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Serving CA including the Greater San Jose area
Our California Service Area
Cities in Alameda County, CA
Alameda
Albany
Berkeley
Castro Valley
Dublin
Emeryville
Fremont
Hayward
Livermore
Newark
Oakland
Pleasanton
San Leandro
San Lorenzo
Sunol
Union City

Cities in Contra Costa County, CA
Alamo
Antioch
Brentwood
Byron
Clayton
Concord
Crockett
Danville
Diablo
Discovery Bay
El Cerrito
El Sobrante
Hercules
Knightsen
Lafayette
Martinez
Moraga
Oakley
Orinda
Pinole
Pittsburg
Pleasant Hill
Port Costa
Richmond
Rodeo
San Pablo
San Ramon
Walnut Creek

Cities in Marin County, CA
Belvedere Tiburon
Bolinas
Corte Madera
Dillon Beach
Fairfax
Forest Knolls
Greenbrae
Inverness
Kentfield
Lagunitas
Larkspur
Marshall
Mill Valley
Nicasio
Novato
Olema
Point Reyes Station
Ross
San Anselmo
San Geronimo
San Quentin
San Rafael
Sausalito
Stinson Beach
Tomales
Woodacre

Cities in Mendocino County, CA
Boonville
Elk
Gualala
Hopland
Manchester
Philo
Point Arena
Ukiah
Yorkville

Cities in Monterey County, CA
Aromas
Carmel
Carmel By The Sea
Castroville
Chualar
Gonzales
Marina
Monterey
Moss Landing
Pacific Grove
Pebble Beach
Salinas
Seaside

Cities in Napa County, CA
American Canyon
Angwin
Calistoga
Deer Park
Napa
Pope Valley
Saint Helena
Yountville

Cities in San Benito County, CA
San Juan Bautista

Cities in San Francisco County, CA
San Francisco

Cities in San Joaquin County, CA
Tracy

Cities in San Mateo County, CA
Atherton
Belmont
Brisbane
Burlingame
Daly City
El Granada
Half Moon Bay
La Honda
Loma Mar
Menlo Park
Millbrae
Montara
Moss Beach
Pacifica
Pescadero
Portola Valley
Redwood City
San Bruno
San Carlos
San Francisco
San Gregorio
San Mateo
South San Francisco

Cities in Santa Clara County, CA
Alviso
Campbell
Coyote
Cupertino
Gilroy
Los Altos
Los Gatos
Milpitas
Morgan Hill
Mount Hamilton
Mountain View
Palo Alto
San Jose
San Martin
Santa Clara
Saratoga
Stanford
Sunnyvale

Cities in Santa Cruz County, CA
Aptos
Ben Lomond
Boulder Creek
Capitola
Davenport
Felton
Freedom
Los Gatos
Santa Cruz
Scotts Valley
Soquel
Watsonville

Cities in Solano County, CA
Benicia
Elmira
Fairfield
Suisun City
Travis Afb
Vacaville
Vallejo

Cities in Sonoma County, CA
Annapolis
Bodega
Bodega Bay
Cazadero
Cloverdale
Cotati
Forestville
Fulton
Geyserville
Glen Ellen
Graton
Guerneville
Healdsburg
Jenner
Kenwood
Monte Rio
Occidental
Penngrove
Petaluma
Rohnert Park
Santa Rosa
Sebastopol
Sonoma
Stewarts Point
The Sea Ranch
Valley Ford
Windsor

Our Locations:

Clean CrawlSpace Inc.
3100 Dutton Ave. Ste. 142E
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
1-707-706-6677


Clean CrawlSpace Inc.
747 E Brokaw Rd
San Jose, CA 95112
1-408-650-8110
Affiliations

Mold Damage & Crawl Spaces in California

Rotting, decaying crawl space wood damaged over time in Watsonville

When mold and rot are allowed to grow in crawl spaces, they lead to health and structural problems that will affect the entire home.

Crawl space mold and rot is a housing epidemic across the United States and Canada that, with a small investment, can be easily avoided.

Installing a crawl space vapor barrier system in your home will protect it from most of the common causes of rot, damage, and humidity. Installation of this kind of system usually takes less than a day to complete.

Free Mold Repair Quotes!

At Clean CrawlSpace Inc., we're proud to offer homeowners within our California service area free, no-obligation crawl space repair quotes.

Each quote includes a professional, on-site inspection of your home, a consultation where we answer any questions you may have, and a written cost quote. To get started on your home repairs, contact us by phone or e-mail today!

What Causes Crawl Space Mold?

Open crawl space vents allowing in humidity and water in Santa Cruz

Crawl space vents allow humidity, rainwater, and pests into your home.

Mold loves dark spaces, unseasoned lumber, and high humidity levels. Because your crawl space is warmed by your home above it and the natural warmth of the ground below, it stays at about 50 °-60 ° Fahrenheit all year long.

Practically speaking, mold spores are everywhere -- no matter how clean your home is.

