Preventing Crawlspace Mold

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Believe it or not, the crawlspace of your house can be home to more than creepy crawly bugs and termites. Due to the nature of a crawlspace, it is hospitable to something potentially worse than bugs, that being mold, which can advance from the crawlspace into your home. Tackling and treating mold in a crawlspace can be difficult due to the size constraints, so preventing it is a far easier battle to undertake. Of course there will still be a degree of difficulty involved, but once the job is done, it should only have to be revisited periodically, whereas continued mold growth in a wet environment may take repeated treatment efforts in the long run.

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To conquer mold in a crawlspace it is necessary to make it an inhospitable environment for growth. The first step in this process is to increase ventilation. If your crawlspace is sealed off without air flow, mold is better able to grab hold and spread. When air is capable of constant motion, however, mold does not have the same capabilities. Rather than having solid crawlspace coverings that wind cannot penetrate, consider adding vents or using decorative lattice or something similar to vent it instead.

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Although it cannot rain underneath your house, it can absolutely flood under there. In heavy rains or flash floods, water can rush underneath your house. Once there it will pool and remain there, creating a mold-friendly environment. There are two ways to deal with this, the first of which is to divert drainage of rainwater away from your house. The second way is to level the ground underneath your home to remove dips in which water can pool. Level ground equates to no places for water to collect to feed the mold trying to grow.

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Once your crawlspace floor is level, you can step it up by adding some plastic sheeting. Atop your newly evened out ground, apply a layer of plastic that is at least 6 mil or even thicker. Cover the entire ground surface in your crawlspace with this plastic. Then, once it is in place, add a layer of sand atop it. This will help weigh it down as well as absorbing any excess moisture that makes its way into your crawlspace.

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Crawlspace work is never fun, especially if you have back problems, but it is worthwhile. The effort you put into preventing mold growth will be beneficial in the future, as will any drainage improvements. These changes will also help with termite and other pest control as those creatures favor damp environments and by eliminating such an environment under your home, you send the pests on their way in search of a better place to live right along with potential mold.

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