Mold in crawlspaces, basements and attics are extremely common, and may impact one in three homeowners in Victoria, Cowichan, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, and Port Alberni.

Crawlspaces and attics are dark, dingy and sometimes damp: all ideal conditions for mold, fungus, and other germs to flourish.  Basements can also be at risk.

It’s usually the result of increased humidity and moisture in the crawlspace, typically from the ground in the crawlspace, a leak, or inadequate ventilation.

In attics, meanwhile, mold often forms as the result of inadequate ventilation. Warm moist air, created from the people living below, rises toward the ceiling and enters the attic around light fixtures and other openings. If the attic is well-ventilated, the moisture will pass outside, but if the warm air has nowhere to go, the moisture will accumulate.

Both attics and crawlspaces are also rich in the organic materials that molds, fungi and other microbes need to feed on.

According to Health Canada, “Common household materials mold can live on include drywall, wood, such as window sills, wall framing and firewood, paper products such as cardboard boxes, damp materials such as carpeting or furniture.”

In short, it can grow almost anywhere, as long as moisture is present.

In fact, according to studies, 30 percent to 50 percent of all structures have damp conditions that could encourage the growth and spread of biological pollutants like mold. And that’s just for average climates; in warm, moist climates, this percentage is likely much higher.

What’s Dangerous About Mold?

Mold is a microscopic, living organism whose purpose is to break down dead materials. This is why, over time, it will destroy whatever it is growing on, including your carpets, furniture and cabinets, and even structural elements of your home.

If left untreated, mold will gradually destroy whatever it is growing on — including structural elements of your home.

However, this is only a part of what makes mold dangerous. Molds release thousands of microscopic spores into the air, and they are easily carried around your home, where you may breathe them in.

It is through this inhalation that mold can cause health problems to you and your family.

What Types of Health Problems do Molds Cause?

All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants.

Homeowners with mold often report:
Respiratory problems, such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath.

Sneezing and/or nasal congestion.

Eye irritation (itching, burning, watery, or reddened eyes).

Coughing or throat irritation.

Skin rashes or irritation.

Headaches.

Fatigue.

Among people who have existing respiratory conditions (such as allergies or asthma) or weakened immune systems, as well as children and the elderly, molds can be particularly dangerous. People in this group may experience more severe reactions or even serious lung infections when exposed to mold.

Read our report on mold exposure and health hazards.

Preventing a Mold Problem in Your Crawlspace, Basement, or Attic

If you suspect mold is in your home (some indications include stained ceilings, a musty or earthy smell, black, pink, orange or green spots on walls, flood or hurricane damage, damp basement, crawlspace or attic) you should seek out a professional to decontaminate your mold or mildew situation.

Decontaminate your attic, basement or crawlspace using the experts at Pacific Decontamination Services. Our tailored services protect your home or business from devastating effects of a biological occurrence by killing and validating the destruction of up to 99.9999% of harmful bacteria, viruses, spores, germs, and fungi.

Other steps you can do after having your attic, crawlspace, or basement decontaminated by Pacific Decontamination Services include:

Fix any leaky plumbing or other leaks immediately.

Prevent moisture due to condensation. To reduce moisture levels in your air, increase ventilation (if the outdoor air is cool and dry) or use a dehumidifier (if the outdoor air is warm and humid).

Don’t let your home’s foundation stay wet. Make sure there’s proper drainage and that the ground slopes away from the foundation.

Keep furniture and floors dusted. Mold spores can collect in your household dust, so dusting often is highly recommended.

Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning drip pans clean and flowing properly.

Make sure moisture-generating appliances, like your dryer, and your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans are vented outside.

Keep indoor humidity levels below 60%, and preferably between 30-50%.

Change your home’s air filters regularly.

If necessary, add insulation to reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces, such as windows, piping, exterior walls, roof or flooring.

Make sure any damp or wet spots are cleaned and dried within 48 hours.

How Can You Neutralize Mold?

We neutralize your mold by applying our eco-friendly, safe chemical into your attic, crawlspace, or basement. Depending on the job, we apply our formula by spray, mist, foam, or fog. We do not use a tent. The average time of our on-site service is approximately one hour. An additional four hours is required to achieve maximum effectiveness. We ask that you stay out of the premise for approximately 5 hours in total. Read more about how we work.

Pacific Decontamination Services uses the world’s strongest, most effective and safe antimicrobial disinfectant, deodorization and chemical decontaminate. Our professional application will eliminate up to 99.99999% of any allergen, germ, bacteria or fungus that it touches. AND as powerful as it is, it is also completely safe.

What do you do next? How do you solve the challenge of mold and associated health hazards?

Call Pacific Decontamination Services at 778-269-0208 or email us!

Serving All of Vancouver Island: Victoria, Cowichan, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, and Port Alberni.