How to Clean a Crawl Space

Cleaning the crawl spaces in a home should be a routine part of homeownership. Crawl spaces that are not cleaned can lead to structural problems and reduced energy efficiency, and can negatively affect your overall health.

  1. Examine the overall condition of the crawl space before you begin cleaning. Check for mold, mildew and moisture, which can leave an odor, cause structural damage and health problems, and require additional cleaning supplies and repair materials.

  2. Remove any items stored in the crawl space, clean and store items in a different location in the home. Crawl spaces should not be used for storage because moisture can permeate the surface of items and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

  3. Use the mold test kit to examine the air quality of the air space. High levels of mold will require professional cleaning and indicate potential health problems.

  4. Gather all of the supplies needed. Wear long-sleeved and long-legged clothing to protect and cover your skin. Put on gloves and tape to the sleeves of your clothing to prevent any skin from being exposed to mold, cleaning supplies or other hazards. Tape pant legs closed for additional protection, if desired. Put on the dust respirator and safety glasses.

  5. Absorb any moisture. Clean light deposits of mold, scrub the surface with warm water and detergent using a stiff bristle brush. Heavy deposits of mold can be cleaned with 1 cup of bleach mixed with 1 gallon of warm water.

  6. Dry the area completely. Allow to dry for 24 hours to ensure all moisture is removed before beginning repair work.

  7. Repair damage caused by excessive moisture. Structural damage can occur if repairs are not done.

  8. Tip

    Maintaining a crawl space is just as important as cleaning it. Always check the crawl spaces in your home every six months.


    Contact your physician if you have been exposed to medium or high levels of mold. Inhaling mold spores in the air can cause allergies or severe respiratory problems depending on the level and length of exposure.