We’ve written about crawl spaces from time to time, but we’re pretty passionate about making sure your home and your family are protected from the dangers of an open crawl space.
Over half of the air we breathe in our homes comes from the crawl space underneath. Even with a concrete slab, you still have water, pests, and mold spores in the crawl space, contaminating the air that you breathe. If your crawl space has a dirt floor, it’s even worse.
As the air rises from the crawl space and fills the rest of your house, it is replaced with air that comes in through open vents and cracks in your foundation. This circulation of air is called a “stack effect” and is what you see when a chimney pulls the smoke up and out of the house, instead of filling the room.
So, you can see that whatever is in the air in your crawl space will eventually end up in the air throughout the house. If your crawl space is not sealed, you will be dealing with excess moisture, insects, critters, and more. The dirt floor may even be dusty, but if you dig down a little bit, you’ll hit wet earth which is evaporating into the crawl space’s air.
Seal Off Your Crawl Space
The only way to manage the humidity level of your crawl space is to seal it off with a vapor barrier. Crawl space encapsulation is one of the best ways to keep water, bugs, and mold out of your home. Don’t be tempted to run to the local hardware store and pick up a sheet of vinyl to do it yourself. The sheeting is probably not thick enough and you won’t be able to close off every opening in your crawl space.
A professional installer, like those at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, will use professional-grade encapsulation material and will make sure to seal off doors, vents, pipes, walls, and more. They’re trained and have the right tools, products, and knowledge to do the job right.
Keeping the crawl space dry will prevent musty odors, mold growth, and pest infestations. In addition to possibly making you and your family ill, these problems can also attack the structural integrity of your home or office. They can cause wood to rot and metal parts to rust. Mold and insects may eat the wooden materials holding your house up and animals can tear up the foundation, die, or leave waste material.
If the humidity in the crawl space is high, the floor above can weaken, causing problems throughout the house. In addition to the destruction that can occur, your energy bills may rise. Having a drier crawl space can help keep those costs in check. If there is a lot of humidity in your home’s air, your air conditioning will have to work harder to cool the house. Studies have shown that you can save 15-25% on your electric bill by taking care of crawl space dampness.
The Right Way to Seal Your Crawl Space
If you want to protect your home and family, make sure your crawl space is sealed and dry with professional crawl space encapsulation by someone like Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. The area should be completely sealed off from the outside air. A thick vinyl sheeting will be installed, covering the floors and walls. The thickness of the sheeting will allow people to walk on it to service equipment, store items, and install a dehumidifier.
You can find out more information at this website put together by the Department of Energy, Dominion Power, and Advanced Energy.
Let Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry make sure your home is dry and safe. We care about your family and your home. Contact us to learn more.