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Experiencing High Levels of Crawl Space Humidity? Here’s What to Do

By Chuck Henrichsen on June 22, 2017

crawl space humidityCrawl space humidity is no laughing matter. Maintaining a healthy crawl space humidity level is the safest way to protect it from humidity-related damage.

We’re going to look at some of the ways to spot whether your crawl space exceeds recommended crawl space humidity levels. We’ll also talk about some of the dangers that you expose your home to when you don’t deal with excess crawl space humidity. Finally, we’ll look at ways to help you make crawl space repairs and set up systems that allow you to prevent future crawl space humidity problems.

 

Is Your Crawl Space Humid?

To determine what kind of humidity prevention system your crawl space needs, you must first determine whether the humidity in your crawl space exceeds recommended crawl space humidity levels.

Unfortunately, for homeowners in many parts of the country humidity levels are a constant issue for homes and crawls spaces. This humidity is exacerbated by the rainy season and frequent low-pressure systems found here in the Northwest. While you certainly can’t control the humidity outdoors, you can certainly work to combat crawl space humidity damage that’s already been done to your home.

Visual inspection can tell you a lot about whether your crawl space has humidity-related damage. Telltale signs include water condensation, fuzzy looking boards, and visible mold damage. If you’d rather not climb down into your musty crawl space, then hiring a professional to make an expert inspection of your crawl space will guarantee an accurate assessment.

 

The Dangers of Crawl Space Humidity

Whether you have crawl space damage or not, a crawl space that repeatedly hits humidity levels above 70% relative humidity is in danger of causing damage to your house. In fact, for many homes, the most common crawl space repairs are related to humidity issues.

Crawl space damage caused by humidity is serious. Neglected crawl space humidity can even cause serious structural damage to your home - a true nightmare!

 

Pests

What’s worse than a moldy, drippy crawl space? One that’s also inhabited by bugs or rodents. With humidity comes the warmth that many outdoor bugs and pests simply can’t resist, turning your crawl space into the ideal habitat for all kinds of pests. If you suspect a pest problem, contact an exterminator immediately to help you deal with the problem.

 

Mold Development

Wet spaces naturally attract mold, which is not only detrimental to your home’s health but your family’s health as well. Mold requires ample darkness, moisture, and food to survives – and humid crawl space provides all three of these things in abundance.

Combatting mold can be a huge challenge once the problem sets in. Oftentimes, removing mold requires strong chemicals or total replacement of affected materials. Floor joists, plywood, insulation and other building materials have appetizing organic materials that automatically attract mold when combined with moisture. If you have an older home, you should assess the mold situation in your crawl space and devise a plan of action.

 

 

Wood Rot

Neglected mold and wood damage can quickly turn into full-on wood rot. If not caught quickly, wood rot can jeopardize the structural integrity of your entire home.

If you’re facing problems with wood rot, your crawl space requires immediate attention to replace the affected wood so that supports do not fall apart. While removing the affected areas and replacing with new wood generally solves the problem, you should also consider humidity prevention measures for the future.

 

How To Regulate Crawl Space Humidity

Regulating crawl space humidity is the most important way to combat the impacts of crawl space humidity damage. There are a few very effective ways to address crawl space humidity and prevent future moisture-related problems.

First, you need to assess whether your crawl space has any open areas that allow moisture to enter. It probably does – most homes do. Once you’ve found these areas, seal and repair them to prevent moisture from entering in the future.

Once it’s sealed, look into venting your crawl space. For some crawl spaces, this is a good way to get excess moisture out. For others, it complicates the moisture problem, so work with a professional to determine what will be best for your house.

Additionally, consider a crawl space fan that cycles the air to help break up humidity and prevent moisture from settling. There are specific models designed exactly to help combat crawl space humidity with directed airflow.

 

More Information

Learn how our services can help you get your crawl space from a hidden moisture playground to a safe environment that improves your property value and family’s health. For more information about crawl space humidity, or to get and inspection for your crawl space, contact Clean Crawls for an inspection.

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Chuck Henrichsen
President and CEO of Clean Crawls, Treasurer of E3 World Wide, proud husband and father.

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