What Cause Mold in Topeka Houses?
At the root of most mold issues is a moisture problem. In order for mold to develop and thrive, it needs a water source. When exposed to moisture, mold spores will root into porous building materials (like wood and drywall) and spread. If you have a damp crawl space, mold can begin to develop on the wood floor joists and subflooring overhead. If left unaddressed, the fungal growth will spread and potential compromise the indoor air quality of the main living space above. Crawl space mold should be removed by a mold remediation professional and the crawl space moisture issues needed to be corrected to prevent regrowth.
Why Do I Have Moisture In My Crawl Space?
Moisture can enter your crawl area from a number of different places. Poor drainage or a plumbing leak are frequently the causes of bulk water or standing water. If your landscaping doesn’t slope away from the house or your gutters and downspouts don’t divert water away from the foundation, this can happen. In some cases, moisture can naturally evaporate from the ground and lead to condensation in your crawl space. If your crawl space has a vent, warm humid air entering the vent will come into contact with cooler air in the crawl space, causing condensation. Regardless of the water source, getting the moisture in your crawl space under control is the key to preventing crawl space mold.
Crawl Space Mold Prevention
Moisture Source: High Humidity
- It’s not as obvious as flooding or standing water, but high humidity can cause just as much damage with enough time. Crawl spaces are especially vulnerable to high humidity. Getting the humidity in your crawl space down to 50% and keeping it below 50% will help to prevent future mold growth. Mechanical dehumidification via a dehumidifier is often the easiest solution to a humidity problem.
- Mold Prevention – Mechanical dehumidification via a dehumidifier is often the easiest and most effective solution to a humidity problem. It is easy control and monitor with little variables. The dehumidifier needs to be specifically rated for a crawl space and properly rated for the square footage. If possible, you should find a dehumidifier with a condensate pump and drainage routed to the exterior, so you don’t have to empty it all the time.
Moisture Source: Flooding & Standing Water
- Flooding is most commonly the result of poor drainage or a plumbing leak. Flood waters can quickly cause mold growth or aggravate existing mold conditions in the crawl space. If you have standing water in your crawl space, it needs to be extracted and the water source needs to be properly addressed.
- Mold Prevention – Assess the drainage. If you experience flooding or seepage in your crawl space, you should consult a local waterproofing professional to determine the proper drainage needed to direct water out and away from the structure. This might include installing a pump pump or a more sophisticated drainage system.
Moisture Source: Foundation Wall Seepage
- Water penetration at the foundation walls is a pretty common problem for homeowners in Topeka KS. Water vapors naturally drive towards a cooler surface, and ground water naturally tries to seep through masonry walls. With a little heavy rain thrown in for good measure, you’ve got the perfect recipe for foundation wall seepage. If you notice efflorescence on your foundation walls, you likely have a water intrusion issue at the block walls. Water brings in mineral or salt deposits that get left behind on the interior and leaves a white, chalking substance on foundation walls.
- Mold Prevention – To prevent crawl space mold, you will need to ensure there is no moisture penetrating from exterior foundation walls. However, stopping the water penetration completely may not always be possible. In those cases, redirecting the water will be the best alternative. A local waterproofing company in Topeka will be able to provide you with an appropriate waterproofing system to keep your crawl space nice and dry.
Moisture Source: Ground Water Vapors
- Ground water from the exposed dirt floor emits water vapors into the crawl space, which will rise with stack effect. As water vapors rise, the moisture clings to the wood framing (floor joists and subfloor) and causes mold growth.
- Mold Prevention – Crawl space vapor barriers and/or crawl space encapsulation systems are effective long-term solutions to control water vapors and effectively addresses moisture problems. This is a durable liner or barrier put into place to block water vapors from entering the crawl space via the dirt floor or the masonry walls.
Moisture Source: Poor Air Circulation & Condensation
- Poor air circulation means that stagnant, damp air will be trapped in the crawl space, allowing moisture buildup with time. Water vapors will settle on wood floor joists and wood subfloors causing mold growth. Condensation can develop on ductwork and piping. When the condensation evaporates, the water vapors can buildup on porous materials can cause crawl space mold problems.
- Mold Prevention – All wall penetrations should be sealed. Proper insulation at the rim joists, ducts and pipes will help to create a condition environment without restricting air circulation.
Moisture control is the most crucial aspect of having a mold-free crawl space. If you can control the moisture in your crawl space, you’ll have the best chance of avoiding a mold problem in the future. If you have an existing mold issue in your crawl space, remediation should come first. Once the mold has been removed, you can proceed to address the moisture issues. Any repairs, reconstruction, waterproofing or drainage work should be complete AFTER all the mold has been removed from the crawl space.
Local Crawl Space Mold Removal Services in Topeka Kansas
Mold needs to be thoroughly inspected and professionally removed, whether it is crawl space mold caused by a leaky foundation or moldy floor joists caused by high humidity. Lamunyon’s mold inspection and remediation experts in Topeka KS can help. Our inspectors and technicians have the appropriate knowledge, experience, and certifications to correctly manage any water and mold related issues. Mold must be actively removed in a contained environment, following precise cleaning processes and safety standards. Call our local office to learn more about our services in an area near you — 785-367-2494.