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Managing Crawl Space Humidity

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.

hygrometer

How to Moderate Humidity in Your Crawl Space

In warm climates like Santa Rosa, CA in the summer time keeping an eye on the humidity levels in your crawl space is important for a few good reasons. High crawl space humidity means moisture is usually present, creating an environment that is ripe for mold formation and growth, as well as rodent infestation. Rodents are attracted to warm, damp spaces that are protected from the elements. They can leave urine and fecal droppings containing germs that can exacerbate asthmatic or allergic conditions. A ventilated crawl space in a humid climate has a greater potential for mold growth than an unventilated space because vents allow moisture in the air to travel into the home, bringing with it dust mites and any other potentially harmful contaminants that might be present. The moist air can put stress on crawl space beams, causing rot in some cases, and seriously damage insulation, which weakens the structure of a home. Rodents can also travel through vents, and they can nest in your insulation or gnaw on electrical wiring, creating a potential fire hazard.

Insulate Properly

It is recommended that insulation humidity levels remain lower than 70% in crawl spaces to limit the amount of moisture that is present. If moisture is prevalent in a crawl space, the tiny pockets in fiberglass insulation tend to fill with water, and any energy that might be retained is transferred instead, rendering the insulation ineffective. Using foam insulation as opposed to fiberglass in your crawl space can help to reduce the likelihood of excessive moisture as well as the transference of energy. HVAC units work harder, and energy bills rise.

Control Condensation

When condensation is visible on crawl space fixtures, your humidity level is too high for the air to hold the moisture in it. The space will become damp, inviting mold to grow and decreasing air quality in your home. Asthma or allergy sufferers will be the first to know that there is a problem. To avoid this, moisture controls like vapor barriers can be installed in foundation walls to seal out the moisture. Covering vents and doorways with waterproof covers prevents damp air from seeping in. A dehumidifier can also be used to help maintain low humidity and control condensation.

Check Humidity Regularly

A device called a hygrometer measures the humidity in a space. You can purchase one at Wal-Mart or Lowe’s for a reasonably low price to monitor both temperature and humidity in your crawl space. Check it regularly to ensure that humidity is not becoming too high.

If you experience problems with mold or rodent infestation due to high humidity, contact RCS to help. Our crawlspace cleanup service is the perfect ticket for drying out or decontaminating your space. We can also install moisture barriers to prevent the problem from occurring again any time soon.

7 Reasons For A Clean Crawl Space

When it comes to reviewing home care, one area that is often overlooked is the crawl space. Many homeowners don’t realize the vital role the crawl space has in their home. Keeping the area clean, dry and pest free plays a key role in maintaining a homes health. In this article, we are reviewing the 7 benefits of having your crawl space professionally cleaned.

Prevention Of Mold And Mildew

The number one concern with crawl spaces is moisture content. They have a strong tendency to attract moisture and water from natural sources such as groundwater, rainwater, and condensation. Even in the California heat, humidity can cause water to collect in your crawl space which will lead to the growth of potentially harmful molds and mildew. As the crawl space is one of the most neglected areas of the home, the potential for harmful molds increases.

Ensures Structural Integrity

As humidity gathers beneath your home and in your crawl space, the presence of any level of moisture has the potential to seep into your floors and walls. Areas that hold water or allow water to collect allows and encourages the growth of molds. If water seeps into any wooden beams or flooring, there is the likely potential for wood rot to form. This rot will greatly affect the structural integrity of your home and may lead to additional damages.

Save Money With A Clean Crawl Space

You may be surprised to learn that maintaining a clean crawl space goes a long way in helping to maintain your homes set temperature. How is this possible? A dirty crawl space may cause blockage of your vents and ducts. This impedes airflow, causing your air systems or HVAC to work harder, longer.

Clean Air

If your vents and ducts are clogged, chances are they are full of potentially harmful debris. Mildew, molds, and dust can be pushed from the crawl space and into your home. Maintaining a clean crawl space allows for fresh, clean, and breathable air.

Reduce Odors

If you’re finding your home has a lingering odor that just doesn’t seem to go away no matter how much cleaning you do, chances are it’s coming from your neglected crawl space. These odors permeate the area and make their way through your flooring and vents into your home. Causing many of us to question our cleaning abilities and wondering where the hidden source is.

Remove And Control Pest Problems

If you’ve noticed a pest problem in your home, whether it be insects or rodents, chances are they began in your crawl space. With this area being the least to be disturbed, it makes for an excellent nesting area and an easy doorway into your home. Exterminators should be sure to check your crawl space, while our team right here at RCS in Sonoma County can provide a good cleaning to remove all leftover debris.

Provides Clean Access And Storage Space

Aside from acting as an additional storage area for items in your home, your crawl space provides easy access to wires, plumbing and ventilation systems. Having a clean area to work in will only make any repairs and installations go much more quickly, while additionally providing the opportunity for a quick assessment to ensure there are no damages present.

