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In this 3-part series, Woods Basement Systems and Dr. Energy Saver St. Louis examine 3 common crawl space problems that are increasing your discomfort, making your home stink, and robbing your wallet.
Read This First: Blame It On Your Crawl Space (Part 1)
FACT: Standing water and high humidity are the primary ingredients for a musty, mold-ridden crawl space. Damp in wet weather, and hot and humid during the summer—your crawl space stinks and could be rotting your home from the inside out.
In Part 1, we discussed how sealing and insulating your crawl space reduces drafts and cold floors in the winter while helping your HVAC system run more efficiently. Sealing your crawl space is just as important in wet weather and warmer seasons.
Groundwater seeps through block walls, leaks through foundation cracks, and pools in your crawl space. The standing water later results in a stench as it evaporates upward into your house and saturates wood floor joists, the rim joist, and sill plate—creating a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and wood rot.
Your crawl space doesn't have to flood to be a problem. Water actually does very little to ruin a home with a dirt crawl space. It's the water vapor that causes problems. Exposed earth in dirt crawl spaces provides a steady stream of water vapor into your home. As hot, humid summer air enters a cooler crawl space, the humidity in the air condensates. Insulation gets wet with condensation, gets heavy and sags, and eventually falls to the floor in useless heaps. Damp wood rots, and mold grows on it.
Mold is detrimental to your health. Mold irritates people with asthma and moid allergies. Studies also show that prolonged exposure to mold can actually cause asthma, and mold spores can have a significant impact on children's health.
You can ignore your crawl space, but it'll cost you. Here's what you need to do:
In Blame It On Your Crawl Space (Part 3), we explore the impact wood rot and other agents have on the structural integrity of your home.