Crawlspaces: To Vent or Not to Vent, that is the question

We have discussed mold activity at length regarding water intrusion and mold growth in basements. As we know, crawlspaces are also under the house, but are a different beast altogether. The lower building areas, such as basements and crawlspaces, most frequently develop mold amplification. We know that moisture is the limiting factor in mold growth.

So the question is: Should I vent my crawlspace or seal it up?

Historically, crawlspaces were vented by definition. Our most frequent finding has been that the ventilation is inadequate or somehow impaired. We wanted ample cross ventilation to capture and remove moisture that originated at floor level. We also recognized that because that meant bringing in outside air, there was the potential for moisture, either liquid or very high humidity, to be drawn into the space and increase the moisture load in the space. [Read more…]

Mold Activity in Basements: Where Does the Water Come From?

We have discussed mold activity at length in previous posts and videos. Mold contamination has become the most common indoor air quality issue we encounter, both in commercial and residential buildings. And the lower building areas, such as basements, crawlspaces and slab on grade areas, most frequently develop mold amplification. Since we know that moisture is the limiting factor in mold growth, we arrive at the following question:

Why does mold like the lower building areas and where does the moisture come from? [Read more…]

Mold Activity: Liquid Water Mold Remediation NJ

Wet Basement RepairIn my last discussion I focused attention on basements and crawlspaces where there may not be liquid water but where the relative humidity frequently reaches above 70%. As we discussed it all comes down to temperature. The humid outside air in summer is cooled to the prevailing temperature of around 60 F in a basement, automatically increasing the relative humidity. If the relative humidity outside is 50%, it may increase to 70-80% in a cool basement or crawlspace. That puts the air in the range of the dry-tolerant molds. Basements and crawlspaces are susceptible to mold activity simply because they are, well, basements and crawlspaces. [Read more…]

Mold Activity: Relative Humidity Mold Removal NJ

Mold in CornerIn my last blog I described the three elements that mold, like the rest of us, need to grow. The elements are reasonable temperature, food and water. In most cases temperature is a given and food is available. So the limiting factor is often moisture.

Mold does not need liquid moisture. Liquid moisture is essentially 100% relative humidity, like when water condenses on your air conditioning coil because it has reached the dew point. But some molds will grow fine at about 70% moisture activity, which is well short of liquid water. This is why we often focus our attention on spaces where there may not be liquid water but where the relative humidity reaches above 70%. The two most famous spaces are basements and crawlspaces. [Read more…]