Crawlspaces are commonly found in many areas of the country, and they may be used in conjunction with basements or as an alternative to basements. This is a small area that often is unfinished, and its location under the house makes it prone to be humid and even wet at times. Because of this, issues related to wood rot, mold growth and other forms of water damage are common in a crawlspace. This type of damage can reduce the longevity of your crawlspace drastically, but the good news is that there are some tools available that can help you to improve the life span of your space and take better care of your home.
Humidity and moisture in a crawlspace generally will come from two different sources. The first source is moisture seeping in from the walls around the crawlspace, and this is most common when it has been raining and the ground soil is saturated. The other source relates to a temperature differential between the air inside the crawlspace and the ground soil outside. Investing in a dehumidifier is a great way to lower the humidity level and to minimize the impact of mold growth, water damage and more in this space.
Ventilation is important if you want to maximize the longevity of your crawlspace. If your space does not currently have air vents installed, take time to install at least a few of these features in strategic locations. Air vents promote superior ventilation, and this can reduce humidity and moisture. In addition, it can decrease the impact of temperature differential by assisting with the stabilization of the temperature. Generally, at least two air vents are needed to create a cross-breeze in the area, but more air vents may be needed for larger spaces.
Air vents are a great option for an unfinished space or a space that is not sealed and insulated. Sealing and insulating your crawlspace will reduce the impact of humidity, moisture and temperature differential in the space. This effort can be combined with the installation of HVAC ducts that carry climate-controlled air into the space. This can be one of the more costly and significant efforts to take to improve the crawlspace, but it also can be the most effective. HVAC systems can maintain a desired temperature in the space, and they also can reduce humidity with wonderful results.
The unique position of the crawlspace beneath the home makes it a critical component to the structural integrity of the building. Issues related to wood rot and mold growth can easily result in structural damage for the foundation and the entire home if the problem becomes significant. With this in mind, improving the longevity and taking steps to minimize the effects of temperature differential, moisture and other factors are necessary if you want to take great care of your home. Think about how you can implement some of these different ideas in the weeks to come to improve your space.