How to Get Rid of Black Mold in Crawl Spaces

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Mold, alive or dead, is bad for a household. It thrives in the places you are not likely to see it, growing in dark, wet places behind and in between things. Getting rid of mold is not hard, so long as you take the time to fix the underlying problems of lack of ventilation and light, and an abundance of moisture. However, proper precautions are an absolute necessity. Black mold could be a number of things, some of them with some pretty stiff consequences for those who take it on unprepared.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • Respirator
  • Trash bag(s)
  • High-power vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Bleach
  • Towel(s)
  • Tape

Suit up. You should wear a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, gloves and a good dust respirator. You want to minimize exposure to the mold itself. If possible, also cover your hair and tape your gloves to your sleeves.

Remove anything in the crawlspace that can be moved. If you find mold on any porous materials, throw those out. Otherwise, you can attempt to clean objects with your bleach disinfectant.

Vacuum the mold out with a high-powered shop vacuum. You do not want to drive this stuff up into the air because this will only cause it to spread unnecessarily.

Disinfect the affected areas with a bleach. A half cup of bleach to a gallon of water is a good solution. Allow the areas to remain wet for up to fifteen minutes before rinsing.

Dry the area quickly.

Perform a full inspection of the area, paying special attention to the ventilation available and whether or not there are any leaks or standing water. Fixing these problems makes it harder for the mold to return.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are several different types of mold that can appear in crawlspaces and look black. See Resource for information on specific species. If you are unsure of what kind of mold you are dealing with, carefully collect samples (while wearing gloves, goggles and a respirator) and take them to be tested.
  • Check around and see if you can rent your shop vacuum. If you cannot get a vacuum for yourself, consider contacting a duct cleaning company and having them come do the vacuuming for you.
  • Any cloth/clothing used in this project must be immediately laundered due to mold exposure. Otherwise, throw it out.
  • If the mold has gotten into anything like paper or insulation, you need to throw those away. You cannot get mold out of porous surfaces.
  • Mold will come back if the underlying issue of moisture is not fixed. In crawlspaces, this means the area is not ventilating well and there is a possible leak. Both of these things need to be fixed in order to avoid a recurrence.

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