Vaporous Crawlspaces – Crawlspaces are a unique foundation. Lofted above the ground they provide a refuge for air to cool your home naturally. With easy access and plenty of room near the foundation, crawlspaces can make maintenance and upkeep simple for any homeowner. That same lofted foundation can lead to headaches, both physical and psychological, when not maintained properly.
What Is So Bad About Vaporous Crawlspaces?
Crawlspaces are not a place that can be left alone and forgotten. Around half the air on the ground floor of your home comes from the crawlspace. When a crawlspace is not maintained that air can be contaminated with bacteria, fungus, and other nasty pollutants. Those pollutants lead to respiratory issues, chronic health conditions and even damage to the foundation of the home.
A crawlspace can have a variety of issues. from pests taking over and making your crawlspace an intimidating place to enter, to termites wreaking havoc on your foundation. many living creatures can turn your crawlspace into an unsavory feeding ground beneath your home. Even simple organisms like fungus can eat away at the integrity of your structure and incur significant costs to fix. One of the biggest contributors for causing these issues under homes comes from moisture levels rising in the crawlspace.
Environmental conditions around the home may make it susceptible to accumulating moisture. Sloping ground can lead to water entering the crawlspace and increasing the humidity underneath. While the ground may appear dry, that moisture evaporates and sits on the foundation of the home. Unfortuantely, leading to serious health and structural problems.
How do I prevent moisture in my crawlspace?
Furthermore, preventing moisture in a crawlspace is an absolute necessity, not only for the health of your home, but for the inhabitants as well. The first step in keeping moisture levels low is the application of a vapor barrier. Sometimes called a moisture barrier, laying a strong sheet of polyethylene is your first step in lowering moisture in a crawlspace. By covering the ground, and sealing the spaces around piers and the walls, any moisture in the ground is kept from evaporating past the sheet of plastic. Additionally, this keeps your humidity low, preventing vapor from permeating the structure of the home and damaging the foundation.
Moisture barriers are only a preventative measure which may not completely protect the crawlspace. Exposed Insulation can hold moisture directly in contact with the floor, causing many of the same issues as moisture from the ground. However, even improper ventilation can lead to an excess of moisture when air is especially humid. Installing a sump pump to remove the moisture from the crawlspace, or even a dehumidifier to lessen the moisture in the air can be vital solutions to properly maintaining a crawlspace and protecting your home.
Lastly, full encapsulations are the best method of protection. By completely sealing, and installing the proper machinery to combat dangerous vapor levels, a homeowner is able to keep a clean, crisp crawlspace free of moisture and damage. Regularly scheduled inspections of the machinery ensure that the crawlspace is well kept and properly maintained.