Monday, November 22nd, 2010 by Samantha Walton
It's been said that there's no place like home, but is that because of its beauty or dysfunction? You deserve a safe, healthy and comfortable home. Before you buy a home that could bring on the discomfort, check out the crawl space.
Although a crawl space can develop some issues along the way, there aren't too many problems that a crawl space repair expert will be unable to fix. What problems should you be on the look out for and how should you respond? Well, let's check them out.
Crawl Space Moisture
Moisture can enter into the environment through vents, the floor and cracks or other openings. But, how exactly does the moisture enter and then cause a problem?
Some crawl spaces have vents because venting the space was thought to solve the moisture problem when it's actually a high contributor! When the air outside the home is hot and humid, within the space is usually significantly cooler. However, when the warmer air enters the space something called the stack effect occurs and increases the relative humidity. When relative humidity increases there's also an increase in moisture and condensation.
It was thought that the vent would bring in air and push out the bad air through another vent. Unfortunately this didn't work as planned. Once the air enters and increases the relative humidity, it then rises throughout the rest of the house. This means whatever's in your crawl space travels through the rest of your home.
It's been estimated that half of the air on the first floor of a home actually comes from the crawl space. So, keep that space clean and dry!
Since many crawl spaces have dirt floors, moisture can easily rise from the soil. Some soil is far moister than others, but when the rains come the water will rise to the top of the soil and this means your crawl space will become moist.
In addition, a moist crawl space will also harbor mold.
Mold comes from moisture. When your crawl space has moisture and organic material like wood or cardboard, it becomes the perfect environment for mold growth.
Once mold grows, it feeds on organic materials and then it spreads within 24 to 48 hours. This also means that you're bound to have a musty smell within your crawl space and throughout your home.
Unfortunately, mold doesn't go away until the source of the moisture goes away. This means: close off the vents, seal the cracks and have a crawl space expert install a vapor barrier and sump pump.
Vapor Barrier and Sump Pump
The vapor barrier will close off the vents and provide a barrier between the floor and the space. This will not only help with moisture control, but it will also provide a tighter seal and lower your utility costs. For the most efficient waterproofing be sure to have a sump pump system installed. This will take the water from beneath the ground and disperse it out and away from the foundation.
Contact Clean Space® of the Carolinas today to schedule a free estimate for crawl space repair in South Carolina. They're the local expert and are ready to help.