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How To Remove Mold In A Crawl Space
If you own a crawl space then mold may be your neighbor. A crawl space is not usually a pleasant part of the home to visit but a necessary one. Mold can easily grow in this part of your home usually on the wood joist system and/or the insulation which may be affected. The air in your crawl space moves up through the home bringing the unwanted moldy air into your living space.
If you find mold here are the removal steps:
- Be safe, if your entering a crawl space make sure you are aware of electrical wires, low pipes, debris and rodents. If there is substantial mold in there you may want to wear a respirator N95 (purchase Home Depot, Lowes ect.) mask and a protective suit. Also good to know whether you are sensitive to mold. If you are then you may want to re- think entering a crawl space with mold contamination.
- If you find a small amount of mold in localized area 10 ft sq. then you can remove this yourself, if you find extensive mold covering the joists call a professional remediation contractor. I can not stress enough the importance of not taking on a project that is larger than a couple of joists or a section of wall. You will spread mold possibly into your living space if the removal is beyond a small area.
- Use Borax, hydrogen peroxide or baking soda as a cleaning agent, they will penetrate the wood surface attacking the root system. Apply these cleaning agents using a spray bottle and let sit for 10 minutes before wiping with a white towel to remove stains. Remember to use eye protection.
- Once you have removed the mold apply a disinfectant such as Lysol to kill any residual spores. There are many products that will kill the mold. If you use a disinfectant they will kill 99305777f the molds we find. Mold is actually very easy to kill the difficult part is not spreading it around. Mold will move through the air as it is being cleaned the spores are dispersed into the air carrying them to another location.
- After all the mold is gone and the wood is dry the next step is to apply a sealant with antimicrobial inhibitor to prevent the mold from a regrowth. Some hardware stores sell this as an additive which you can put into a Kilz or other sealant paint. Some sealants come with a mold inhibitor already mixed in but it is important that you do use an inhibitor not just a sealant.
Take a look around and make sure all the mold is gone, check under the insulation as it can grow there and look at the HVAC system as it can grow on the vents and there insulated wraps also. It is very important to know your limit as far as what you can safely remove yourself. Heavy contamination will require a professional to remove.
Doing a large removal requires negative air containment’s to be set up in the crawl space to prevent cross contamination into the living spaces above. Pro’s use dry-ice or baking soda to blast the wood clean and hepa vacuums to remove the spores from the crawl space. These methods again for a large contamination and are typically extremely effective at restoring the wood frame to an almost new condition.
If you feel there may be mold contamination which has gone into your home then we suggest getting a qualified indoor environmentalist to do an air quality testing. This testing will let you know whether or not the mold in the crawl space has entered the home, if so you may be able to have it cleaned before it becomes a problem.
This article is presented by Atlanta’s Water Damage Expert www.floodx.com