Swampiness or a Crawl Space Dehumidifier. The Choice Is Yours.
Did you know that elevated humidity can cause or aggravate many health issues? It can impact your air conditioner’s ability to regulate temperature effectively, thus making it work harder.
Controlling humidity in an uninsulated crawl space requires a few straightforward fixes, like installing a dehumidifier.
If you are experiencing higher than normal humidity levels inside your home, those higher levels could result from moist air rising from your crawl space.
Do you want to know how to mitigate humidity in your crawl space and home, improve your health, and protect your home’s structural integrity? Read on.
WHAT IS HUMIDITY?
Humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air. Relative humidity measures the amount of water in the air in relation to the maximum amount of water vapor (moisture). The higher the temperature, the more water vapor the air can hold. The relative humidity is what your morning weather reporter would refer to as you begin your day.
What should the humidity levels be in a sealed crawl space? Above 65%, you’ll begin to see problems, and anything above 75% is cause for worry.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH HUMIDITY IN MY CRAWL SPACE?
It’s not like you’re hanging out in your crawl space, so why would you care if it’s damp? The answer is the air in your crawl space, or basement rises into your living space through whatever opening it can find.
Air at the lowest point in your crawl space naturally flows to what’s above it. Warm air rises in your home; cold air replaces it. This is known as the stack or chimney effect. It is also the driving force behind a fireplace draft up a chimney. And it means 50% of the air you breathe on the first level of your home has migrated up from your crawl space.
WHAT CAUSES HUMIDITY IN MY CRAWL SPACE?
- Damp ground
- Humid outside air
- Groundwater and flooding.
In dirt crawl spaces, the top layer may appear dry, but moist dirt lies beneath the surface. It is a continuous source of moisture that seeps into your crawl space air.
Most crawl spaces in the South have ventilation that allows air to flow freely in and out of the area. So, if the humidity outside is high, the air in your crawl space is also high.
CAN HUMIDITY DAMAGE MY HOUSE?
Humidity in your crawl space means your home’s foundation is more exposed to mold, mildew, and fungus, which can cause wood rot and decay. This decay can impact your support beams and subflooring.
That dreaded humidity can also cause floors to sag (because of the weakened subflooring) and threaten the integrity of your home’s structure. Moisture moving into your home can damage the upholstery on your heirloom furniture and favorite clothing.
IS IT TRUE HUMIDITY CAN IRRITATE MY HEALTH?
Besides the general feeling of swampiness (a southern thing), humidity can also impact air quality in your home. Mold and fungus spores from your crawl space can cause breathing issues. It can also trigger allergies and irritate your eyes and respiratory system.
WHAT ABOUT CRITTERS IN MY CRAWL SPACE?
The simple answer is all living things need water to survive, which attracts pests, dust mites, rodents, and insects. These include termites that can vandalize your property. If you notice an increase in critters, immediately address the source of the problem.
YOU’VE HEARD THE UGLY, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GOOD?
Reducing moisture in your crawl space with these three solutions can help prevent most of your problems.
- Vapor barriers
YOU HAVE THE ANSWERS. DO NOT WAIT TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS.
A crawl space dehumidifier paired with the solutions above can reduce humidity, improve air quality in your house, and prevent reduced structural integrity.