How to remove musty smell from crawl space? Lingering mold/water from leaky pipe

Old 05-01-14, 06:36 AM
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How to remove musty smell from crawl space? Lingering mold/water from leaky pipe

So I have a 1955 home I purchased a couple months ago. We just found out last week that we had a leaky pipe in the crawl space that generated a pretty big pool of water w/ mold. Small leak but it had been going for months.

The leak has since been taken care of, the pool of water has been vacuumed up, and I've had a fan running for almost a week. While the worst of it has been taken care of, I'm sure there's some residual dampness and mold.

The crawlspace is bare dirt and rock with some cardboard like substance pretending to be a vapor barrier. I live in Denver so humidity shouldn't be a huge problems except for when it rains/snows.

How best to go about getting rid of the musty smell, killing any lingering mold, and getting the last of the dampness out? Is there any sort of product from Lowes/Home Depot I can safely put down? The crawlspace is very confined so I'm hesitant to use bleach. (I've already learned my lesson once about using bleach in an unventilated area). What about the dampness? I've seen suggestions of buckets of garden lime, charcoal, or commercial dehumidifier buckets.

As far as mold concerns, we've been breathing in this stuff for at least 2 months with no ill effect; so I'm hesitant to spend $$$$ on a pro mold remover if I can avoid it.

BTW, hopefully this year I'll have someone do a complete revamp of my crawlspace. Vapor barrier, sub pump; basically make it an enclosed space.
Old 05-01-14, 08:14 AM
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Personally I think most people are hypochondriacs when you mention the word mold. It's something that occurs naturally in the environment and in your case it's in the crawl space and not in the living space of the home.

Drying the area is the best. One thing you can do is cover the ground with 6 mil plastic. This will trap the moisture & mold below it so it cannot enter the crawl space. It also has the benefit of drastically reducing the humidity of the air above. I first go through and remove sharp objects that may puncture the plastic then start at the back of the crawl space and roll and spread it out as I work my way back to the entrance. As long as it's not exposed to sunlight the color of the plastic does not matter. I prefer the milky colored plastic as the black makes the crawlspace even darker when trying to work.
Old 05-10-14, 08:21 AM
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Hello luminose and Welcome to the web site.

Based upon what I am reading in your post, "getting rid of the dampness out", in my opinion and in my years of working in crawl spaces, the crawl space (beneath the house) does not have enough ventilation. Mold grows better in a moist or damp location that is dark, cool and lacking in sufficient ventilation. More air flow not less would be better, regardless of ambient weather or climate.

A fan blowing and circulating existing air will not work. However, a fan that blows ambient outside air that can flow through the area and out will then circulate the air helping to dry out the crawl space. I.E. you'll need to increase the free flow of air not restrict it further.

I too agree that using bleach is a bad idea. Or any type of chemicals. Also do not think covering up a condition helps either. It only masks the condition. Not rids the condition IMO. Now that the water leak is resolved, the area needs to dry out as much as possible. When the weather in your area warms or heats up, a sufficient amount of ventilation will dry up the area and the current condition will be gone. As it was prior to the leak.

Kindly use the reply button if and when you reply to your thread.

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