To begin growing in your home, mold needs the following:

For rot and mold to grow on wood, the wood needs to have a moisture content of 20-29% or higher.

If your home meets all of these requirements (many do), then you have mold growing in, and damaging, your home.

Mold & Moisture Sources In Your Crawl Space

Even in the case of moldy wood, there will need to be a source of water nearby. This water can enter a crawl space through poorly designed downspouts or grading, through groundwater flooding, and/or through plumbing leaks.

Mold can also grow when there's adequate moisture in the air, in the form of humidity. This moisture commonly enters a crawl space as water vapor passing through the soil or concrete. In this case, concrete will wick water and through the ground and releases it into the air.

One of the most common and avoidable reasons for crawl space mold and rot, however, is crawl space vents. In the summer, these open vents let in summer air, which is often loaded with humidity. As the air enters the crawl space, it quickly cools in this dark space. As air cools, it loses some of its ability to hold moisture, and the excess moisture is dropped on surfaces in your crawl space as condensation.

Over time, this condensation will saturate the wood in your crawl space--and mold will grow.

Still Believe Crawl Space Vents Work?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are my crawl space vents drying my home when it's rainy, foggy, or damp outside?
  2. If crawl space vents work, why is my vented crawl space damp and rotting?
  3. When cold winter air is blowing through my vents in the winter, what's happening to my furnace, hot air ducts, water heater, and hot water pipes? What is that costing me?
  4. Will my open crawl space vents keep out termites, ants, mice, and other pests?

Signs Of Crawl Space Mold Problems

Extensive crawl space rot damage growing in Mountain View

Surface mold will create cosmetic discoloration only and can be cleaned off without worry.

Decay fungi (above) will darken and shrink the wood while causing structural damage.

Signs of crawl space mold are often evident without having to enter the crawl space at all. Because air moves upwards in a home as it's heated, a vacuum is created that will pull air up through the crawl space through a process known as the "stack effect". If your crawl space has mold, you will be able to tell -- your house will smell musty, and you may even begin to feel and/or display symptoms of mold and dust mite allergies.

Additionally, as crawl spaces begin to rot and decay, the floor above will begin to sag, buckle, or become uneven. Doors may jam, mold may grow on first floor carpeting, and, in the long run, the floor itself will collapse inwards.

In the crawl space itself, warning signs include visible mold growth, musty odors, and discoloration and/or signs of water damage on the wood.

White, powdery substances on concrete walls are not likely to be mold itself, but it's indicative of moisture passing through the walls and creating a humid environment. If there are moldy, musty odors, then mold will be somewhere.

Types Of Mold In Crawl Spaces

Dry rot damage on wood in Vacaville

Mold damage on wood. Notice the cube-shaped pieces flaking off the wood's surface.

Mold and rot fungi can be classified in two ways: what grows on the surface, and what grows within the wood itself.

Surface mold fungi will cause cosmetic discoloration only, and it will not significantly damage the structural strength of the wood. This mold can simply be cleaned off the surface.

Decay fungi will darken and shrink the wood, leading to severe structural damage of the wood and the eventual crumbling and decomposition of the wood overall. Wood with decay fungi looks soggy and spongy. This cannot simply be cleaned off, and replacement of damaged wood may be necessary.

One other variety of wood-damaging fungi is dry rot, also known as brown rot and cubical rot. As displayed in the photo above, wood damage from this kind of rot is shown as deteriorating the wood into small squares or rectangles. Often mistaken for termite damage because of its appearance, this is an extremely damaging type of fungi.

One other unique feature of dry rot is its ability to pull water from far-away water sources through "rhizomorphs." Rhizomorphs can extend for as much as thirty feet, stretching across brick, concrete, mortar, and similar materials. In the case of Serpula lacrymans, water has been transported as much as three stories upwards!

Preventing & Eliminating Crawl Space Mold

Humidity Warning!

Some major cases of crawl space humidity stem from where your dryer vents end. If your dryer is sending air into your crawl space, it's also sending a ton of humidity with it! This humidity is exactly what mold, rot, and mildew need to start thriving in your home. If your dryer is sending air into your crawl space, fix the problem right away!

Traditional methods of mold removal, such as bleach and water, will not provide a long-term solution for mold removal. These methods do not address rot damage or humidity issues.

Mold will begin growing again in 24-48 hours if the mold-growing environment is not changed. And dormant fungi can reactivate when dry, infected wood becomes wet again.

The solution to crawl space mold and moisture is to seal the crawl space vents, install a plastic liner on the walls and floors, and dry the space with a self-draining dehumidifier. Otherwise, any repairs and mold remediation steps you take are a temporary fix only.

Clean CrawlSpace Inc. offers free crawl space repair quotes in California, including Fremont, Santa Rosa, Salinas, Hayward, Vallejo, Sunnyvale, San Mateo and many areas nearby. Contact us today to get started!

 

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