Maintaining Your Crawl Space to Reduce Mold and Mildew

The crawl space beneath your home may have ongoing problems such as mold, mildew, and bad odors-and the sad part is that you may be totally unaware of these issues. It isn't your fault; these problems are sneaky and can reside below the radar. But, it is very important to maintain the space beneath your home before any of these small problems become bigger concerns. Examine the area and take any necessary precautionary measures needed to keep it dry, clean and mold-problem-free!The first step to a clean, dry, mold free space is to identify the problem and eliminate all signs of mold and mildew. Mold is the most common problem found in basements and crawl spaces. Along with mold comes horrible smells and odors. The main source of mold and terrible smells and odors is moisture in the air beneath your home in this space.Mold has a tendency to grow anywhere, and can grow on the floor joists, under sub-flooring and on debris that is forgotten and left behind by the homeowner. By developing a solution that will help dry out your crawl space, properly removing the mold and mildew, and developing a solution to prevent moisture in the future-are all extremely important. Depending on the extent of your mold issue, you may need to call on a professional to evaluate the space, and devise a plan to properly eliminate your mold.

Level of Moisture

The best solution to achieve a dry, clean, mold-free space is to closely and regularly check and evaluate the moisture levels. There can be many unknown sources of moisture that can and will affect the area. Sources such as rainfall, ground water, open drains and vents, un-vented appliances, and the lack of a proper vapor barrier can and will allow for moisture. Installing a proper vapor barrier will help eliminate moisture from forming and entering into the space.

Also, consider closing off vents to assist in reducing outside moisture from entering your crawl space. An effective dehumidification strategy may also be required to dramatically decrease and eliminate moisture.

Smells and Odors

Can you smell that smell? Bad smells and odors are caused by mold in damp air. Different types of mold tend to produce a byproduct called a VOC or volatile organic compound that causes bad, foul smells and odors. The only way to get rid of bad smells and odors is to completely rid it of the source of the mold. By cleaning this area and completely ridding it of mold, you'll notice a change in the air quality and the smells. However, you need to be sure to remove the source of moisture; otherwise, you'll find more mold even within the next 24 hours.

Call on a Professional

If you have removed all old debris and completely cleaned your crawl space from top to bottom, but still have continuous issues with mold, mildew, bad smells and odors, it may be best to call a professional waterproofing expert in to evaluate the space and recommend the best and most cost efficient way to solve the problem. Most waterproofing contractors give a free estimate, discuss your options and give you plenty of time to make the best decision. We recommend waterproofing because the water and moisture are the causes of your crawl space mold.


Once it is dry, clean, mold, mildew and odor-free, it is very important to maintain the area. To ensure a dry, clean, mold and odor free crawl space, schedule routine check ups and look for future occurrences every six months.

By Donna Kshir