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How to Know If You’ve Got Wood Rot or Mold in Your Crawl Space

Wood rot and mold are both caused by fungi, but they are very different. One can be potentially toxic to humans. Act now.

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If you’re a bit claustrophobic, you may be a bit wary about spending time down in your crawl space. That is why crawl space experts exist. However, in addition to scheduling yearly crawl space inspections and encapsulating your crawl space, you can keep an eye on this below-ground area and make sure it does not develop wood rot or mold without ever going down there. 

Here, we will take a look at what wood rot and mold are, how you can tell them apart, should you choose to venture into your crawl space and look around, and some of their most common symptoms you can notice without ever going down there.

mold vs wood rot

Wood Rot vs. Mold 

If you have found yourself on this page, that means you have taken the first step in dealing with any potential wood rot or mold problem you may have in your crawl space. What’s important to note at this point is that many crawl spaces in Orlando, FL, face wood rot and mold. That is because Florida weather is naturally very humid, and wood rot and mold love high humidity levels. 

Keep in mind that wood rot and mold occur naturally in the wild. In fact, they are the most normal occurrences in the world. If it were not for wood rot or mold, no wood would have ever decayed since the dawn of time on Earth. 

It’s because of this that both wood rot and mold come about so easily in crawl spaces. They particularly like crawl spaces that are not encapsulated and have dirt floors. 

So, what are wood rot and mold and how can you tell them apart? 

The key difference between the two is that mold is much less dangerous to the structural integrity of a home but can be toxic and damage the health of your loved ones. Wood rot, on the other hand, can spread quickly and digest the wooden joists it is developing on. This can cause a lot of damage, as you can imagine, warranting expensive and extensive repairs. 

Both wood rot and mold are caused by fungi. However, different fungal species cause them. 

The term mold can be thought of as a catch-all expression for thousands of fungal species. Like we said, some of them are toxic and the spores of most can irritate sensitive individuals, making a living space very uncomfortable for them. 

So how can you tell the two apart? It’s actually pretty easy. A wood rot infestation will look like decaying, damaged wood. A mold infestation, on the other hand, will look like discoloration. It can come in a range of colors, including black, white, orange, green, or purple. 

Wood Rot and Mold Symptoms 

If you are not too excited about going down into your crawl space, you can keep an eye on it in between inspections by experts. Let’s take a look at some common wood rot and mold symptoms. 

Bouncy Floors 

Although wood rot and mold cause much of the same symptoms, bouncy floors can only be caused by wood rot. However, that is not to say that mold infestations won’t eventually lead to wood rot and therefore bouncy floors. 

So, what is a bouncy floor? They are floors that bend when weight is placed on them but bounce back when the weight is moved. 

If you notice bouncy floors in any part of your home, even if it’s in a small area, it’s time to act. Call in a crawl space repair expert today. 

Crawl Space Smells Musty 

Many Orlando, FL, homes have musty crawl spaces. It makes sense; the weather is humid, and there’s plenty of rain and the occasional tropical storm that causes flooding. That is why many homeowners in the area come to believe that a musty smell coming from the crawl space is perfectly normal. 

However, it is not. In fact, a musty smell can mean you have an advanced mold or wood rot problem that is best dealt with sooner than later. Your crawl space should smell just like the rest of your home. If you notice a change in the way your crawl space smells, it’s time to call in the experts. 

The good news is that both wood rot and mold can be dealt with successfully and even prevented. To find out how, contact the crawl space repair experts at Florida Foundation Authority today to schedule a free inspection

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