How to Prevent Musty Smells or Mold in a Crawlspace

Crawlspaces are often forgotten parts of our homes. They can easily go unnoticed until a problem arises, such as mold or musty smells. With all the melting snow and rain during the spring season, it is important to have preventative measures in place to ensure your crawlspace is protected.

What causes mold and odors to form in a crawlspace?

Odors are often the first sign of a problem in crawlspaces. They can signify that molding and rotting are on the way if nothing is done to address the issue. Mold is also a potential health problem and can especially affect those with asthma and allergies.  

Moisture is a major cause of mold, mildew, and odor. If a crawlspace is not properly air sealed and insulated, it is easy for moisture to get in and the air to mimic the constant, relatively warm temperature of the Earth, creating a humid environment that invites mold to grow. It also allows for rodents and other small critters to freely enter the space and your home, further increasing the risk of odor.

Crawlspace encapsulation

The best way to address the issue is to install vapor barriers and encapsulate your crawlspace. The process of encapsulation turns your crawlspace into a basement-like area. A vapor barrier is installed over the ground to control moisture. Ecotelligent Homes uses a thread-reinforced plastic to prevent damage when items are stored on the vapor barrier or service techs have to crawl on the plastic. Closed cell spray foam is the best form of insulation to use on the crawl space walls and rim joist because it is waterproof. This eliminates the need for crawlspace vents, which are an ineffective measure that is like leaving your basement windows open all year round.

Crawlspace encapsulation also turns the space into a place for storage that is moisture and temperature controlled. There are many other benefits to this process, including the elimination of drafty and cold floors, reduced bugs and spider webs, lower dust levels, and improved indoor air quality.

Removing the crawlspace odor

If your crawlspace currently has an odor, Ecotelligent Homes will take the following steps to encapsulate the space and eliminate the source of the odor.  We clean the space, removing any waste or litter. If your foundation has been damaged or we find mold, it may need to be repaired prior to installing insulation. After the space is cleaned and repaired we will professionally install a vapor barrier and closed cell spray foam to encapsulate the space and prevent future problems.

Crawlspace encapsulation is an essential way to protect your foundation and home from damage and mold. Ecotelligent Homes is trained to evaluate your crawlspace as a system to ensure your entire home is insulated and ventilated properly. Ecotelligent Homes has been encapsulating crawlspaces and delivering great results for Metro Detroit homeowners since 2009.