The Problem? Wet sand…
When you think of the shore you think of many things, the ocean, the sand, the boardwalk, the sun. The Jersey shore has all of those things, but the thing that I think of when I am called down the shore for a crawlspace mold inspection is the sand. Why? Exposed sand directly underneath your beautiful vacation home equals a mold problem every time. The fungus growing under a shore home could not have asked for a better environment to grow. Lots of wood from your main supports, floor joists and beams combined with all that moisture and not too much air movement is the perfect storm for a major mold contamination issue. And mold removal from a crawlspace is as expensive as it gets because of the logistics of the space. We have to have 3-4 guys crawling around on their stomachs or backs with sprayers and foggers and scrub brushes and it’s extremely difficult to work in these conditions. The final step in the process is to apply an encapsulant which prevents mold from growing on the wooden members of the foundation, but also allows the wood to breathe which is very important.
The solution to crawlspace mold in your South Jersey shore house is three fold. It starts with the best preventive maintenance for crawlspaces and that’s a 12mil poly vapor barrier. 12mil is extremely strong and resistant to puncture when you have to have someone crawling on it for future maintenance or during the installation itself. It also will take a long time to break down (20 years). The installation of the vapor barrier is not something to be taken lightly. It cannot just be thrown down on the sand. The moisture must be kept from finding its way up to the wood again so you basically have to seal the sand off from the house. The barrier must be ran up all walls and pylons under the house and secured in a wall that allows people to traverse the barrier without ripping it off the walls or pylons. The installation of a vapor barrier in a crawlspace with a minimum clearance of 36” cost around $1.25/square foot. The next important step is to make sure there is proper ventilation in the space. Having 2 or 3 little holes cut into the cinderblock foundation is insufficient for air to move in that space. You need to have certain minimum air flow vents and they must be properly placed. There are too many scenarios for me to list here, but the cross ventilation should definitely be addressed by a professional. The final preventive action is to have a power vent with a humidistat controlled power supply. This will essentially guarantee that moisture will not build up to the point where it will create conducive conditions for mold.
To learn more about crawlspace mold and mold removal in New Jersey, please contact an MoldRemovalPhiladelphia.net professional.