Gearing Up for the Season: What to Look for
At Your Crawlspace, this is an exciting time of the year for us. We are gearing up for the season! We are getting ready to start receiving daily calls from both homeowners and contractors alike, who are concerned about their crawlspaces. What are their concerns? Well, there are many.
- “The rain forest effect” as I like to call it. Condensation dripping from nearly every surface of the crawlspace
- Odors. The infamous cat urine smell.
- Falling insulation
- Cupping floors
- Annual termite inspection
The interesting thing is that these all have one thing in common. Moisture! 99% of the calls we receive (even in the winter!) are related to excessive moisture and humidity.
One of the things I love about my job is working through and explaining these issues to our customers. Crawlspaces, while scientifically are fairly complex, all have the same problems! So, why and how is moisture/humidity so detrimental to your crawlspace? Because crawlspaces are always shaded and frequently below grade, the temperature stays cool year-round. So, when the hot, humid outside air enters the crawlspace (typically through foundation vents), the water in the air condenses on the cooler surfaces just like water condenses on a cold glass outside. Sometimes, the condensation is extreme (“The rain forest effect”) and water is visibly dripping everywhere. We see this most commonly on duct work. However, other times, it is not necessarily visible.
Often times, it is the crawlspaces that appear fine that ultimately have the biggest issues. When tiny droplets of water begin forming between the insulations paper back and the subfloor, mold begins to grow. More often than not, this mold will go undetected because it is not initially visible. The subfloor will begin to slowly absorb the water causing the woods moisture content to rise and hardwood floors to “cup”. The moisture in the crawlspace creates an environment for wood destroying insects and rodents to thrive. Eventually, the insulation will become saturated and begin to fall. Usually, it is at this point that someone realizes that something is wrong. We see this sequence all to often. However, every home is different.
So, what is the solution? At Your Crawlspace, we firmly believe the solution is an encapsulated crawlspace. Since 2006 we have been designing systems to solve crawlspace problems all over the country. We can provide everything you need to install the best possible system for you or one of your customers. Our systems are simple to install, require no mechanical fasteners, and are guaranteed for 25 years! So, while we are gearing up for the season, know what to look for in your crawl space.