American Society of Home Inspectors' St. Louis Chapter Requests Continuing Education Class by Crawl Space Science Expert
The St. Louis Chapter of American Society of Home Inspectors meets monthly for continuing education classes at Spazio Westport in St. Louis, Missouri. For their June training, the organization requested a crawl space expert from Woods Basement System to lead a continuing education discussion on "Crawl Space Science."
"Woods is recognized as a leader in basement and crawl space technology," said Rick Michalicek, 2013 ASHI St. Louis Chapter Secretary. "A Woods representative would carry more weight than a general home inspector simply moderating discussion."
Rick relies heavily on the book Crawl Space Science as he believes it is "full of good information." So, Rick asked local crawl space expert, Dave Thompson, to lead the discussion.
Dave addressed the problems moisture and humidity cause in crawl spaces. He explained how mold thrives in damp crawl spaces and can lead to wood rot and structural problems. One common question often asked of Dave is whether a vented crawl space is a good idea.
"If it's in your crawl space, it's in your house," Dave explained. "Because of the 'stack effect,' you breathe crawl space air whether you like it or not...so do you really want it vented?"
The "stack effect" is a term used to describe the movement of air into and out of buildings. As hot air rises and escapes through your attic and upper levels, it creates a vacuum that pulls in outside at the lower levels-typically a basement or crawl space.
"When a crawl space is vented, you're not only inviting pests and rodents into your home," Dave explained, "but you're letting cold air (in the winter) or humid outside air (in the summer) into your crawl space. This either saturates your wooden building materials with moisture or creates condensation on cooler surfaces."
Dave concluded with a four-step solution to eliminating moisture and humidity in crawl spaces. First, home owners should fix water leakage with a powerful sump pump system. The next step is to isolate the house from the damp earth by installing a strong and durable vapor barrier. Once vents and other air leaks are sealed, homeowners should then condition and filter the crawl space air with a quality dehumidifier.
Woods Basement Systems has been sealing Missouri and Illinois crawl spaces for over 26 years. Basement, crawl space, and foundation experts are available for lectures, seminars, and other professional development training. To book an expert for your next event, call 1-866-627-6475 or contact us online.