Crawl Space Moisture and Mold – Sources and Repairs | Bay Crawlspace

Moisture in a crawl space can cause mold to grow and create health risks in a home. Here we discuss how to prevent the sources of moisture from creating an environment where mold can grow and affect the health of the home.

Crawl space moisture is a problem in climates with high humidity. Most homes with crawl spaces are ventilated, allowing the outside air to flow under the home. There are three main sources of moisture in crawl space:

  1. Moisture from standing water or flooding
  2. Moisture from the damp earth
  3. Moisture from the humidity outside

When a crawl space has multiple sources of moisture, it creates the perfect conditions for mold to grow. The best way to control moisture and mold growth is to prevent 2 or 3 of the sources of moisture. Limiting homes to 0 or 1 sources of moisture helps prevent moisture damage and mold growth in crawl spaces.

Each source of moisture combines with the other sources to encourage high humidity and mold growth. By directly addressing the sources of moisture, you can strategically give yourself the best chance of a healthy home.

High moisture exposure causes high humidity in the air… high humidity causes high wood moisture content and condensation… and high wood moisture content allows mold, mildew, and fungus to grow. Mold, mildew, and fungal growth are known to cause respiratory health problems like wheezing, coughing, and lung disease. Young children, the elderly, and those with allergies or weakened immune systems are known to experience the most severe reactions.

To prevent moisture damage and mold growth, we recommend the following repairs:

  1. For Standing Water or Flooding:
    • French drains and sump pumps
    • Divert water away from the house with gutters and downspout extensions
    • Install sand as needed to bring the level of the ground up (limited results)
  2. Moisture from the damp earth:
    • Vapor barriers
    • Crawl space encapsulation
  3. Moisture from the humidity outside:
    • Crawl space encapsulation


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