You probably don’t think too much about your crawl space, but it really is an important part of your home. Over 50% of the air you breathe in your house comes from the crawl space and that number increases during the winter, or if you have the air conditioner running. It’s important that you keep the crawl space dry. This is the air that you and your family are breathing in all day and night. That musty air is full of mold spores and those spores can cause a wide variety of health problems, many of them very serious.
In the past, it was a widely held belief that the best way to ventilate your crawl space was through natural ventilation. It is now known that humidity levels from the outside can make a crawl space wet. If you have a water problem, then the problem is just multiplied. Wet crawl spaces can encourage pest infestations, fungus, and mold growth. There are many problems that can be caused by a wet crawl space and the cost of the damage will far outweigh the cost of having your crawl space dried out and protected.
Excess water in your crawl space can come from sources like humidity, leaking pipes, cracks in the foundation, and condensation from pipes or appliances. If you have a dirt floor in the crawl space, moisture can easily enter the area.
A wet crawl space can cause damage to the wood in the area. Pests like termites and other insects will be attracted by the moisture and feed on your wooden supports. Fungi and mold also feed on organic materials, making your wooden beams their main source of nourishment. Wood rot also occurs in wet crawl spaces. The rot usually starts from the inside, so you may not even notice until it is too late.
When the beams start to weaken, your floors can start to sag. The support beams may be softened due to moisture, or weakened by termite damage. Dry rot and mold or fungi can also take away the stability of the floor joists and support beams. You can easily check if your floor is sagging by placing a ball in a corner and seeing if it rolls away from the walls. If your floor is sagging, you should contact a foundation repair expert as soon as possible.
Wood isn’t the only thing that can be damaged by a wet crawl space. The metal in your house can rust and weaken. Electrical wiring, pipes, screws and nails, and other important metal parts can weaken or fail, causing major problems around your home. Your HVAC system is made up of a lot of metal parts, so losing that important piece of equipment could cause a lot of headaches and costs.
Protecting your home from damage caused by a wet crawl space is very important. A reliable company like PFS Basement & Foundation Repair can help keep your crawl space dry and your home safe and comfortable.
If you suspect that you have a wet crawl space, contact a reputable contractor. They will come to your home and inspect the property. They’ll be able to determine the cause of the wet crawl space and the best way to stop it from getting wet. There are a variety of solutions and the best method may be a combination of solutions.
Installing a humidifier that is big enough for the area is a start. It will help dry out the air and keep it dry. You can also install a sump pump system to help keep moisture to a minimum. Both of these solutions will give you a leg up on making your home comfortable.
If you want to make sure your crawl space stays dry, PFS Basement & Foundation Repair suggests that you install crawl space encapsulation. With this method, a vapor barrier is placed over the crawl space interior. The vapor barrier should be 10-16mm in thickness and be puncture resistant. The barrier will keep out both moisture and pests. Contact us to learn more about crawl space encapsulation can keep your home safe and stable.
Call us if you have any questions about moisture in your crawl space. We will be happy to talk with you about the possible solutions and the cost-savings you can achieve when keeping your crawl space dry.