How to Dehumidify Crawl Spaces?
Crawl spaces are an integral part of your home and directly impact your health and electricity bills. Yes, you heard it right! In fact, half of the air circulating in your home comes from the crawlspace or basement. The presence of moisture and humidity in crawlspaces can create numerous problems such as the growth of molds, mildew, dust mites, and bacteria. But the problem can be easily dealt with by dehumidifying the crawl space and keeping it dry. Before we provide detailed steps on how to dehumidify crawl spaces, let’s take a look at how to identify the presence of moisture in vented crawl spaces:
Identifying the Presence of Moisture in Crawl spaces
Some instances of the presence of moisture in crawlspaces can be identified easily owing to the obvious damage they do to the structure. However, in some instances, the damage could be more subtle and hidden which impacts not only the space but the health of the upper levels of the homes as well. Here are a few ways in which moisture in the crawlspaces may manifest itself:
- Musty odor
- Mildew and mold growth
- Buckling hardwood floor
- Smelly and damp carpets
- Increased heating, cooling, and ventilation bills
- Decreasing life of shingles and roof
Moisture can enter crawlspaces due to a variety of factors. Exposed damp soil, plumbing leaks, saturated groundwater table, and humid and arid air are a few of the ways in which moisture can humidify crawlspaces.
Steps to Dehumidify Crawl spaces
Identify the Cause of Presence of Humidity:
The first step is to thoroughly examine the crawlspaces to identify the source of the problem. When inspecting the crawlspace, you need to look for foundation cracks, plumbing leaks, or any other source of water entering the space. Fix the plumbing leaks and insulate the pipes in the crawlspaces before starting the procedure of dehumidification. In case you come across foundation cracks, call a professional to assess the problem and then decide the course of action.
Remove Moisture Sources and Water Puddles
After you have fixed or identified the source of the problem, remove anything which contributes to sustaining the moisture in the crawlspace. Check the drainage and grading systems to ensure they are functioning effectively. Besides this, remove any wet insulation or debris that would have collected in the crawlspace.
Thoroughly Clean-up the Crawl Space
The presence of moisture may lead to mold and mildew growth in crawlspaces. It is necessary to clean the crawlspace thoroughly after dehumidifying or drying it to ensure the quality of the air inside the house is maintained. Mold and mildews need to be scrubbed off from the surface. The plumbing leaks and vents in the crawlspace can also lead to rodent infestation. It is essential to check for rodent infestation before drying and sealing the crawlspaces to assure the space remains clean.
Preventing Moisture from Entering Crawlspaces
The last step of the process involves sealing the crawlspaces to prevent moisture from entering again. This can be achieved by encapsulating the crawlspace or covering the entire space with a vapor barrier. The underlying principle involved in both the processes is similar and uses a sheet to prevent moisture from entering the crawlspace. A vapor barrier is a 4 to 6 mil thick plastic sheet which prevents moisture from the ground to enter into the crawlspace. On the other hand, crawlspace encapsulation involves sealing all the ducts, air vents, cracks, and holes before covering the area with a 12 to 20 millimeters thick sheet.
With extensive expertise and a large team of talented structural engineers, Bay Crawlspace can help you identify the problems in your crawlspace and fix them. We offer free inspections and provide no-cost quotes to empower our customers in taking the best decision for their homes. Call us today and let us help you keep your home safe, healthy, and comfortable.