Crawl Space Moisture Prevention and Control

Crawl space problems and damage are very common in Georgia homes. Crawl spaces are the areas inside a house that most people never think much about, until there is a leak, a health issue, a hole in the ceiling, or they want to remodel to obtain extra storage or living space.

Don’t let the word “space” fool you. Crawl spaces are vitally important to the structure of a home. A crawl space is part of the foundation of your house and it is a necessary part of the ventilation process for a home. If your crawl space is affected by a serious issue, it won’t be long before the structural integrity of the house is at risk for damage, pest infestation, or becomes the source of a health issue for a member of your family.

To prevent problems from developing in a home’s crawl space, building engineers recommend cleaning, sealing or encapsulating, and dehumidifying the space. The benefits of these methods help make a home more energy efficient and protect (or eliminate) problems with moisture, odor, mold, and pests.

Crawl Space Humidity Damages Your Home

Humidity in the crawl space leads to the following types problems in your home:

  • rotting, mold
  • rust, corroded Metal
  • odor
  • allergens
  • higher energy costs

Mold in a crawl space is a health hazard for the house and for family members.

As humidity builds in your crawl space, the wood becomes damp. Damp wood in a dark space creates an ideal habitat for rot and mold growth. Rot and mold destroys organic material in your crawl space including metal, floorboards, and support beams. This results in sagging and uneven floors. If the mold and rot are not remediated, sections of the floor begin to cave in—and that is how you get a hole in your ceiling.

Mold spores are a known allergen. Once they get into your walls and vents, they can significantly affect anyone in your home who suffers with allergies or has asthma.

Rotting, molded wood also is food for many types of pests including carpenter ants, wood-eating beetles, crickets, and termites. Open vents will be an invitation for these pests to move in and feast on your crawl space. Additionally, insects attract animals who like to eat them. When these animals die in a crawl space, the odors will seep into your home.

Crawl space humidity can increase a home’s energy bills.

In the summer months, especially, humidity from the crawl space will increase the cost to cool your home. If you see water dripping from a window-mounted air conditioner then that unit is working overtime to cool and dehumidify the air in your home. In the winter months, freezing cold air that enters through the crawl space vents increases the cost to heat your home.

Preventing & Controlling Crawl Space Humidity

Preventing problems related to crawl space humidity is the best safeguard for your home. You have a couple of options, all of which should be performed after an assessment by a qualified home services expert. The last thing you want to do is install a prevention system when you have a hidden pest or mold problem that needs to be remediated, first!

The first steps in prevention and control of crawl space humidity and damage include:

  • Clean out debris and rotted materials, insect or animal nests, fallen insulation, dead bugs or animals.
  • Repair and seal crawl space vents.
  • Address methods for preventing moisture from passing through to floors and porous concrete or stucco walls.
  • Determine if remediation methods are necessary for pests, animals, mold damage.
  • Assess the best method to prevent future problems, such as installing a dehumidifier and/or vapor barrier to encapsulate the crawl space.

Options for Prevention & Control of Moisture in the Home

Houseman Services provides many options for prevention and control of crawl space humidity in a Georgia home.

  • Complete Encapsulation of a crawl space stops the cycle of cold, humid, and moist air from entering. This also stops moisture from passing through your floors and porous concrete walls. A crawl space vapor barrier should be installed to completely encapsulate the crawl space. Houseman Services offers a vapor barrier that is a crisp white, poly-reinforced liner and is mold-resistant. A supply air inducer is attached to supply side of the ductwork and will introduce a small amount of conditioned air into the crawl space to help regulate the relative humidity. It includes a backflow damper to keep bad air from entering the system.
  • Soda Blast Crawl Space Cleaning Everyone agrees that mold problems are serious and need to be solved. But how? Bleach and scrub treatments usually aren’t successful in removing all mold, and bleaching produces hazardous fumes and over spray. Baking soda has the desirable quality of absorbing unpleasant odors –including the nasty smell of mold and mildew. It can also help prevent mold from returning.
  • Soda Blasting is a compressed air cleaning technique that is gentle and clean for inside a home. As with sandblasting, soda blasting involves using air pressure to blow particles against the surface to be cleaned. It is thorough and effective.
  • Mold Resistant Sealer Clear Coat works well on a wide variety of surfaces: wood, painted surfaces, wall board, masonry surfaces, and metal. It provides a clear, water-resistant finish that is both flexible and crack resistant. Depending not the area being treated, it can be applied by hand or with an airless spray system.
  • Crawl Space Insulation Removal is performed by cutting the twine, removing slats or wood laths, or removing the tension wires which were holding the insulation in place. Reaming insulation is pulled down, bagged, and removed.
  • Dehumidifier The crawl space beneath your home is often vulnerable to high humidity which can lead to mold problems, pest infestations, structural damage, and even allergy symptoms for you and your family. A dehumidifier is a great solution for controlling humidity in your crawl space as well as in the basement. A dehumidifying system also prevents excess moisture from entering your main living area.

Keeping the right crawl space humidity level is crucial for the structural integrity of your home and the health of your family members. If you are ready to prevent or take control over a humidity control problem in your home, call Houseman Services at 866-964-7378.

Why Choose Houseman Services?

Houseman Services has over 30 years in the home services industry. We have been servicing homes and businesses in the Athens, Clarke County area since 1985. We pride ourselves on the ability to provide the highest quality customer service, most competitive prices, and best guarantees.

Contact us today for a no-obligation assessment of your home’s needs. From lawn care and wildlife management to pest control and crawl space services, Houseman has got your house covered.

Resources

Solve Crawlspace Moisture Problems (Contracting Business Magazine)

Closing the Crawl  (Builder Online)