Having too much moisture in your crawl space in a common occurrence that isn't harmless. Humidity in crawl spaces is detrimental, and there are a number of things that could be causing the humidity, as well as things you can do to reduce humidity in your crawl space.
Why is Humidity Bad For My Crawl Space?
Moisture in your home is typically a bad thing all around. Basements and crawl spaces that are often humid or moist can support the growth of mold. Mold and mildew can cause the building materials, such as wooden beams, to begin to decay, while providing the ideal conditions for various pests and rodents.
All of that moisture and contamination may be easily dispersed throughout your home due to the difference in air pressure between the crawl space and your living space. Forced air heating and air conditioning equipment located in basements or crawl spaces are a strong system in your home, which relocates pollutants through any leaks or ductwork.
What Could Be Causing The High Humidity?
One common cause for high humidity in crawl spaces is standing water of any kind. If you have a humid crawl space, check the area for any drainage problem or plumbing leaks, which should immediately be fixed. One example is a yard that slopes down to the house, which leads water to rest up against the home's foundation wall.
Crawl spaces often do not have proper waterproofing to prevent hydrostatic pressure from building up. Check for moist soil, which can appear to be dry on top, but is wet underneath. Soil may appear to be dry only because that top layer is constantly evaporating into the air of your crawl space.
Lastly check any vents, as bringing in outdoor air into your crawl space can often cause humidity. The humidity level of your crawl space should be under 60% in order to prevent the growth of mold and other problems.
What Can I Do To Reduce Humidity In My Crawlspace?
Whenever dealing with humidity it is often recommended that you purchase a hygrometer or a thermo-hygrometer, which will allow you to get an exact idea of what is going on in your crawl space. It is often assumed that increasing airflow or adding vents is the only or best solution to reduce moisture, however this can many times not be the case depending on your area.
Warm, humid air in the summer does not help remove that moisture, and in the winter, cold air entering your crawl space can often result in the formation of condensation. Moving air underneath a home that is already cooled or heated can also greatly reduce your home's energy efficiency. Many times the problem causing too much humidity is related directly to drainage issues on the exterior of your home, so check for any sloping of the ground which pushes water into your home, missing or clogged gutters, or any downspouts that do not drain through an extension that keeps water off of your home. Also check for exposed dirt in your crawl space, as this can be a big problem. Vapor barriers are commonly used to cover soil and reduce the amount of water vapor otherwise put out by the moist soil.
When Do I Need A Professional Repair Company?
If you are overwhelmed with the prospect of doing it yourself, there are many professional repair companies that offer a free quote. Make sure to inform yourself about all of the topics at hand as you will need to understand how to communicate. While homeowners can handle fixing gutters or laying sealing barriers, more serious problems require advanced tools and years of know how. That's why it's important to contact companies like Abalon Construction basement waterproofing.
Keep your home conditioned properly and you will remain safe and healthy. Also keep in mind that a humidifier is often a stopgap measure that does not treat the root problem!