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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Mold Removal Pacific Palisades

3/19/2015 (Permalink)

Crawlspaces are commonly constructed to provide relatively easy access to pipework, vents, ducts, electrical systems and substructures. They can also be used for storage of infrequently used items. Unfortunately crawlspaces can also provide the ideal conditions for the growth of mold if they become moist. One a mold has developed, cool air drawn up into your Pacific Palisades home from the crawlspace carries with it the mold spores which have the potential to spread the mold growth to your living area and cause serious health problems. The job of mold removal from a crawlspace presents its own particular challenges, but there are  effective procedures to deal with molds and inhibit their future growth.

If you discover extensive colonies of mold in your crawlspace, contact a professional cleanup and remediation service to identify the type or types of fungal growth that you have and to develop a plan to deal with it. As mold spores can pose a health risk you should not attempt to enter the crawlspace but leave that to the specialists who have the necessary equipment and protective clothing to undertake the work safely.

When tackling mold anywhere, it is important to prevent any further contamination through the spread of spores. The affected area should be contained as far as possible. Heavy duty plastic sheeting makes an effective barrier if everyone entering and leaving the area takes care to minimize air flow. In a crawlspace all vents and ducts will need to be taped up.

Mold spores abound in the air around us so it is impossible to get rid of them all, but air that contains a high level of spores can cause respiratory problems and so needs to be cleaned in buildings with heavy mold growth. The contaminated air can be pulled out of the crawlspace by an air mover positioned externally, releasing the spores to a safer environment. Decontamination of the living area is best achieved using an air scrubber with  a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. Specialist blasting may be required to dislodge extensive mold colonies and then careful vacuuming with a HEPA machine removes the loose dust.

The source of the moisture that enabled the mold outbreak also needs to be located and addressed otherwise you will soon have a regrowth. Any leaks from the plumbing must be fixed. If the crawlspace has a dirt floor that has supported mold, a ground cover of heavy duty polyethylene plastic acts as a barrier to moisture and is not itself susceptible to molds. Increasing ventilation is usually recommended when looking to prevent molds but when dealing with a crawlspace, it depends on the particular location, dimensions, climate and other factors as to whether additional vents will be effective. There have been cases where increasing ventilation points has only served to increase moisture levels.

A vapor barrier which greatly reduces the moisture that can penetrate beyond it, is another possible solution. But such barriers have been known to prevent walls from drying out and concentrating moisture where it is not wanted and so not working to inhibit molds.  This is where professional advice from mold remediation specialists can help to determine the right solution for keeping your Pacific Palisades crawlspace  mold free.

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