Homeowners with a crawl space have experienced issues with air quality, moisture, and ventilation. These issues should never be ignored. They can affect the structural integrity of the house in the long term. The growth of mold and mildew can pose serious health risks. Cracks in the crawl space can decrease the energy efficiency of the house.
In this post, you will learn what to do and what to avoid completely when cleaning the crawl space air.
So, how do you deal with crawl space air?
There are several options to improve the quality of the crawl space air, including:
- Implement better drainage around the house – drainage issues are the most common causes of dampness in the crawl space. You should have a drainage system that takes into account the slope and built of the crawl space. To ensure water does not get into the foundation or crawl space. Ensure the rainwater is channeled far from the crawl space.
- Installing a crawl space dehumidifier – a crawl space dehumidifier is the most effective way to deal with dampness in the crawl space. The crawl space dehumidifier controls just the conditions in the crawl space. It is specially designed to operate at low temperatures. A crawl space dehumidifier (like Alorair Sentinel HD90 dehumidifier) extracts the excess moisture from the air and pump it out automatically to a safe place.
When choosing the right crawl space dehumidifier you must understand:
- The size of your crawls space.
- The level of humidity in the crawl space.
- The right capacity of crawl space dehumidifier to buy.
What is the benefit of a crawl space dehumidifier?
- Keeps the crawl space humidity below 50%.
- Reduces the rate of wood rot and wearing out of the foundation hence, reduce the cost of house repairs.
- Prolongs the life of HVAC. The ductwork and equipment last longer in a humidity control environment.
- Ensures the house retains its value.
What not to do in the crawl space.
- Don’t install vents in the crawl space. – This is an outdated method used to increase air circulation in the crawl space. This method assumed that if more air was allowed to flow in and out of the crawl space the air in the crawl space would be clean.
However, it has been proven ineffective because if humid air from outside is able to find its way into the crawl place. The cooler temperature would condense the water which would be left in the crawl space. The water stains would lead to the growth of mold, mildew, and rot would begin. Avoid additional vents at all costs!
- Never spray foam in a damp crawl space – in other rooms in the house foam insulation is the most effective form of insulating material. However, in a damp crawl space moisture would be trapped between the foam and the wall. This would be the perfect place for mold to grow and rot to start, hence increasing the odor.
- Don’t install vapor barriers on the floor. – Many Homeowners at one point have been advised to install vapor barriers, especially to floor joists, to keep the moisture from getting the wood joists. This might work right until summer comes. Then the moisture is trapped between the vapor barrier and joists. This lead to mold growth and even faster decay of the wood.
- Never insulate with fiberglass – fiberglass absorbs moisture. Insulating a damp crawl space with fiberglass is a common mistake many homeowners make. Once the fiberglass absorbs the moisture it became the perfect place for mold and fungus to grow.