Crawl Space Humidity Solutions For Your Home

August 22, 2017 , In: Indoors , With: No Comments
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Ever thought about crawl space humidity? It’s way likely that you’ve never given it a second thought. Who would? Crawl spaces certainly aren’t dinner table conversation. Neither is humidity, unless the weather is bad. And when you pair the two together? Well, crawl spaces and humidity are not a duo in most people’s minds.

Humidity Can Cause Damage to Your Health and Your Home

However, humidity in a crawl space can make you sick and damage the structure of your home. Humidity causes a very serious problem: mold. Mold can cause asthma attacks and allergy-like symptoms. If you’ve been coughing and sneezing a lot, and don’t usually, mold could be the culprit. It can also cause skin irritation.

That’s bad enough, but mold is a sign of an even deeper problem: excess humidity. Excess humidity is essentially excess water felt in the air. As a result, if you have mold, you have conditions that can ultimately cause wood to rot and metal to rust. Both those conditions can seriously damage a living space and impair the functions of home items made out of wood or metal. Have wooden beams? They can rot and cause collapse. Have metal air conditioners? They can be damaged by rust.

Mold and excess humidity can also cause pests to love your space. Termites, for example, call rotting wood home, sweet home. They can damage wood to the point where the structure of a space can be seriously compromised.

The Problem With Your Crawl Space

So humidity is a bad thing, but having it in a crawl space compounds the problem. Crawl spaces in a home can be anywhere, but they’re commonly placed in attics or basements. Few people regularly examine crawl spaces. Unless you’re specifically visited by a repair person who needs your crawl space to check out something else, it’s likely to go without human eyes on it for months, years or even decades.

As a result, if a humidity problem develops, it’s very likely to go unnoticed. If a mold problem develops on top of that, it won’t be noticed, either.

After all, if a mold problem develops in your refrigerator, you know it right away. You can see it and throw the offending item away.

Mold in an unseen area won’t be seen, so the conditions leading to it won’t be fixed.

It’s a very good idea to do a walk-around inspection of your home every six months. Many homeowners do this and check pipes, faucets, roofs, etc. — but almost nobody checks the crawl spaces. It’s a good idea to add them to the list.

In the meantime, what if you’re experiencing allergy-like symptoms or run to your crawl space only to find you do have mold? There are two things to do. First, understand what causes mold to develop. Second, learn how to control it.

open window

Why Does an Area Develop Mold?

Mold develops in areas that have too much water. That part is simple.

Now, why does your particular crawl space have too much water? Essentially, there are four potential reasons:

  1. A humid climate
  2. Water leaking from somewhere. Check pipes and drains. Even a very slow leak in a pipe can cause enough moisture that doesn’t evaporate, providing a breeding ground for mold to grow.
  3. Moisture evaporating from the ground. This can be an issue in basement crawl spaces especially. Moisture evaporates from the ground every night. If your crawl space is located in a vulnerable space, it might be conducive to developing mold.
  4. Outdoor air coming in and condensing into moisture once it hits the crawl space.

Reassuring, isn’t it? There’s only a few conditions that lead to mold, and all are fixable.

How to Fix the Problem

You’ll need to fix the issues at their source to eliminate the chances of mold growing. Here’s how:

  1. If you have a humid climate, a dehumidifier is a good idea. Checking the crawl space every six months for signs of mold should be part of your regular home maintenance plan, too.
  2. Do a thorough inspection of pipes and drains. Fix any leaks you find. Here, too, a thorough check of pipes and drains every six months will prevent a problem from occurring.
  3. You can encapsulate the crawl space and close the outside vents. This is best done by a professional so that moisture doesn’t enter the crawl space.
  4. If outdoor air enters through open windows near the crawl space, making sure the windows are closed will likely be enough to fix the condensation problem.

While most people don’t even think of crawl space humidity as an issue, it can cause mold. Mold is a major problem, capable of causing illness and damage to the home. Regularly check your crawl space for mold and the excess moisture conditions that cause it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, after all.

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Crawl Space Humidity Solutions For Your Home
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Crawl Space Humidity Solutions For Your Home
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If you use your crawl space for storage, you should probably be concerned with crawl space humidity. Check out these tips to prevent excess humidity!
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Your Wild Home
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Megan

Editor at Your Wild Home
Hey! I'm Megan. I am a dog-lover and enjoy exploring the outdoors. Your Wild Home covers a lot of topics, including (but not limited to) home improvement, home decor, construction, real estate, and sustainability. I enjoy writing in third-person and I am addicted to chocolate, coffee, and terrible puns. Learn more on my About Me page!

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