For the past three months, I have spent several days a week crawling on my hands and knees (and occasionally on my stomach), wearing a Tyvek suit, a respirator, gloves and lugging equipment underneath unlit residential buildings. What was the purpose (besides building character)? To help clients of ours assess mold and water issues in several of their properties’ crawlspaces. Somehow I was designated to be- “crawlspace guy.”
Besides the physical challenges of navigating through the crawlspace, the inspections themselves became very straight forward. The majority of any water damage issues and subsequent mold growth were associated with plumbing problems. Broken pipes, missing pipe caps, and condensation on uninsulated pipes were all very common. All of these plumbing issues introduced water into the crawlspace causing fungal growth with varying degrees of severity. In a few properties I even saw large fungus growing on structural components of the building! Some crawlspaces had minimal mold growth that could easily be wiped away, while other crawlspaces will require the complete replacement of material such as joists or subflooring not to mention major plumbing repairs.
Although I was hoping to find a pot of gold hidden in one of these crawlspaces, all I found was broken glass, rusty nails, garbage, skeletal remains of different critters, old Old Style beer cans, and rats in various states of existence. At least I’ll sleep well knowing that we helped improve the air quality for many clients.