Moisture in a crawl space is a major problem- one that quickly leads to the rotting of all organic materials in the space. Stored items, insulation, and especially wood will become moldy, leading to its decay, over the course of years.
Moldy Crawl Space Insulation
Fiberglass is made out of blown glass particles and is not organic. However, fiberglass insulation is designed with dyes, resins, and paper backings that do. As these materials are exposed to prolonged warmth and moisture, they become mold food. Anyone experienced in basements or crawl spaces should be able to tell you that.
Additionally, wet insulation is bad insulation. As moisture collects in the material, it will lose its insulative value, and its weight will force it to drip off the ceiling and onto the floor, where it's not helping at all. Fiberglass insulation- as well as many other types- can also become the habitat for many pests, including mice, rats, and hornets. Click to read about crawl spaces pests.
Moldy Crawl Space Wood
The wood frame in your crawl space will take a while to grow mold, but it will, eventually, grow mold. And once the mold grows, it will begin to rot as well. Rotting crawl spaces will fill with odors and mold spores, and rotting, decaying wood is preferred by termites, carpenter ants, and many other rodents and pests. The mold spores will rise upwards into the home, causing potential health problems throughout the house. Click to read about how mold can affect your entire home.
If the mold and rot are allowed to develop to the point where the materials are too far gone, they will have to be removed and replaced. However, crawl spaces are a very narrow, dark, and cramped space. When they're experienced advanced rotting, they will also be disgusting, potentially unhealthy, and possibly filled with mice, rodents, and their waste. A contractor hired to do a difficult, dirty repair like this is not going to be easy to find, and they won't be cheap.
Getting Rid of Crawl Space Mold
The best way to keep mold at bay in the crawl space is to transform it into a dry, usable space. Installing a crawl space vapor barrier system (also known as crawl space encapsulation), complete with a crawl space dehumidifier, is a great way to make this happen. Click to learn more about crawl space encapsulation!