When you look into the crawlspace beneath your home, you might see mold, standing water, dampness, or… nothing. Whatever you find, you may have questions about what’s going on down there, and today we’re here to give you answers!
1. What creates wetness in my crawl space?
- Cracks in the foundation, walls, or both are allowing water to get inside
- Lack of proper ventilation introduces moisture to the space
- Poor drainage either allows water to get in and/or prevents it from getting out
- Poor maintenance of flooring, including an unsealed dirt floor
2. Why does a wet crawl space matter?
When a crawl space is wet or even damp, it causes two key problems:
- Mold and mildew are encouraged to grow in damp, dark places, both of which pose a threat to the health of you and your family
- The excess moisture and the mold it can cause also lend themselves to wood rot and other forms of structural deterioration, which affects the health of your home itself!
3. Can’t vents keep my crawl space dry?
Unfortunately, vents cannot and do not ensure your crawl space stays dry.
Moisture and dampness can still accumulate in your crawl space even with vents, which as we know, encourages the growth of mold, mildew, and wood rot. The air flow that vents do provide can also be blocked off by plants or other objects in front of the vent. This will cause the water that drips down the outside walls of your home to enter the crawl space, leading to even more moisture problems.
4. Can The Air In My Crawl Space Enter My Home?
Absolutely! In fact, a surprising percentage of the air in your home comes from your crawls space- 40% or even more.
Air from the crawl space comes upwards through the floors, as well as moving around heating and air ducts. This is why the air quality of your crawl space matters so much! It can have a very negative impact on your home if it brings in excess moisture or mold, leading to headaches, fevers, or respiratory problems
5. What can I do to keep the space dry?
If your crawl space is damp, take the following steps to deal with the problem:
- All moisture needs to be eliminated, including any standing water
- Remove wet or damp insulation and replace it
- Inspect the ventilation system to ensure that it is working properly, and secure a repair as soon as possible if not
- Carefully inspect the space to find any holes, cracks, or areas of weakness that are allowing water to enter
- The final step is to seal up any damaged areas, and most importantly, install a vapor barrier.
What exactly is a vapor barrier? We’ll have a post up on that next week! In the meantime, if you’re experiencing issues with your crawl space or even have other questions, give us a call at the Flood Medix!