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Maintaining Your Crawl Space to Reduce Mold and Mildew

Monday, May 16th, 2011 by Donna Kshir


The crawl space beneath your home may have ongoing problems such as mold, mildew, and bad odors—and the sad part is that you may be totally unaware of these issues. It isn’t your fault; these problems are sneaky and can reside below the radar. But, it is very important to maintain the crawl space beneath your home before any of these small problems become bigger concerns. Examine your crawl space and take any necessary precautionary measures needed to keep your crawl space dry, clean and mold-problem-free!
 
The first step to a clean, dry, mold free crawl space is to identify the problem and eliminate all signs of mold and mildew. Mold is the most common problem found in basements and crawl spaces. Along with mold comes horrible smells and odors. The main source of mold and terrible smells and odors is moisture in the air beneath your home in your crawl space. 
 
Mold has a tendency to grow anywhere, and can grow on the floor joists, under sub-flooring and on debris that is forgotten and left behind by the homeowner. By developing a solution that will help dry out your crawl space, properly removing the mold and mildew, and developing a solution to prevent moisture in the future—are all extremely important. Depending on the extent of your mold issue, you may need to call on a professional to evaluate the space, and devise a plan to properly eliminate your mold in your crawl space.
 
Level of Moisture
 
The best solution to achieve a dry, clean, mold-free crawl space is to closely and regularly check and evaluate the moisture levels in your crawl space. There can be many unknown sources of moisture that can and will affect your crawlspace. Sources such as rainfall, ground water, open drains and vents, un-vented appliances, and the lack of a proper vapor barrier can and will allow moisture into your crawl space. Installing a proper vapor barrier will help eliminate moisture from forming and entering into your crawl space. 
 
Also, consider closing off vents to assist in reducing outside moisture from entering your crawl space. An effective dehumidification strategy may also be required to dramatically decrease and eliminate moisture from your crawl space.
 
Smells and Odors
 
Can you smell that smell? Bad smells and odors are caused by mold in damp crawlspace air. Different types of mold tend to produce a byproduct called a VOC or volatile organic compound that causes bad, foul smells and odors. The only way to get rid of bad smells and odors in your crawl space is to completely rid it of the source of the mold. By cleaning your crawlspace and completely ridding it of mold, you’ll notice a change in the air quality and the smells. However, you need to be sure to remove the source of moisture; otherwise, you’ll find more mold even within the next 24 hours. 
 
Call on a Professional
 
If you have removed all old debris and completely cleaned your crawl space from top to bottom, but still have continuous issues with mold, mildew, bad smells and odors, it may be best to call a professional waterproofing expert in to evaluate your crawl space and recommend the best and most cost efficient way to solve the problem. Most waterproofing contractors give a free estimate, discuss your options and give you plenty of time to make the best decision. We recommend waterproofing because the water and moisture are the causes of your crawl space mold.
 
Maintenance
 
Once your crawl space is dry, clean, mold, mildew and odor-free, it is very important to maintain your crawl space. To ensure a dry, clean, mold and odor free crawl space, schedule routine check ups and look for future occurrences every six months.
 
Contact the experts at Omni Basement Systems today for crawl space repair in Kitchener and all surrounding areas.
 
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