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White Mold in Your Crawl Space: How to Fix the Problem

Discovering that your crawl space has white mold can set off alarm bells and send you into overdrive. You’ll need to take the necessary steps to remove it immediately.

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Although white mold is a frequent problem in most residential homes in the Grand Junction, CO area, it doesn’t receive as much attention as black mold. This type is often considered less harmful than strains of black mold such as Stachybotrys, which releases enormous amounts of mycotoxins. Although white mold is less harmful than black mold, it can still cause substantial damage to your property. As soon as signs of infestation arise, it is best to deal with this issue promptly.

What is white mold? 

White mold is a chalky fungus that consists of an array of different fungous species. This fungus appears white, grey, or even green, depending on the surface it has infested. Like most types of mold, white mold thrives in areas with high moisture content like leaky attics, crawl spaces, and basements. This mold will spread quickly as long as it has a reliable food source like cellulose. This makes your wooden floors, beams, and ceiling all popular places for mold to exist.  

Is white mold in a crawl space dangerous? 

White mold can be extremely damaging to the structural integrity of a home. It eats away at the wooden components of your foundation, such as floor joists and other beams. Also, just like black mold, it can trigger allergic reactions, respiratory infections, and skin irritations. For preventative measures, it is best to have mold remediation specialists come out to your home for routine inspections.

What causes white mold? 

It is known that all species of mold thrive in places that are dark, damp and have high humidity levels. Since your dirt crawl space provides all of those factors, white mold tends to grow rapidly in this area. Water can enter your crawl space through plumbing leaks, clogged or damaged gutters, or groundwater flooding.  

Another common cause of white mold in the crawl space is open vents. These vents let moisture-laden summer air in, as well as converting cold winter air to warmer air as it enters the crawl space. As this air enters your crawl space, it quickly condenses, and the excess moisture settles on the crawl space surfaces. Over time, this moisture saturates the wood in your crawl space, leading to mold growth. 

Signs of white mold in the crawl space 

Early detection of white mold is vital to prevent an outbreak. Here are some signs to watch out for: 

  • Musty smells 
  • Water stains and grey or whitish spots on baseboards 
  • Wood discoloration 
  • Clusters of powdery substances on floor joists, girders, or posts 
  • A spike in allergic reactions in your household 

How to eliminate and prevent white mold in the crawl space 

White mold can grow anywhere as long as there is the presence of moisture.  

Consequently, white mold will grow back in 24 to 48 hours if the mold-growing environment does not change. Here are a few ways to effectively stop white mold growth in your crawl space: 

Crawl space encapsulation 

This is one of the most effective ways of preventing water infiltration into your crawl space. It involves sealing the crawl space vents and installing a plastic vapor barrier on the walls and floors. Encapsulating your crawl space provides lasting protection against moisture intrusion and mold growth.  

Fix leaking pipes 

Leaking pipes introduce moisture into your crawl space, which encourages white mold growth. 

Fix wall cracks 

Just like leaking pipes, wall cracks will also introduce moisture into your crawl space creating the perfect environment for mold to thrive. 

Landscaping 

Negative grading around your home puts your crawl space at risk of flooding. When your home’s yard has a negative grade, it allows excess rainwater or snow melt to pool around your foundation and crawl space. Contact your local landscaping company to see if your yard is in proper condition.

Repair and maintain gutters 

Broken gutters and downspouts drain water directly on the soil surrounding your foundation. This makes your crawl space susceptible to water infiltration, promoting the growth of white mold. It’s best to have routine maintenance for your gutters to ensure they’re in proper working order.

Eliminating white mold from your crawl space requires the expertise of a professional mold removal team. Once the mold is cleared, the team at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado will come encapsulate and waterproof your crawl space so mold growth won’t recur. Contact us to schedule your free crawl space inspection today!

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