What Is White Mold?
White mold is a variant of fungi species. Its name is derived from its appearance as a white substance that can take on two different textures. White mold can either appear to be fuzzy in texture or light and powdery. The growth and spread of this fungus occur because of high moisture levels and low airflow. This fungus is most often found in crawl spaces, which come into direct contact with the soil, rocks, and water beneath your home. The moisture that results from heavy rainfall, plumbing leaks, and poor dehumidification in conjunction with the low airflow of crawl spaces serve as perfect breeding grounds for white mold.
White Mold & Efflorescence
Many people often confuse white mold with efflorescence. The truth is, white mold is harder to get rid of than efflorescence and has much more serious implications. The difference between white mold and efflorescence is that the latter varies between white, brown, and yellow colors. Even if both substances appear to look the same, efflorescence has no odor and dissolves in water, unlike white mold. However, if left untreated, it is quite common for efflorescence to develop into white mold–especially if it accumulates in areas like crawl spaces that serve as perfect breeding grounds.
White Mold in Your Crawl Space
White mold can be found in one of two places in your crawl space. The first and most common place you can find white mold is where the structure meets the soil. As rainfall and water gather in the soil and make it damp, mold can grow as humidity ensues after the rainfall. Exposed soil is known to encourage the growth of white mold. Often, this is due to an incomplete or missing vapor barrier. The limited airflow and excess moisture in the soil increase humidity and allow for mold growth. White mold can also form on the floor joists of your crawl space under certain conditions.
How to Spot White Mold Growth
Dampness and increased humidity levels in and around the area of your crawl space are an indicator that white mold has begun to grow and spread there. Musty odors often spread in conjunction with the growth of white mold. This odor can cause mild to severe allergic reactions, which can include watery eyes, itchy skin, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, runny nose, and in severe cases: asthma.
Another indicator of the presence of white mold in your crawl space includes climate changes around your home. White mold grows and spreads fast under the right circumstances. It is common for it to reach different parts of your home that are located near your crawl space. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that come with exposure to this fungus, chances are it’s already growing in your household. Inspect your crawl space for white mold and keep in mind the signs that may indicate its growth. These steps will help you to prevent it from spreading. It is especially important to detect the growth of white mold in its initial stages before it spreads. Doing so can prove to prevent further damage to the structural integrity of your home as well as your physical health.
How Easy Is It to Detect White Mold?
The easiest way to detect white mold, aside from visual inspection, is through a process called direct mold sampling. There are many different approaches to this practice, including tape lifts and swab/bulk samples. These are common methods that your local technician may perform, after which they will send samples to a laboratory for analysis.
Do You Require Professional Assistance?
White mold is known to cause mild to severe allergic reactions and health problems that can be as serious as an asthma diagnosis. It is best to seek the expertise of a specialist near you if you suspect that your crawl space has accumulated any white mold, or if you are experiencing symptoms. Not only can you nip these problems in the bud, but you can reap the benefits of crawl space repair and encapsulation.
Innovative Basement Authority has been lending a helping hand to the community of North Dakota for nearly 20 years. Our certified specialists take great pride in eliminating and preventing the presence of white mold in the homes of North Dakota. Contact us today for your free inspection and let one of our specialists know how they may be of assistance!