Why Do I Have Mold?
There are many different reasons as to why mold can form. The number one leading cause to mold is moisture. A wet or damp basement can lead to not only a musty smell but the actual growth of bacteria. This bacteria can grow in unseen places such as behind walls, under sheetrock studs, below floor joists and pretty much any surface that is unprotected. Most harmful mold commonly hides out underneath insulation in the floor joists. The insulation actually causes more harm than good and traps moisture in and behind the barrier. This makes for a very habitable breading ground for harmful toxins. This is why the first step to a healthy basement or crawlspace is removing all floor joist insulations. When sitting or standing water is trapped beneath and within enclosed spaces, this moister does not escape. It is converted into the air causing for a very humid and muggy living situation. This humid air is then absorbed by all dry interior components of your living space. Even your homes structural integrity such as low bearing studs, beams and floor joists could be compromised. This may lead to saggy floors and structural problems along with mold spores beginning to grow and form.
Why do I need to be concerned with mold?
Most bacterial growths are not harmful however there are many that can cause serious health problems to you and your family.
What can I do to prevent mold?
You can eliminate the possibility of mold problems by removing all floor joist insulations. Next you must insure the air quality is dry and kept to a 55% relative humidity. This can be done by placing a dehumidifier in the desired location. Most importantly is getting to the root of the problem, getting the area to stay dry. This can be done by applying a water management system or barrier. This can be treated from either the outside or inside depending on a few variables which an expert can determine. Vapor barriers along walls and soil will shield against moisture and soil gasses. Crawl space encapsulations are the best treatment when dealing with these areas. This will provide a barrier sealing off all exterior weathering against your homes structure. Open vents and pipe intrusions should all be covered of sealed from outside walls. This will block outside air and humidity.
Condensation in the crawlspace can best be prevented by sealing it off both from the ground and from the outside using a continuous liner.
It is predictable that a vented crawl space will have some mold growth on wood floor joists and sub floors exposed to the ambient air. It is important that all insulation be removed so that any possible moisture may not be trapped and a citrus mold treatment be applied to all wood and floor joists. Wet Seal installs closed crawl space assemblies for both new and existing homes. A closed crawl space delivers major benefits in terms of air quality, energy efficiency, and structural sustainability. However, we always emphasize that there are millions of vented crawl spaces in existence throughout the southeastern United States. The decision to install a closed crawl space assembly should be governed by the sensitivities, preferences, and budgets of the home owner.
After deciding what the initial source to the problem is and correcting it with a waterproofing shield or barrier, it is important to then treat against the damage that has already been caused. We apply a two part treatment to all exposed wood surfaces in effected areas. One is to kill off any and all mold spores in all affective areas this is done by using a product we call Mold-Be-Gone. The next application is a product we call Mold-Shield that keeps the mold from ever returning.