How to Prevent Mold in Your Crawl Space

If you’re a homeowner, you likely know there are few nuisances harder to solve than mold. Once it sets in, it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of.

However, without treatment, mold can spread throughout your home, causing structural damage and a severe impact on the health of those who live there. This is why it is so important to prevent mold from settling in, in the first place.

Unfortunately, crawl spaces are an area of your home you probably don’t go to every day. Not only that that but they are often damp and difficult to treat. That is why it is so important to take steps now to prevent it from forming, so let us show you how.

Why Is Mold Common in Crawlspaces?

Mold grows more easily in dark, wet locations, and if you think about it, where in your home does this describe more. Some common culprits for crawlspace mold are humid climates, moist ground, and poor ventilation

One factor that can really contribute to this problem is that crawlspaces typically have dirt floors meaning that any ground moisture will spread to your crawlspace. So, let’s get to how you can prevent mold from growing in your crawlspace.

  1. Look for Leaks

Unfortunately, to check for leaks that could be causing excessive moisture in your crawlspace, you will have to crawl inside. Use a flashlight and look for any water sources. HVAC ducts and plumbing are common sources of moisture, so keep an eye out for these.

Look for standing water in your crawlspace and, if possible, for its source. This might be a leaking pipe, groundwater, or another moisture source. Depending on the issue, it’s possible you may be able to solve the issue. However, in many cases, you will likely want to call for a plumber or professional crawl space company to diagnose and repair the issue.

  1. Use a Dehumidifier

If moisture is present in or around the crawlspace, it’s probably time to install a dehumidifier. These machines collect the moisture in your air, keeping it nice and dry.

Oftentimes these machines only need to run for part of the year. But, remember that even if it must run all year round or during certain whether it is worth it to prevent mold growth. Fortunately, most machines allow you to run them automatically at certain humidity levels.

  1. Inspect Your Ventilation

Your crawl space is probably the least ventilated part of your home. Oddly, however, it’s uncertain whether that is a good or bad thing for preventing mold.

Many believe that allowing air to enter your crawlspace will bring moist air into it. On the other hand, others believe that ventilation is necessary to allow moisture to escape.

For this part, it is best to consult a professional crawlspace company to determine whether your ventilation is sufficient. There are many factors to consider in making this call. Your local climate, the size of the crawlspace, obstructions to airflow, and many other factors can affect the suitable amount of ventilation for your crawlspace.

  1. Check Your Dryer Vents

Your dryer vents the moisture from the dryer to the outside of your home. However, sometimes, this moisture is mistakenly routed into your crawlspace or attic. Just take a moment to check and ensure your vents lead outside of your home; if not, they will need to be fixed.

  1. Adjust Your Gutters

Gutters and downspouts should direct the water away from your home. But, time and erosion can direct the water back toward your home. This can not only cause water to flow into your crawlspace, causing mold but also damage to your foundation.

To prevent this, just ensure your gutters and downspouts are actually directing the water away from your home. Also, while you’re at it, make sure they are clear and unclogged. Otherwise, they will overflow, potentially causing damage to your roof and walls.

  1. Check Frequently

You cannot check just once and quit. Unfortunately, regular inspection is always necessary to prevent mold from developing. Luckily, after a thorough inspection and performing necessary maintenance, future inspections will be a lot faster.

Just try to make inspecting your crawlspace for mold or moisture at least a semi-annual chore.

  1. Barriers

Vapor barriers resemble high-quality plastic sheeting. This is used to cover your entire crawlspace preventing moisture from entering your crawlspace as well as the rest of your home.

This solution is most effective when combined with a dehumidifier and covering foundation vents. However, when properly installed, this solution makes it easy to check for leaks and is an incredibly effective solution.

  1. Insulation

Insulating your crawlspace probably seems like a complete waste of time, money, and effort. After all, no one lives there, so why does it matter?

It is actually an important way not only to prevent moisture from entering, but it’s also a great way to lower your energy bill. By insulating your crawlspace, you can prevent heat from entering or escaping your home.

If your crawlspace is already insulated, just make sure to check it twice a year. If it is sagging, replace it or consider an alternative such as crawlspace encapsulation.

  1. Mold Remediation

This is not an easy or safe task for homeowners to deal with on their own. Mold is a serious issue that typically cannot be permanently treated by DIY remedies.

If mold is present, it is easiest and safest to call professionals to help treat the mold before taking steps to prevent its return.


The health of your crawlspace is probably not an issue you typically think about. But, remember that once mold develops in your crawlspace, it can damage your home’s structure and spread to the rest of your home. Do yourself a favor and take steps to prevent mold from developing before it becomes a costly problem you have to deal with later.

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