Floor joists in the crawl space are not inviting at all yet they are one of the best friendly places for mold growth. Basically, humid regions are highly susceptible to mold growth. Therefore, mold on deck, under the sink, or even on floor joists in crawl space is a very common thing to occur. Unfortunately, you hardly realize the fact since you are not a regular visitor of the place.
However, mold on floor joists in crawl spaces can be very severely dangerous at times. The intense occurrence of mold causes bad odor and an unpleasant environment. You surely won’t like to live in your house knowing the fact that mold has taken over your crawl space. Hence, knowing how to get rid of mold on floor joists in the crawl space is very important.
However, intensive mold growth may require professional help. But if the mold spores are only in their earlier stage, then this becomes a DIY project that you yourself can handle. The main reason behind the crawl space being a mold breeding ground is its tendency for collecting moisture quickly.
Yet, crawl spaces are undoubtedly the best alternative for expensive basements. So, to make the bottom space of your home to be more durable, first, get rid of mold! If you don’t know how then follow us till the end.
Signs That Your Floor Joists in Crawl Space has been Mold Infected:
Once the place is infected with mold there is no way it will stop spreading. In fact, mold spreads instantaneously. Hence, you must know the signs when it takes place. Till now, there are about more than a hundred species of mold have been recognized. Each of them shows different types of infestation signs.
Yet, some common signs that indicate their presence. Once you know them, getting rid of mold on floor joists in the crawl space becomes easier. Let’ get to know the early warning signs. Read Also: 8 Best Floor Scraper 2021 Reviews: Sharp & Durable.
a) Musty and Strong Odors:
This is the very first sign to be noticed to realize your floor joists are under attack by mold. Usually, the odor is musty, damp, and strong. This smell generally develops when a large colony of spores takes place. you can smell it anywhere around your house or even inside your house.
However, fresheners may suppress the musty odor of mold. Yet, you will detect the smell first and then you will see the mold growth.
b) Health Issues:
Mold is quite dangerous to both humans and animals. It causes allergic reactions including sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, headaches, and itchy eyes. It also creates problem in respiratory problems causing tough breathing. Again, sore throat and wheezing are also signs that your floor joists have been mold infected.
People already with asthma and allergy symptoms are at high risk if they dwell in the mold-infested area. Since some mold species are highly deadly, inhaling the mold spores might cause severe health risks.
c) Problems in HVAC System:
It is obvious that if the crawl space of your house is infested by mold, consequently, it will affect the HVAC system as well. The infestation may spread through the air ducts of the HVAC mechanism causing musty odors inside the house. This is also a reason for mold infestation in more areas of the house.
d) Damage in Structure:
Since woods are porous, mold can easily drive into the pores creating structural damage. This fungus can deform any organic materials with what your crawl space is made of. It not only deteriorates wood but also glue, fabrics, papers, and all.
It also destroys the support capacity of the crawl space. Hence, consequently, it impacts the structural integrity causing safety issues. Moreover, affecting the craw space components, it damages the floorboards from above. Also, it causes floor cracks, wall crumbling, and ceiling collapsing.
e) Discoloration of the Crawl Space:
This is another common sign. Creating powdery and fuzzy patches, mold discolor the crawl space. Moreover, the color of molds can vary depending on their varieties. However, the most common type of mold is black mold. They include Cladosporium and Alternaria. Stachybotrys is also known as the black mold. Green molds are also very common. These are called Aspergillus and Penicillium. They also have other variants and they come in white color.
How to Get Rid of Mold on Floor Joists in Crawl Space – In 7 Steps:
By this time, you know that getting rid of mold from a place is completely a physical job. Hence, the process requires energy and most importantly, time. However, the cleaning process is a bit risky to your health as well. So, safety gear is a must along with other cleaning supplies.
- Rag or sponges
- Spray bottle
- Plastic sheet
- Bristle brush
- Bleach or white vinegar
- Anti-mold solution or mold remover
Mold removers or anti-mold solutions are commercial products that you will find in the market or online. All mold-removers, however, are not worth buying. You need to buy the best ones. It is all written on the bottle that how you will use the product.
- Convenient gloves
- Non-vented goggles
- Dust or respirator mask or chemical mask
- Protective clothing
So, these are materials you need to take and protective gears you need to wear while getting rid of mold on floor joists in the crawl space.
Step 1. Inspect the Situation:
Inspecting the situation is the first thing to do when getting rid of mold. It is obvious that your crawl space is the darkest place in your house. Hence, light is necessary. Set up the place with a light system to observe the extent of mold on the floor joists. You can set the light with help of an extension cord. Also, with the help of plastic sheeting, you can determine if it requires professional help or not.
