Your home’s crawl space comprises many crucial building components of the foundation. A compromised crawl space endangers the structural integrity of the foundation system, your family’s health, and your energy bills. Damage happens when the environment in your crawl space is moist, warm, and contains high water vapor levels. Exposes joists, support beams, subfloor, piers, block foundation walls, and more will become affected by these undesirable conditions.
Symptoms of Water Penetration
Groundwater levels differ according to the amount of precipitation. These fluctuating moisture levels are the core of crawl space moisture problems. If the groundwater level remains near the crawl space elevation, water levels can range from complete flooding to smaller areas of standing water. Large amounts of water cause rot, mold, and the deterioration of wood structural components much faster than simply having a humid crawl space.
The enclosed environment of the subsurface soil base, open-earth evaporation, elevation, topography, and exterior perimeter drainage all contribute to the crawl space issues like mold, mildew, fungus, insect infestations, wildlife shelter, and other microorganisms.
Wet, moist crawl spaces can contribute to anywhere from 10 to 15 gallons of water (from vapor) throughout your home each day. Water vapor enters the crawl space through concrete walls, slabs, foundation blocks, vents, and the soil. After entry, the water vapor travels upward throughout your home and will eventually condense when it encounters cooler surfaces of walls and ceilings.
Condensed water accumulates and saturates inside exterior walls, insulation, as well as in the roof and attic spaces. As water vapor raises humidity levels, the growth of mold, mildew, fungus, and other microorganisms is promoted. Keeping water vapor from entering your home can prevent significant and costly damages to the structural integrity.
Mold Contributes to Health Problems
Physical indications that the air quality throughout your home has been negatively impacted by dampness in your crawl space are:
- Wet insulation
- Mold growths
- Peeling paint on exterior surfaces
- Damage to roofing materials or the underside of roof sheathing.
Exposure to mold spores, odors, humidity, insect infestations, and wildlife looking for shelter produces an increasingly unhealthy environment. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with chronic illnesses or existing respiratory sensitivities are at higher risk for adverse health effects of mold, mildew, fungus, and other microorganisms. Crawl spaces with excessive moisture are also an ideal shelter for insects and other animals that thrive in damp environments and wet materials. That means more damage from bugs like termites, which will love the soft, damaged wood.
Plenty of homeowners don’t know how their dirt crawl space is compromising their health.
- Chronic allergies
- Cold and flu symptoms
- Respiratory problems
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Skin irritations
- Increased asthma attacks
If you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms, it may be time to investigate yourself or, get a free consultation from the professionals.