Your crawl space is an essential part of your property. It allows air to circulate properly into your home and may even provide a place to hide ductwork, pipes, wires, and more. Having a crawl space greatly increases the health of your home, but only if the crawl space itself is healthy and in good condition.
There are many reasons your crawl space may not be functioning properly, or may actually be bringing dangerous air into your home. All air that is in your crawl space eventually makes its way upwards into your living areas, and that air brings along anything that is in it. This includes dust, mold spores, bacteria, and humidity.
Obviously, you don’t want any of this in the air you breathe all day long. You especially don’t want mold spores floating around your house. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your crawl space and get rid of anything dangerous or unpleasant that may be there.
Something that crawl spaces in the south are constantly battling is humidity. High humidity is a crawl space’s worst nightmare. That’s because humidity then breeds so many other problems. Some problems you may find in your crawl space and throughout your home that are due to humidity include the following:
Yep, high humidity is definitely the enemy when it comes to your crawl space. Keep in mind that a little bit of humidity is good for the space and keeps things from drying out. But too much humidity will cause these problems and may even bring dangerous situations to your home and family. Let’s talk about how high humidity levels cause each of these issues.
How high humidity levels affect your home:
Humidity is known for growing mold. As you know, mold is never a good thing to have in or around your home. Mold brings along with it toxic fumes that are dangerous to the health of you and your family members, not to mention your pets. Mold should always be removed as soon as possible, and that includes when found in your crawl space. As mentioned before, anything that is in your crawl space’s air will eventually make its way into the air you breathe. Since you don’t want to swallow mold spores every time you breathe, you need to get rid of any mold that may be present.
Humidity is also known for rotting wood. Even if there is no wood present in any other part of your home, it’s likely that the beams used in your crawl space to hold up the floor and carry the weight of your house are made of wood. Now, this wood does its job very well when kept in good condition. But high humidity levels will begin to rot this wood, and eventually, the wood will fail at doing its job. If your home has sagging or wet floors, then it’s likely that the wood below your home is already quite rotted and needs to be replaced as soon as possible. If the wood is allowed to continue to rot, or this rot goes unnoticed for too long, eventually your floors will collapse and someone could get hurt. This is all because of humidity.
Windows and doors that stick to their frames:
When the humidity level rises beneath your home, the humidity level also rises inside your home. You may not even notice the difference, but your window and door frames do. If your window and door frames seem to stick a lot or your windows and doors are difficult to close, this may be because of high humidity levels in your crawl space. Fixing the humidity levels below will also fix these problems above unless of course the humidity has already warped the frames or caused lasting damage. Then you may need to replace them. That’s why you should always take care of high humidity levels before it gets to this point.
High energy bills:
High humidity in your crawl space can also mean high energy bills that you have to pay. High humidity beneath your home makes it more difficult for your HVAC system to keep up and keep your home at a decent temperature. This means that your HVAC system is doing a lot of extra work and wasting a lot of extra energy that you then have to pay for. If your energy bills are higher than normal, your crawl space may be to blame.
Some kinds of pests are drawn to high humidity levels. Depending on where you live, you may end up with a lot of cockroaches, centipedes, earwigs, mice, rats, and more living in your crawl space. This is not only creepy, but these pests bring with them dangerous diseases and nasty germs, which will then enter your home’s air where your family members will breathe it in. Yuck.
Clearly, having high humidity levels in your crawl space is bad and needs to be fixed, but what can be done to fix this problem?
How to fix high humidity levels in your crawl space:
The best way to fix high humidity levels is with crawl space dehumidification. Crawl space dehumidification is simply the process of getting rid of all excess humidity in your crawl space and making sure that no extra humidity is able to get in from now on.
There are a few ways to do this. One way is by installing a dehumidification system in your crawl space. Basically, this means putting a dehumidifier beneath your home and letting it do all the work. Now, this may sound fine and dandy, but you need to be aware that only installing a dehumidifier probably won’t be good enough. Dehumidifiers are great for getting rid of excess humidity for a little while or getting rid of humidity if there’s only a bit extra, but they aren’t great as a permanent solution that will last for years to come.
If you want a permanent solution, you’ll want to look into crawl space encapsulation. Crawl space encapsulation is the process of completely sealing your crawl space and ensuring that no unwanted air, pests, or objects can get in and wreak havoc on your home’s air quality.
Crawl space dehumidification is often brought about with encapsulation. There are different encapsulation systems that range from a single sheet of plastic to several sheets of vapor barrier plus drainage trenches, dehumidifiers, and a sump pump. The kind of system that will work best in your crawl space depends on your location, home, humidity levels, other problems, and how much money you can spend. Obviously, the more complicated your encapsulation system is, the more expensive it’s going to be. However, for most homes with a humidity problem, the extra money is worth it and will ensure that your system lasts for a very long time with very little maintenance.
Who can dehumidify your crawl space?
Crawl space dehumidification is no easy task, and you’re likely going to need a professional’s help to get it done right. While there are ways to dehumidify your crawl space yourself, it’s always better to hire a crawl space expert like Healthy Crawl Space.
Dehumidifying a crawl space yourself comes with many risks. These risks include not laying plastic correctly, leaving leaks or cracks inside the plastic, ruining support beams or other essential areas, not getting all the mold out before laying plastic, and more. As you can see, dehumidifying a crawl space can be a complicated task, and often requires a professional touch.
Crawl space experts know exactly what they’re doing and know the best way to dehumidify a crawl space. They can find the ideal crawl space humidity and help your home stay that way for years to come.
Remember that whether you decide to have your crawl space professionally serviced or not you still need to check up on your crawl space every once in a while. Many homeowners never look into their crawl space or have inspections, and that’s why so many crawl spaces have mold, high humidity levels, rotting wood, and more dangerous problems. If you take the time just a few times a year to enter your crawl space and have a look around, you could save yourself a lot of time and money in the future by catching any issues early on and by having those issues repaired quickly.
You certainly don’t want to let your crawl space sit for years without checking in on it. This is a recipe for disaster and more often than not will end in high expenses, buckled floors, dangerous spores in your home, and more.
One of the best crawl spaces companies in Georgia and South Carolina is Healthy Crawl Space. Healthy Crawl Space knows the industry extremely well and knows the best way to help you with all your crawl space needs. We offer 100% free quotes and easy-to-schedule inspections. You can’t go wrong with Healthy Crawl Space, so give us a call today!