How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Is white mold on wood in a crawl space dangerous?
Monday, August 26, 2019
White mold in a crawl space indicates elevated humidity, from wet ground, lack of enough ventilation, or both. The good news is that it does not cause structural damage to wood. But white mold will be followed by wood-decay fungi (wood rot) if the moisture level stays high for long enough in the crawl space, and that does destroy wood.
Also, white mold produces spores as part of its life cycle that can cause hay-fever-like symptoms, asthma, or other allergies. Houses have a natural ground suction action called the “stack effect” and, because no elevated floor is perfectly sealed, a certain amount of crawl space air is drawn into the house every day. It’s unavoidable but, if the crawl space is filled with mold spores, you are going to elevate the spore count inside your home.
The are numerous natural and chemical biocides that will kill the mold. Then you need to reduce the moisture level in the crawl space so it doesn’t come back, and the culprit is usually lack of sufficient number of vents in the stem wall. It’s dirty work and you may want to hire a professional to do it right.
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