Problems with Moisture
In addition to reducing the efficiency of insulation efforts, a lack of ventilation can create a buildup of moisture. Excess moisture will lead to paint peeling and materials rotting, both of which provide the perfect circumstances for mildew and mold to grow.
Getting Rid of Crawl Space Moisture
If you have a crawl space, it’s critical to install proper ventilation, especially in areas with high humidity. Regardless, identifying and removing the source is the next important step.
Finding the source
First, you must figure out where moisture is entering. Cleanup doesn’t matter if the space will just get moist all over again. To find the entrance, consider:
- Is a pipe broken?
- Are there leaks?
- Is humidity high?
Check for damage
After correcting the leak, now is the time to examine for damages. Look to see if there is structural damage, mold or evidence of pests. Any of these can create unhealthy conditions for those who live in the home, which makes protective equipment and a second set of hands important.
Once you know what’s dirty, it’s time to remove excess debris and clean up the crawl space. Drying out will be much easier if it the area is first cleaned up. Depending on how much water has entered the area, a separate pump might be required to help dry the space.
If mold is present
Before using a dehumidifier or similar type of airflow equipment, mold must be completely removed. Otherwise, it will rapidly spread. It is possible to obtain a guide from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to learn how to clean up mold on your own. However, due to the health risks exposure causes, it’s best to hire a professional if the mold has spread beyond 30 square feet.
If pests are present
Remove all pest droppings you come across in the crawl space; leaving them around is a risk for pathogens to spread through the air and cause you to get sick. Urine stains can be found using a black light in the dark. In the event that you find evidence of urine, the soil beneath may need removing as well. Be sure to sanitize the full area before laying down a sheet of plastic to protect the ground. Finally, calling a professional can help assist depending on the type of pests present.