Mold is a small but terrible type of fungi that can wreak havoc on your health and home. When left untreated, it can cause breathing problems, HVAC issues, and even damage to a building’s foundation.
Unfortunately, mold can grow anywhere in your house—including the space below it.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what to do if you have mold in your crawl space. Learn more about the necessary steps, basic tools, and the total cost of removing mold from underneath your home.
Let’s get started!
Follow these steps to effectively get rid of in-house mold:
The first step in eliminating mold from your crawl space is to take a good look at the extent and severity of the infestation. Do-it-yourself clean-ups are possible if you’ve been able to spot the mold early or if only small traces are present.
On the other hand, it’s best to leave major mold outbreaks to the professionals. Contacting mold removal specialists will give you better chances of permanently removing mold, preventing it from ever returning to your space.
Additionally, professionals have the right protective and cleaning equipment needed for the job, which significantly reduces the health risks involved.
It would be highly advisable to let specialists handle your infestation in the following situations:
- The size of the affected area is 10 square feet or larger
- Severe structural damage is involved
- Infested areas include rotting wood
- Family members have allergies or other respiratory problems
The next step would be to pinpoint what’s causing the infestation and to implement a permanent solution so that the mold goes away for good.
Mold thrives in dark, damp, and dirty environments, so make sure to give your crawl space the maintenance that it needs.
The following issues could be the main culprits behind your mold outbreak:
- Malfunctioning sump pumps
- Unsealed crawl space windows
- Wall or floor cracks
- Improper land grading
- Leaky water pipes
- High humidity levels
Once you’ve addressed the root cause of the mold, it’s time to start the clean-up process!
Aside from the usual brushes, buckets, and spray bottles, make sure to protect yourself with safety gear, too. Use goggles, gloves, disposable coveralls, and a respirator or gas mask while working.
For best results, prepare your crawl space properly before you get scrubbing. Set up some lights and turn on a fan to create ventilation and eliminate moisture.
Next, cover openings, such as vents and doors, with plastic sheeting to prevent contamination. Additionally, lay plastic sheeting on the ground to capture mold as you clean.
You can use the following substances to remove the mold and sanitize surfaces:
Spray or pour white vinegar all over the area, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub the mold with a stiff bristle brush and rinse with water afterward.
Dissolve a tablespoon of baking soda and some hot water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture on the area before scrubbing with a brush and rinsing with water.
Combine hydrogen peroxide with water and apply the mixture on the moldy surface. Wait for a few minutes before gently scrubbing the area and rinsing with clean water.
Mix one cup of Borax with a gallon of water, then scrub the moldy areas with the mixture. There’s no need to rinse the surface when using Borax.
At the end of your cleaning session, check the entire area and make sure to scrub away any remaining residue. Then, wrap and dispose of your plastic sheeting and other contaminated items properly.
You can also spray the floors with a cleaning solution before ventilating the area. Maintain and monitor your crawl space regularly to prevent the infestation from reoccurring.
Expect to spend around $500 to $2,000 on professional mold removal services for your crawl space. The total amount includes cleanup fees and the cost to repair the root cause of the outbreak.
Some mold removal companies charge according to the surface area affected by mold. The average cost per square foot can range from $10 to $25.
The following factors affect the total cost of eliminating mold from your home:
Major mold issues, specifically those found in hard-to-reach areas, such as crawl spaces, are priced higher.
These cases need an in-depth inspection to pinpoint the root cause and require greater amounts of labor and cleaning resources to treat.
When the outbreak has damaged a significant portion of your home, such as the foundation, expect to pay extra for repair fees.
Ceiling leaks, plumbing issues, and holes in the crawl space walls can add up to a higher bill.
At first glance, different types of infestations might look or smell the same.
However, there are certain types of mold, such as black mold, that are dangerously toxic and highly difficult to eliminate. As a result, some mold varieties are more expensive to get rid of than others.
Mold outbreaks are a typical occurrence in crawl spaces and basements. The trapped moisture, poor ventilation, and lack of sunlight in these areas create the perfect breeding ground for an infestation.
However, just because mold is common doesn’t mean it should be ignored. You’ll be surprised by how much a small amount of mold can grow in a matter of hours.
After reading this guide, you’ll hopefully have an idea of what to do if you have mold in your crawl space.
Take note, prevention and early intervention are often the keys to safeguarding your family’s health in a mold-free home. Always remember to stay safe, clean, and dry!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.