If you’re located in the Sonoma County around Santa Rosa and have a crawl space you may have neglected over the years, don’t be shy! Give us a call right here at Restoration Certified Specialists for a professional assessment and cleaning of your crawl space.

check humidity crawl space sonoma

How to Moderate Humidity In Your Crawl Space

In warm climates like Santa Rosa, keeping an eye on the humidity levels in your crawl space is important for a few good reasons. High crawl space humidity means moisture is usually present, creating an environment that is ripe for mold formation and growth, as well as rodent infestation. Rodents are attracted to warm, damp spaces that are protected from the elements. They can leave urine and fecal droppings containing germs that can exacerbate asthmatic or allergic conditions. A ventilated crawl space in a humid climate has a greater potential for mold growth than an unventilated space because vents allow moisture in the air to travel into the home, bringing with it dust mites and any other potentially harmful contaminants that might be present. The moist air can put stress on crawl space beams, causing rot in some cases, and seriously damage insulation, which weakens the structure of a home. Rodents can also travel through vents, and they can nest in your insulation or gnaw on electrical wiring, creating a potential fire hazard.

Insulate Properly 

It is recommended that insulation humidity levels remain lower than 70% in crawl spaces to limit the amount of moisture that is present. If moisture is prevalent in a crawl space, the tiny pockets in fiberglass insulation tend to fill with water, and any energy that might be retained is transferred instead, rendering the insulation ineffective. Using foam insulation as opposed to fiberglass in your crawl space can help to reduce the likelihood of excessive moisture as well as the transference of energy. HVAC units work harder, and energy bills rise.

Control Condensation

When condensation is visible on crawl space fixtures, your humidity level is too high for the air to hold the moisture in it. The space will become damp, inviting mold to grow and decreasing air quality in your home. Asthma or allergy sufferers will be the first to know that there is a problem. To avoid this, moisture controls like vapor barriers can be installed in foundation walls to seal out the moisture. Covering vents and doorways with waterproof covers prevents damp air from seeping in. A dehumidifier can also be used to help maintain low humidity and control condensation.

Check Humidity Regularly

A device called a hygrometer measures the humidity in a space. You can purchase one at Wal-Mart or Lowe’s for a reasonably low price to monitor both temperature and humidity in your crawl space. Check it regularly to ensure that humidity is not becoming too high.

If you experience problems with mold or rodent infestation due to high humidity, contact RCS to help. Our crawlspace cleanup service is the perfect ticket for drying out or decontaminating your space. We can also install moisture barriers to prevent the problem from occurring again any time soon.

How to Maintain Safe Humidity to Reduce Mold in Your Home

How to Maintain Safe Humidity to Reduce Mold in Your Home

Maintaining humidity in your home is a careful balance. Low humidity can be uncomfortable, while too much humidity can lead to mold and result in damage to your home and a host of health problems for you and your family.

How to Maintain Safe Humidity to Reduce Mold in Your Home

Problems Caused by Humidity

High levels of moisture in the air cause a variety of problems in your home. Increased dampness can cause paint and wallpaper to bubble and peel. High humidity can create a hospitable environment for insects, like cockroaches and termites, as well as mold. When mold grows in a home it can result in unsightly staining on walls and other surfaces as well as health issues.

Health Concerns Over Mold

Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp conditions. Mold can cause health problems, like nasal congestion and a scratchy throat, as well as difficulty breathing. In some cases mold exposure can lead to respiratory infections and life-threatening conditions.

Causes of High Humidity

Certain rooms in a home, like bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and basements, are prone to mold growth. Steamy showers, boiling water and unfinished concrete walls can contribute to high humidity. Newer energy-efficient homes create ideal conditions for mold growth. Homes which are sealed up to conserve energy and keep cooling or heating inside, also work to prevent excess moisture from escaping. This moisture buildup can lead to mold. Unheated and uncooled rooms easily grow mold as well.

How to Measure Humidity

When you see mold growing, it is evident you have a problem, but it also is possible for mold to grow and remain unseen. In this instance, you or your family may experience symptoms of mold exposure without realizing the cause. The ideal humidity level in your home should around 45 percent. You can determine the humidity using a hygrometer, which is a device that measures the amount of moisture in the air. Many hardware and home-good stores sell hygrometers. By identifying the amount of moisture in your home you can create a plan to adjust it accordingly.

How to Lower Humidity

One of the most effective ways to lower the humidity in your home is through exhaust fans. Placing exhaust fans in key areas, like bathrooms and above a range or cooktop in the kitchen can whisk excess moisture out of the home. In new homes automatic exhaust fans or ventilation systems can decrease humidity. In basements and other damp areas, a dehumidifier can bring the humidity levels down to a safe and comfortable level. When making renovations or building new construction, opt for mold-resistant drywall and paint in rooms that are likely to experience high levels of humidity.

Mold Remediation

Preventative measures can stop the problem before it sets in, but if your home already has mold it is pivotal to quickly and thoroughly remove the fungus to prevent further exposure. Learn how to undo mold damage in your home and keep your family safe.