Step 2. Make a Solution of Vinegar and Water:
Since water and vinegar make a strong bond together to kill mold, making this solution is important. To make the solution, grab a spray bottle. The ratio of water and vinegar or bleach solution should be 10:1. However, in the case of using bleach you need to be a little more careful. Bleach damages things very easily. Therefore, make sure you do not spill the solution mistakenly while using.
Moreover, you have to wear a respirator mask especially while dealing with bleach. Since the crawl space doesn’t have enough ventilation system, wearing the mask is important.
Step 3. Spray Anti-Mold Solution:
As we have mentioned, different types of anti-mold solutions are available in the market. Simply just buy one and following the instructions apply it to the infected area. Most of them are available on spray bottles. So, adjust the mist setting of the spray bottle and then soak the spores of the mold.
Make sure you don’t apply a forceful water stream. You will end up scattering the mold spores that can take place on your cloth as well. To make the solution work more effectively spray the affected area keeping a distance of about an inch. Get a ladder in case you cannot reach the upper joists levels.
Apply the solution very carefully. Avoid applying from the above of your head. It creates chances of dripping the solution on your head or even your face. However, wearing safety glasses reduces the risk.
Step 4. Wipe Down and Clean the Applied Area:
To wipe down the sprayed area, you can use a sponge or absorbent rag. But make sure the cleaning material itself is clean. Each of the new areas should be wiped with a clean rag. If you use the same rag all over the areas you will end up spreading the mold spores only.
When you clean an area with the rag, put it in a zipped plastic bag. Then throw the bags for proper disposal.
Step 5. Spray More of Your Solution:
Since only the first application is not enough, you have to apply the solution you have made. Let the solution sit for about one day. Since mold is an unwavering fungus, it will come back within no time if you neglect it.
Therefore, to get rid off fully from the mold on floor joists in the crawl spaces, you have to do this process continuously for three days. You just need to spray the solution and wipe it after a period of 24-hours. However, maintain use of new rags every time. Also, do not forget to dispose them.
Step 6. Swipe Down the Residue:
Finally, you need to scrub off the residue properly. But before that, make sure, the area is dry enough. You can use bristle brushes. The brushes are stiff enough to remove residue. However, in this step, you have to be more patient since the task is time-consuming. Try to remove all the mold residue. Even if a small bunch of mold spores is left anyhow, they will infest the whole area.
Step 7. Proper Treatment of Floor Joists in Crawl Space:
Treating or controlling the crawl space doesn’t take much. However, controlling the climate of the place is more important. There are many ways for its solution nonetheless, a dehumidifier will be a way effective solution. Again, while working on the floor joists you might not get proper light. A drop light or a helper might help you with that.
You will certainly find a model that is specially manufactured for this place. Also, keep inspecting the crawl space frequently.
Preventing Mold Growth on Floor Joists in Crawl Space:
What works more effectively to resist mold growth is prevention than the cure. If you prevent mold growth in the first place you won’t have to pay a hefty cost for its cure. It is as simple as that. Causing mold growth on floor joists in the crawl space is so obvious.
Therefore, you have to act likewise. Nonetheless, there are various ways to prevent mold growth. Let’s get to know some of them.
- First, find out what is causing moisture on floor joists in the crawl space. It could be from dirt or from leak pipes. Most of the time, leak pipes are the main cause of moisture in the crawl space. So, if you detect any leakage, just fix it right away.
- If you detect the moisture is caused by dirt, you better come up with a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier helps in controlling the moisture level of your crawl space and basement. Also, the device reduces extensive damages that can be caused by mold. Let the dehumidifier control the moisture level from 35% to 50%.
- Other moisture absorbers can help you with that as well. Again, you can go for other ideas like adding a plastic vapor barrier or sealing all gaps. Sealing up the vents is also a good solution.
- Build a barrier around the properties. It will protect the crawl space from uninvited outdoor elements.
- You can install insulation under the basement. Know first which kind of insulation will do better in this case and then buy one. However, installing insulation is a professional job so you better ask for help from them.
- Another way is to make set a proper and suitable air circulation system. Only suitable ventilation can reduce moisture and warmth from the air. It helps in preventing the area to be stagnant.
These are some ways to prevent mold on floor joists in the crawl space. Following them will bring you a great result.
Now you know how to get rid of mold on floor joists in crawl space along with prevention methods. The place where you are living with your family must have a clean and healthy environment. This is obviously not possible if mold infestation takes place.
It will only make you sick. And occurring mold on the floor joists in the crawl space will cause irreplaceable damage to the structure. Hence, the moment you smell them or notice them, do not delay fixing up the situation. However, it will be more appreciated if you prevent this problem in the first place.
Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Rogers Weber
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