It can get toasty and humid at times in California. Historically the state’s residents have had issues with crawl space humidity when the there isn’t enough ventilation. Unfortunately, residents are often overwhelmed with excess moisture throughout their crawl space, leading to mold, mildew, rusting metals, and rotting wood, as well as an increase in unhealthy allergens and odors, which can creep up into the home via air circulation.
These issues are not only harmful to your home and will cause you a headache if you’re in the process of selling. Mold and mildew love wood. If those support beams or floorboards begin to rot, the consequences could be disastrous. The issues caused by high humidity can also be damaging to your health, especially if you already suffer from allergies, asthma, or lung problems.
Thankfully, humidity is fairly simple to control. Below are a few simple and cost-effective ways (some may not be cheap up front, but purchasing these now will save you much more money in the long run).
Crawl Space Vents and Fans: Fans can do a lot to help out the humidity problem in your crawl space. These help to move air from your upstairs living space into your sealed crawl space. Vents move air from the outside into your crawl space; this may or may not be appropriate depending on the weather and temperature in your area. Keep in mind that crawl space vents and fan sometimes do not do enough if there is excessive moisture and vents can also be an access point for pests and insects. You may need to use a dehumidifier as well or in place of a vent or fan.
Crawl Space Dehumidifiers: There are several different dehumidifiers to choose from, mostly depending on the size of your crawl space. Do not buy too big for your needs. Bulky dehumidifiers can run your energy bill up high; if you are concerned, check out energy efficient systems. Even if you have waterproofed your crawl space, it is still recommended to invest in a dehumidifier.
Crawl Space Vapor Barrier: By choosing this option, you will need to seal up any doors or vents until they are airtight. If your crawl space is damp, it will be necessary to dry it out (there are options for this and a professional can assist you). Encapsulating the crawl space would be the next step, and once that is finished, placing a dehumidifier down there to get rid of any excess moisture is key.
Sometimes getting rid of the moisture and humidity can be done by trial and error. If starting out with a vent and/or fan doesn’t do the trick, then you know that you need to look at investing in a vapor barrier and dehumidifier. Neglected moisture underneath can end up having disastrous consequences for your home and your health and well-being.
If you do decide that you’d like to encapsulate your crawl space and need some advice going forward with it, give Restoration Certified Specialists, Inc. a call in Santa Rosa, CA. RCS prides themselves in excellent customer service and in being experts in water and mold restoration and also specialize in creating moisture and vapor barrier for crawl spaces. They treat each project with the utmost importance and care.