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Mold Testing in Crawl Space

Many homeowners do not relish spending any time in the space beneath their home, but it is crucial for the safety and health of the occupants that someone-preferably an expert-put eyes on the status of your crawl space. Environmental Solutions Group (ESG) has multiple experienced and knowledgeable investigators on staff that can help homeowners with regular crawl space checks.

The summer and spring months are the best time for a crawl space inspection; the air conditioning system will most likely be in use and mold is most active in the warm weather. It is important to point out that some mold on the floor system of your home is normal and to be expected. This is especially true if your crawl space is an 'open' design with foundation vents that allow outdoor air into the space. Some mold under the house may be defined as a 'normal fungal ecology.'

If you are concerned that your floor system has mold on it and want to know if something needs to be addressed, you may want to call in an expert to take a look. At ESG, we perform the following steps during our thorough crawl inspection:

  1. While wearing protective gear, crawl through the entire underside of the house and document conditions with photos of the vapor barrier, foundation walls, floor insulation, joists/sub-floor, and any mechanical equipment (especially the HVAC air handler & duct work);
  2. Collect wood moisture measurements of several joists and the sub-floor, especially near plumbing penetrations and near the foundation if moisture is observed;
  3. Check the vapor barrier for tears or gaps that could allow soil moisture to evaporate on the floor system;
  4. Note any strong musty odor. A crawl space should smell earthy, not musty;
  5. Note any debris such as old pipes, insulation or duct work lying on the floor. These should be cleaned out;
  6. Observe the level of air movement through the crawl space. We often find a dead zone near the center of larger crawls, which is usually home to more than typical amount of fungal growth.

ESG will be able to provide a report that includes a list of observations and recommendations. Our investigator may also suggest collecting a surface sample for lab analysis to determine what type of mold is present, if any.