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.
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.
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.
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:
Reassuring, isn’t it? There’s only a few conditions that lead to mold, and all are fixable.
You’ll need to fix the issues at their source to eliminate the chances of mold growing. Here’s how:
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.