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Old 02-12-2010, 05:19 AM   #1
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Does Mold grow under Plastic cover in exposed crawl space/Basements?


I was house shopping, and noticed this in a home i was looking at..

My old house, I've always been told to install plastic over the exposed dirt in a basement or crawl space with 6 mil plastic, and overlap 12 inches at the seams, and taped. And go up a minimum of 6 inches on the side walls.

But one house, i pulled back the plastic, and noticed this white stuff growing under it..

Does this always happen?


Is this safe? Is this normal?

Thanks
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:29 AM   #2
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Does Mold grow under Plastic cover in exposed crawl space/Basements?


If there are enough organics (mold food) in the soil, temperature and moisture levels are in the right range, then yes, mold will thrive. Were it not for the plastic, the mold could be growing on the wooden parts of the house. As long as the plastic is installed properly and sealed, it shouldn't be an issue. The whole idea of the plastic is to keep the moisture contained. I would make a guess that the crawl space either never had the top soil removed or was back filled with top soil instead of fill. Fill normally doesn't contain enough food to support mold for very long. You could sterilize the soil with some type of borate if there is a problem, but that would require redoing the plastic.

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Old 02-12-2010, 10:43 AM   #3
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Does Mold grow under Plastic cover in exposed crawl space/Basements?


That looks like efflorescence, which is a mineral deposit that gets deposited on the wall from moisture travelling through the foundation.
But mold can grow under the plastic, if it's over dirt or another organic product, like wood.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:47 AM   #4
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Does Mold grow under Plastic cover in exposed crawl space/Basements?


ok, thanks guys
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