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Summer Time and Crawlspace Moisture

This is a busy time of year for us. We are getting lots of calls from folks nationwide who are concerned about their crawlspaces. For one reason or another they have found it necessary to get into their crawlspaces and have discovered all sorts of unpleasant things. I even had one gentleman call and say that his crawlspace was like a rain forest with water dripping off the floor joists, ductwork, plumbing, and insulation.

People have called because of nasty, musty smells. They’ve called because their expensive hardwood floors were cupping. Some have called because their neighbors have told them how much cleaner their homes seemed after encapsulating.

For whatever reason they called, in 99% of the cases the problems were caused by excessive humidity. With the hot, humid weather the nation’s been experiencing this summer, the problems are compounded. Being always shaded and usually below grade, a crawlspace is naturally cooler than the outside air. When the hot, humid outside air enters the crawlspace through vents, the water in the humid air condenses on the cooler surfaces just like water condenses on an iced tea glass sitting on your kitchen table. In extreme cases, so much water condenses that it begins dripping off the crawlspace surfaces and it begins to “rain” in the crawlspace.

This creates all sorts of problems. Nothing destroys the effectiveness of insulation like moisture. Excessive humidity creates the perfect environment for mold, mildew, and fungus growth and their associated odors. And hardwood floors will cup because of the differential in moisture content between the bottom, unfinished surface and the top, finished surface in a conditioned space.

So what’s the solution? At Your Crawlspace, we believe the most cost effective solution is crawlspace encapsulation. We’ve been doing it since 2006. Crawlspace encapsulation is not difficult. Most any homeowner with basic home maintenance skills can do it. All they need is the material. That’s where we can help. 

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