Moisture problems in South Carolina Crawlspaces
There has been a lot of research on crawl space moisture control in the last decade. The US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Energy and a variety of independent, private and nonprofit research companies like Advanced Energy have done extensive research.
The conventional wisdom of a vented crawl space being the best way to control crawl space humidity has not only been proven not effective, it’s been proven to be a major part of the problem. Most crawl space moisture comes from humid outside air through crawl space vents, not from an unsealed floor. While it’s certainly important to seal the floor, it’s even more important to seal the vents.
The only caveat when encapsulating a crawl space is the space must be conditioned. That means adding a little conditioned air to the space and is required by the International Building Code. Many crawl space encapsulation companies do this by adding a crawlspace dehumidification system to the crawl space.
A specialized crawl space dehumidifier can be quite expensive – approaching $1,000, $1,500 or more. And not only is the initial cost high, the day-to-day cost of operating a crawl space dehumidifier is the same as running another refrigerator.
The method of crawl space dehumidification recommended and developed by the EPA, the Department of Energy (DOE), and Advanced Energy is to add a small supply vent to the existing HVAC system. This can generally be installed for a small fraction of the cost of a crawlspace dehumidifier. And since the recommended air flow is only one cubic feet per minute (1 CFM) for every 50 square feet of crawlspace area, the day to day cost of conditioning the air with the HVAC system is considerably less than a crawl space dehumidifier. To put this in perspective, a typical bedroom in a typical South Carolina home is conditioned with 100 to 120 CFMs.
YourCrawlSpace Inc. pioneered crawlspace encapsulation in the southeast. We have been protecting and making South Carolina homes healthier, safer, and more comfortable for almost a decade. There is not a South Carolina crawlspace encapsulation company with the depth and breadth of experience. Not only do we follow the recommendations of the EPA, DOE, and Advanced Energy, we have worked closely with them on research test homes, helping to develop their recommendations. Wherever you live in South Carolina – Pawleys Island, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Charleston, or anywhere in between – you can be confident that the YourCrawlSpace encapsulation system in your home was installed to the most recent and cost effective standards in the industry.