Mold Removal and Remediation
The Puget Sound area of the Pacific Northwest is a picturesque region of the United States and a desirable place to settle down and buy a home. Seattle, its surrounding suburbs, and its nearby smaller cities are situated in a beautiful variety of mountains, woods, river valleys, and coastlines. The region receives a good amount of annual rainfall, which is great for the diverse ecosystem but can be troublesome for homes. An environment with a lot of moisture is rife with mold spores, and northwest Washington State is no different. But a lot of rainfall also poses another risk to homes: flooding.
Some cities almost entirely sit in river flood plains. A flooded home is at a very high risk for mold growth, but a home does not have to flood to become susceptible to mold. Standing water next to crawl space walls can cause mold to grow through porous concrete blocks and on wood. Ventilation—or the lack thereof—is one of the biggest factors leading to mold in a crawl space. If the crawl space does not vent, then moisture cannot evaporate, and the air stays wetter than it should. Dark, damp air is a breeding ground for mold spores, and that air can draft into the rest of the home.
Breathing air contaminated by mold will affect people to different degrees, but everyone can agree that no matter who you are it is not good. Aside from an unpleasant odor, prolonged exposure to mold can have adverse health effects. For sensitive people with asthma and mold allergies, mold exposure can trigger asthma attacks and allergy symptoms. Mold exposure can also have general symptoms such as headaches.
When mold is expected under the home, then the crawl space needs to be inspected. If mold is found it should be cleaned. Small amounts may be able to be cleaned with spray and a cloth, but all of the surrounding materials still need to be checked for mold. No matter how small the mold presence is, it is prudent to have a crawl space professional follow standard mold removal, remediation, and abatement steps.
What is Mold Removal and Remediation?
Complete mold removal is the goal, but removal is not always feasible due to the porousness of many building materials in the crawl space and the pervasiveness of mold spores in the region. For example, mold might be easy to clean off metal air ducts, but it is impossible to remove mold completely from a concrete block. (It probably would be easier to replace the support block.)
So, when complete removal is not an option, professionals use remediation. Mold remediation is the process of cleaning the mold as thoroughly as possible to remove existing mold and existing smells and to stop the mold from growing back.
Abatement is used alongside remediation. Abatement is the process of removing the causes of the mold—blocked ventilation, water intrusion in the crawl space, condensation forming on air ducts, busted water pipes, etc.—so that the mold cannot easily return after remediation.
As aforementioned, abatement is the process of removing the causes of mold. After mold has been in the crawl space once, deterrence can save money in the long term. There are a few common things that can be done to keep a crawl space dry and mold free:
- First and foremost, a professional should check the crawl space’s ventilation. Vents should be unblocked so that cross ventilation will allow moisture to evaporate appropriately.
- Water pipes should be checked for leaks.
- Air ducts can be insulated to prevent condensation during summer.
- The earth around the house can be worked to direct water away from the foundation and crawl space. This means that, if the home is on a hill, water should not be allowed to collect against any part of the home. French drains, ditches, flower beds, and other things can be used to channel water away from and around the home.
- For ultimate deterrence, a crawl space can be encapsulated.
Some of these deterrence methods fall under other crawl space cleaning services but will help with mold problems, too. A crawl space cleaning specialist will discuss all of the steps and options during an audit.
Schedule a Crawl Space Audit Today
Contact us now to have professional crawl space cleaners look at your home in Snohomish or Skagit counties as soon as possible. Mold can spread and ruin a lot of materials in a crawl space, so don’t delay!