How to Treat Crawl Space Odor How to Treat Crawl Space Odor
Crawl space odors can spread to the rest of the home. Many houses are commonly built with a crawl space between the ground and the first floor. The builders do this so that they can have easy access to duct work, electrical wiring, and other home utilities.
You will not find this type of crawl space in a home that has a basement. Unfortunately, these crawl spaces typically have a dirt floor that often gets wet. This moisture can cause mold and mildew to appear, subsequently creating an odor.
Step 1 - Assess the Problem
There are possible several causes of crawl space odor. Investigate the crawlspace directly. A metal or wood door should be present, and you should be able to close it tightly. If it is not secure, crawl space odors can escape into the home.
If it is a dirt floor, assess the moisture level. If too much water vapor is entering the crawl space, it can create conditions which are suitable for mold and mildew. The same can applies to concrete floor crawl spaces.
Step 2 - Dirt Floor Crawl Spaces
Dirt floor crawlspaces are the most common. In order to prevent a crawl space odor from developing, cover the dirt floor with a tarp. Weigh them down with cinder blocks to create a tight seal over the dirt. The tarp prevents water vapor from entering the crawl space. Mix up a solution of 3 parts water to 1 part bleach. Take the solution inside the crawl space and scrub the walls. Doing so kills the mold. Make sure you wear a mask and gloves. To further protect against odor, install insulation between the joists of the floor over the crawl space and add plastic sheeting to the door.
Step 3 - Concrete Floor Crawl Spaces
Many homeowners with concrete floor crawl spaces use them as storage areas, which can be both good and bad. Cardboard and other celluloid materials become moldy and give off a mildew odor when left in moist environments.
Remove such materials and scrub the walls and floors with diluted bleach as did in Step 2. Use a wet and dry shop vacuum to remove any standing water and a push broom to get to the back areas. Insulate the floor overhead and place a dehumidifier in the crawl space. Doing so helps dry the water inside the crawl space and will keeps water vapor out of the air.