Did You Know? The 5 most common problems in a home with a crawlspace (mold, pests, cold floors, buckling floors, and wood rot) are all caused by abnormal moisture levels.
It used to be assumed that simply installing a few more crawlspace vents to bring in outdoor air fixed moisture problems; but did you know this can actually make crawlspace moisture problems worse?
In order to minimize moisture build up in your home it is important to have proper ventilation to prevent against moisture and mold growth. Vapor barriers are commonly installed to prevent water from ruining the structure of your home.
What you can do about crawlspace moisture problems
- Moisture Control
We recommend adding interior and exterior drains for the crawlspace. Crawlspace drains should be separate from the foundation drains. Industry professional, Mike Trotter says, “Good exterior drainage is the first requirement of a crawlspace system.”
- Vapor Barriers/Liners
Once you’ve controlled the moisture issues, close the vents, and add a vapor barrier to the ground and the walls. The Advanced Energy research shows the minimum thickness required to stop the moisture is a 6 mil polyethylene liner.
It is good practice to place a meter in the crawlspace that will monitor the relative humidity. Relative humidity should be kept below 70%, yet not too dry. Having a dehumidifer in areas of your home like the crawlspace, attic, or bathroom will help control your moisture levels.
You may experience an odor after the crawlspace is sealed. As soil starts to decompose, contaminates in the soil emit gases that rise and evaporate into the crawlspace. What can you do? Install a vent pipe and fan (similar to a radon mitigation system) to flush the soil gases to the outside of the house.