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Maintaining an environmentally friendly and healthy home

In the March/April edition of WebMD the Magazine, contributing writer Lisa Zamosky has an excellent article entitled “Green House”. The article focuses on what the homeowner can do to maintain an environmentally friendly and healthy home. Ms. Zamosky recommends several green products and suggests several routines to keep (or make) your home healthy. She also cites Jordan Josephson, MD, an internationally renowned nasal and endoscopic sinus surgeon in New York as recommending keeping humidity in your home below 60% and keeping moist areas dry as a means of minimizing mold and mildew, two major threats to indoor air quality and two pollutants that can be particularly harmful to those with allergies.

In a study of a home with a vented crawl space in Charleston, South Carolina we found a very close correlation between crawlspace and living space humidity with exterior humidity. After the crawl space was encapsulated, the interior and crawl space humidity numbers dropped dramatically. After encapsulation, the exterior relative humidity varied nearly forty percent (55%-98%) during the test period. During the same time, crawlspace and living space relative humidity fluctuated a mere fifteen percent (40% -55%), always below Dr. Zamosky’s recommended figure of 60%.

When considering crawl space encapsulation, most folks think of aesthetics (a cleaner, less musty and more pleasant smelling home) or they think about protecting their investment (preventing mold and mildew, potential wood rot and making their home more saleable). But there are also major health considerations too – especially for those folks who battle allergies and asthma on a daily basis.


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