst causing major water issues.
Any moisture that accumulates in a crawl space may also enter other parts of a building and contribute to potential mold growth in those areas. Just as moisture can spread from a crawl space into a home or building, so too can any mold that is growing in the crawl space. Airborne mold spores and fragments can enter a home or building through cracks and openings. Crawl spaces are also often used to house air ducts from the HVAC system. These ducts often have leaks and openings that could potentially help to spread mold from a crawl space throughout a building.
These are just a few things to know about hidden mold in crawl spaces.