More water damage…
Yahoo’s front page (www.yahoo.com) this morning has yet another article dealing with home maintenance entitled “Home Problems That Can Cost You a Fortune”. At the top of the list is water damage. The article says that water damage “isn’t something you can ignore.”
The article goes on to say,” Beyond the possibility of mold, long-term water damage can cause rot, which leads to all kinds of expensive repairs to the structure of your home. It’s difficult to estimate the cost of this type of repair, but it can easily run into the thousands.”
The solution? “If you find…areas that tend to be damp, have them repaired before long-term damage occurs.”
Another potential costly problem that the article identifies is mold. “The cost of mold remediation is about $3,000 per wall, according to Environmental Solutions Group, an environmental management company that inspects homes for mold — and that doesn’t include the cost of replacing any mold-infected materials such as drywall, carpet or ceiling tiles.”
The article’s solution? Preventive maintenance. “Mold can’t grow without moisture” so the article’s remedy is to deal with the mold before it ever becomes a problem and that means dealing with humidity.
Our target relative humidity for a crawl space is 60% or less. We normally achieve our target humidity by encapsulating the crawlspace and adding a small baffle vent to the existing HVAC system to introduce a little conditioned the air to the space. This is also the method recommended by the DOE, EPA, and the ZEBRAlliance at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories. In most cases, a dehumidifier is not necessary. Once in a while in extreme cases we add a back-up dehumidifier but in most cases dehumidifiers are not necessary if the HVAC air-handler or ductwork is in the crawlspace.