Monday, February 15th, 2021 by Alexis Wolfe
A dirt crawl space can lead to a variety of issues, including but not limited to: mold, mildew, bacteria, insects, rotting wooden support beams, cold floors, higher heating costs, unhealthy home air, and more!
What causes crawl space damage?
The four main culprits for crawl space damage are humidity, moisture, temperature changes, and water.
Humidity and Moisture
Humidity and moisture can create all kinds of issues in your crawl space. Among other things, they contribute to wood rot, mold, mildew, and bacteria.
If your crawl space has open vents, then any change in outside temperature will also occur inside the crawl space. This can create a breeding ground for mold in the summer and high heating costs in the winter.
Water in your crawl space can come from a variety of sources. It can be the result of a plumbing leak or from water coming in through the crawl space vents when it rains. This can lead to water damage, especially to wood.
How does water get into my crawl space?
The primary ways that water gets into the crawl space area through vents, condensation, and leaks.
Vents are installed in many crawl spaces, often as the result of outdated building codes. The idea is that a vent will help air circulate in the crawl space and create healthier air. In reality, these vents let in water, mold, mildew, and critters. They also don't protect the crawl space against temperature shifts.
Condensation can happen when the warm outstood air condenses into water in the cool crawl space. This condensed water can drip down from the crawl space ceiling and damage fixtures (especially wood).
Leaks can occur in your crawl space as a result of compromised plumbing or water infiltrating through the vents. This can lead to pooling water in the low areas of the crawl space, which can result in serious damage.
What should I do?
Air that comes in through your crawl space travels upward, infiltrating the rest of your home. If there is mold, mildew, dust, bacteria, or any other unhealthy agent in your crawl space - you can bet that it is in the air in your home as well. This can lead to allergies, asthma, and illness. Getting your crawl space encapsulated and fitted with the appropriate products is an investment that can help to lower your heating costs and improve the air quality within your home.
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