The Secret to Preventing Mold in Your Crawl Space

Find out how to stop mold before it becomes a problem.

If you own a home, mold is serious business. Basements and crawl spaces are prone to mold growth since there’s often moisture in these dark, tight spaces. And, because you probably don’t spend a lot of time in your crawl space or inspect the corners of your basement often, mold can appear and become a costly project you didn’t plan for.

Follow these six tips to prevent moisture buildup and mold in your crawl space.

1. Make sure all gutters and downspouts are working correctly. Gutters and downspouts should escort water away from the house so it doesn’t accumulate near your foundation and end up seeping in your crawl space.

These are 12 signs your house could have toxic mold.

2. Make sure below-ground walls are free from cracks. Check along the foundation outside of your home and also in the ceiling of your crawl space. Holes in the crawl space ceiling can be a gateway for water to make its way down below.

3. Look for any leaks around HVAC ducts, pipes and any plumbing components and fixtures.

Save money by insulating crawl space ducts.

4. Make sure dryer vents take moist air to the outside, not into the crawl space.

5. Insulate against the crawl space’s sub floor. You can do this with plastic sheeting to cover the floor and prevent moisture from coming up from the ground. The plastic sheeting will make it easy to spot standing water from any leaks.

Here’s how to install a vapor barrier in a crawl space.

6. Use a dehumidifier. Mold growth begins when humidity levels reach 60 percent.

The bottom line is — keep your crawl space DRY.

This is the correct way to test for mold.

If You Find Mold

If you find a serious mold outbreak, hire professionals that can remove the mold safely so spores aren’t sent into the air.

Remove mold and mildew with these 10 tips.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham spent years working in newsrooms, for television and newspapers, and has won several awards for her writing. In 2015, she left her full-time job as a newspaper editor to focus on freelance writing and editing. She has been a Family Handyman contributor since 2017.
In 2019, Rachel lived through a major remodeling project on her home, and she uses that experience to inform her Family Handyman content. She's also an avid gardener (both native plants and vegetables), enjoys keeping up with decor trends and spends a lot of time traveling, cooking and hanging out with her family and their giant dog.