Crawl space moisture can affect many areas in a home. Musty odors wafting from return air vents may be coming from a damp crawl space, but crawl space moisture can cause more problems than just bad smells. It can also warp hardwood floors, create condensation on HVAC ductwork and increase a house’s humidity levels. When humidity in the house increase, the house cooling system will run more often – ultimately increasing your energy costs.
The humidity generated from crawl space moisture can cause doors and window frames to stick and affect the opening and closing of wooden cabinets and drawers. Excessive humidity eventually can cause wood to rot, affecting floor joists, window frames, doors and parts of the home’s structure. Many insects also are drawn to areas of high moisture. Crawl space moisture can be a beacon for centipedes, millipedes, pill bugs, cockroaches and more.
Excessive moisture in the crawl space also can lead to mold growth. Mold can present a serious health risk to anyone with compromised immune systems as well as anyone suffering from allergies or asthma. Any presence of mold in the crawl space or home must be removed immediately for health reasons.
A crawl space dehumidifier may remove some moisture from a crawl space. A sump pump also will remove water and reduce humidity levels. In some areas of the country, vents to a home’s exterior may be used to allow drier air into the crawl space. However, in the southeastern region of the U.S., where outdoor humidity levels are elevated especially during the summer months, using vents to “dry out” a crawl space is futile.
What Should You Do?
While dehumidifiers, sump pumps and vents work for some crawl space moisture issues, sometimes it is not enough. Crawl space encapsulation can be employed to help seal the space from excessive moisture. This technique utilizes a vapor barrier along the floors and walls of the crawl space to block moisture seepage. Remember, water damaged crawl spaces may create instability. Olshan can make your crawl space safe and moisture free again with the CrawlSafe™ System. Contact a repair specialist to learn more.