Common Issues with Crawl Space Moisture
There’s a big focus on monitoring your crawl space moisture control. This is why we try to make sure crawl space doors are sealed tight, vents secure, and no leaks from pipes or the surrounding walls.
Why does everyone make such a big deal out of moist crawl space?
The presence of moisture can create a variety of problems not only for your crawl space, but for the home above. Moisture — along with proper temperatures — creates humidity. And the existence of humidity puts potential issues on the fast track.
Common potential issues with poor crawl space moisture control are:
- Rotting Wood
- Degrading Insulation
- Poor Air Quality
Mold is a major problem that can come from moisture in your crawl space. There are a variety of potentially dangerous outcomes of the existence of mold. But the initial step for these negative situations is the necessary conditions to promote mold growth.
Mold only needs a few things in order to thrive: water, food, oxygen, and appropriate temperatures. Most organic material can act as food for mold — this includes the wood used to support your home or the insulation used to protect it. Oxygen is going to be inherently present. Temperatures need to be between 40 degrees and 100 degrees fahrenheit. Combine these factors with moisture and humidity and mold will begin to grow in your crawl space.
The support structure of your home is most likely made of wood. And even though this wood is treated, it can become susceptible to rot over time. The continued presence of moisture will support the growth of fungi which leads to rotting wood.
You don’t need to venture into your crawl space to see evidence of this. Sagging floors are often a sign that the structural stability of your home is beginning to be compromised. These issues will continue to get worse over time without the help of crawl space moisture control. The fungi itself can be treated much like mold, although it will simply return if the conditions that spurred its growth in the first place aren’t addressed.
There are a variety of potential pests that are drawn to the crawl spaces of our homes for many reasons. It’s a place to hide from the heat and rain. There is an abundance of potential food. And if there’s moisture down there, they have access to a water source as well.
Termites, rodents, and other potentially destructive pests will show up if all of the necessary elements are available. The best way to keep these pests from arriving in the first place is to avoid offering everything they need to survive. Exterminators can be called to get rid of any pests that have moved in. Crawl space moisture control will help avoid the reemergence of these pests.
Fiberglass insulation — also known as batt insulation — is a common way to keep the heat and cold from coming indoors. These are the rolls of insulation that have a thin layer of paper along the outside and often pink material on the inside. Insulation can be very useful in certain conditions, but a moist crawl space is not one of them.
The insulation will absorb a lot of the moisture and begin to rot. The fact that they are secured to the floor of your home means this moisture will be in constant contact with wood. Mold growth is a frequent result of this situation. Moisture in your crawl space will soak this insulation leading to it not only failing to offer its usual service, but creating conditions supportive of mold growth.
All of these conditions create an unhealthy environment in your crawl space, which can often lead to an unpleasant odor. Many people don’t like spending time in their crawl space because of the conditions down there. Adding a foul odor only makes the crawl space a more inhospitable environment.
The growth of mold and existence of rot will continue to get worse over time. These factors will only exacerbate an unpleasant odor.
Poor Air Quality
Nobody likes being surrounded by a bad smell. It’s unpleasant. Beyond that, it can be a sign of unhealthy conditions. The air in our crawl spaces also makes its way into our homes. Our air vents often have ducts that run through our crawl spaces. Our floors aren’t entirely sealed. There is also something known as the stack effect that moves the air in our homes toward the roof. This means that any air in your crawl space is actually being pulled into your living quarters.
And if that air contains mold spores or any other potentially harmful elements, everyone in your home is going to be breathing it.
Crawl space moisture control is an essential step to avoiding these potentially dangerous conditions. Crawlspace Doctor serves many locations in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Indiana.