Crawlspace Mold - New Construction
We often get questions and concerns regarding mold within residential crawlspaces. Most homes in Virginia have a crawlspace beneath the house. Although some people choose to have their crawlspace conditioned, more often they are not. Since, we do not “live” in the crawlspace, most people don’t even think about it. However when they do, the biggest concern is possible mold growth. We live in a state that has areas where the water table is high making the surrounding ground areas very wet. We also suffer from high humidity during the summer time. Those two do not make a good match together.
During the rainy season, it is not uncommon for us to have to clean and treat the wooden joists and main beams in a crawlspace, of a newly built home. The building materials can get wet from the rain. Once it is built we have hot humid days and therefore mold may have the best conditions to grow. Such was the case for a recently built home in Hopewell, VA. Sometimes the mold can be removed by the sandwich method: hepavacuuming, hand wiping with our EPA registered disinfectant / cleaner from SERVPRO then hepavacuuming again. However, in this particular instance, the mold growth was significantly growing throughout all the wooden framing in the crawlspace. We recommended soda blasting for this project, which would not only help remove the mold, but would also help with the moisture issues in the crawlspace. A dehumidifier was installed to help lower the humidity in the crawlspace, all of the vapor barrier and insulation was removed. After the entire crawlspace was soda blasted, a brand new 6 mil. poly vapor barrier was installed. The dehumidifier and a fan was re-installed to reduce the moisture content of the joists and beams. To help prevent future mold growth, all of the joists, beams and sub-flooring were sealed with an anti-microbial sealer. Finally, new insulation was re-installed and a dehumidifier was purchased and installed so that the new homeowner could run it during the hot and humid season. The homeowner and builder were impressed and very happy with the work SERVPRO of Hanover, Goochland & Caroline completed in the crawlspace.