Frequently Asked Questions About Crawl Spaces
Why would mold want to grow in the crawl space under your house of all places?
The answer to this question is that the crawl space under your house has the prime conditions for mold and mildew to grow. Mold requires warm dark and moist conditions, and nutrients for optimal growth.
Crawl spaces are usually dark. They are a nutrient paradise, as they contain dust and wood. It is also a hard task to control moisture there. This means that crawl spaces have a higher chance of forming mold colonies than any other part of your house. It is therefore really important that you do regular investigations of the area, as this can affect the stability of your house. Look out for black growths growing on wooden materials. Especially watch out for the mold on frames, as this would be the easiest route for it to spread to other areas of the house.
Another tell-tell sign of a mold problem is a musty smell the fungi produces. Once it has reached the stage where you can smell it from your house, then the problem is escalated. Something needs to be done before beams supporting your house begin to collapse.
How can I tell if I have a mold problem?
Answer: Answer from www.epa.gov/mold/moldbasics.html
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold but don't fix the water problem, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
Why is mold growing in my home?
Answer: Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Can mold cause health problems?
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. This brochure provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.
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