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This dirty crawlspace in Westville, IL had standing water in areas and high relative humidity levels. It was the perfect environment to foster mold growth and was attracting pests like crickets. High moisture levels can also rot floor joists which may result in structural damage. The dirt floors turned to mud with every rain and the crawlspace was completely unusable for storage. Woods recommends the CleanSpace encapsulation system. It seals off the crawlspace from outside moisture coming into the crawlspace through the foundation walls and floors of the crawlspace. The system deters pests and is mold resistant. It also can make homes more comfortable by keeping hot and cold air from getting into the crawlspace which can cause drafts, heat ductwork, and raise energy bills.
Woods uses a hydrometer to measure humidity in a crawlspace. Mold spores will become dormant if relative humidity is at 50% or below. In this Westville, IL crawlspace, the relative humidity was measured at 86.1% which is very high! High humidity can foster mold growth and create a perfect environment for pests. Along with the CleanSpace encapsulation system, Woods recommends installing the SaniDry dehumidifier when humidity levels are high. The SaniDry removes up to 109 pints of water from crawlspace air a day, which keeps relative humidity low to prevent mold growth and musty smells.
Mold needs three things to thrive: moisture, a food source, and warm temperatures. Mold feeds on organic materials. When a crawlspace has high humidity and moisture levels, organic materials break down and provide a food source for mold. Dirt floors in a crawlspace can also provide a food source for mold. Warm air can make its way into a crawlspace if it's not encapsulated. Knowing all this, is there anything alarming about the situation shown in this Westville, IL crawlspace? The CleanSpace encapsulation system helps to alleviate environmental factors that foster mold growth. The CleanSpace moisture barrier covers the foundation walls and dirt floors and prevents moisture from entering the crawlspace. It also has a mold-resistant additive called "UltraFresh," so it won't support mold or mildew growth on its surface.
Standing water can cause high humidity and moisture levels which may affect the pipes and ductwork that run through the crawlspace. It can rust pipes which might result in plumbing leaks and other plumbing problems in the home. The high humidity and temperature can also heat the ductwork, making it harder to cool the home which raises energy bills. Woods recommends encapsulating the crawlspace to keep moisture levels low. Drainage matting is installed on the dirt floors as part of the system which has a dimpled design to provide channels to disperse standing water to the SmartPipe perimeter drainage system which drains the water to the SmartSump pump for removal.
This album shows examples of problems that arise in a wet, dirty crawlspace.