Mold in Crawl Spaceby Alana Morein
Mold in your crawl space is one of the most overlooked places in your home where mold can occur? Even if there are no visible signs of mold in your home, mold that grows under the floors can often lead to a serious problem if it’s not handled immediately.
Because spores can become airborne, they can easily move to the upper levels of your home and if that happens you could need to replace the floors in your home. Now imagine the cost of replacing those floors plus the cost of hiring a mold remediation company. Mold damage can add up fairly quickly, leaving your pocketbook drained and you wondering why you didn’t have your home tested for mold in the first place.
However, this process is necessary and unfortunately should only be done as a professional mold inspection. The mold inspector will look for visible mold under your home by inspecting the framing, joists, girders and posts of your home’s structure. He or she will also inspect the underside of the subflooring as well. And they may even check insulation since it happens to be one of the biggest culprits for mold growth in this area. If there’s nothing visible they may test the air to detect if there is a hidden problem.
If there is a mold problem, your inspector will make suggestion and in some cases offer assistance in removing the mold. In most instances if there is a problem and the damage is extensive enough, your home’s floors, insulation and possibly even foundation, may need to be replaced.
You may also need to replace other structures that may have caused the problem such as roof gutters or downspout spillage that are located near the home’s foundation or plumbing inside of the home.
If the damage is extensive, it may cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the materials and servicing fee. It also may require you to find temporary housing until the work is completed.
If the damage is minor, you may only have to pay for the servicing fee and source of the original problem. In both cases, you should always ask for an estimate and get everything in writing before you allow the contractor to work on your home.
Also in some areas, you may be able to recuperate those costs with homeowner’s insurance, as a tax write-off and through some city programs. So always do your research before hiring.
Once the mold damage is replaced or repaired, your contractor may suggest ways to prevent a future problem. A few suggestions may be, covering a dirt floor with a sheet of plastic to reduce moisture from the soil or replacing insulation with moisture-resistant foam. And in some areas, they may even suggest sealing off the area if it’s not an absolute necessity for the home itself.
However, as tempting as sealing off the area to prevent crawl space mold may be, it’s a big risk since mold could reoccur and result in bigger problems such as re-opening the sealed off area. So while it’s important to take into considerations a professional’s recommendations, it’s not always wise to take them to heart.