It’s a dark, forgotten area of your home that you only enter when something has gone wrong and you’re trying to fix it. Perhaps a plumbing pipe needs to be replaced or you need to repair some electrical wiring.
When you go down there, you may be surprised to discover it’s as wet as your garden during a rainstorm.
Crawl space moisture control is an important issue. Too much moisture in your crawl space can lead to serious problems. Let’s take a look at the top reasons why you need to keep things dry under your home as much as possible.
Mold can grow anywhere, though it particularly loves dark, damp places. In homes, it’s a huge problem anywhere there is a lot of humidity in the air. Mold grows well in environments with 60% humidity or higher.
In humid areas like Virginia and North Carolina, it’s not unusual for so much moisture to condensate out of the air in your crawl space that it can be “raining” down there.
Crawl spaces are a haven for mold spores and once they take root, mold can grow quickly and be difficult to fully remove.
As you might imagine, large mold infestations can cause a lot of damage that is both difficult and expensive to repair.
Mold does more than just cause physical damage to your home. It also negatively affects the air quality in your home.
Breathing moldy air can cause significant health problems in some people, particularly those with asthma or allergies. Symptoms include:
Some studies even indicate that mold exposure early on can cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy children.
Have you been feeling more sick than usual? Wondering why your allergies are acting up out of season? The culprit could lie in your crawl space.
Water is life for everyone and that includes unpleasant pests like rodents and insects. Damp or wet wood is easier for termites and other wood-eating insects to burrow into, making damp wood a great way to attract them.
Standing water to drink, fluffy house insulation to build a nest in, and a buffet of crunchy insects make ideal conditions for mice and other small rodents.
It won’t take long for a wet crawl space to turn into its own full-blown eco-system! The problem is, this eco-system is full of creatures that will be systematically destroying your house.
You can probably already see where we’re going with this. Large infestations of termites and other wood-eating insects can quickly cause serious structural problems in the wooden parts of your house. Mice and rodents will tear our your insulation to make cozy little nests.
Not only that, but the moisture itself can cause serious structural problems. Wet wood rots. As you might expect, rotten wood won’t do a very good job of holding up your house.
The humidity has to be pretty high, typically about 70%, for the water to condensate out of the air. But once the area is wet, you’ll have to get the humidity level down to 30% or lower to dry it out.
Excessive moisture in your crawl space doesn’t only affect the underside of your house. A big enough problem can affect things topside as well.
Check out this scenario.
You’ve been admiring gorgeous hardwood floors for years. You finally save up enough money to install them in your own home.
Then, sometimes within a few months or even weeks of installation, the edges of the boards begin to curl upward. Your brand new hardwood floors are “cupping”. What’s going on?
Panicked and frustrated, you call the installation company or manufacturer of your hardwood floors. They tell you the problem probably lies in your crawl space.
When exposed to a big difference in humidity, both real and engineered hardwood floors can experience this problem. Excessive moisture in your crawl exposes the bottom side of your floors to a higher relative humidity than the top side of your floors experience in your climate-controlled home.
High humidity in your crawl space will affect the humidity in your home. Does it feel like it’s always excessively muggy in your house compared to outside? The problem could lie below the floorboards.
Turning up the air conditioner helps cool the space and will remove some of the moisture from the air. However, you’ll end up paying extra in cooling costs for a cooling and dehumidifying method that isn’t very effective.
A more effective method is to get to the root of the problem. Lower the moisture content in your crawl space and you’ll feel the difference inside your home.
There are a few simple tips that help keep a handle on the problem. Check out this post to find out more about what you can do to control moisture in your crawl space.
Have we convinced you? You might not have realized it before, but crawl space moisture control is a big deal. Too much moisture in your crawl space can lead to several significant (and expensive) problems.
If the issue is allowed to go on for too long, you may need professional help, whether with repairs or aggressively attacking your moisture problem.
Looking for help with crawl space moisture control? Feel free to give us a call! We offer a free inspection and price estimate so you know exactly what you need to do to fix your crawl space problems and how much it will cost.
Blake has specialized in crawl space & foundation repairs for over 10 years (since 2012). His prior engineering and business degrees from James Madison University in VA prepared him for a mastery of problem solving with crawl space & foundation repair issues. He is one of America’s top experts on crawl space encapsulation. As Founder of both ‘BAY Crawl Space & Foundation Repair’ as well as ‘GridLock Foundations’ he is a leading industry expert on crawl space foundation repairs.