What is a crawl space?
A crawl space is a shallow, unfinished space beneath the first floor of a home, or under the roof of a structure. The crawl space typically provides access to plumbing or wiring.
Why is my home’s crawl space so humid?
When a home’s crawl space is vented and has exposed soil, groundwater and rainwater seeps into the soil, continuously releasing damaging water vapor into the home. Moreover, even more moisture is getting into the home from the humid air which moves in and out of the crawl space vents on both hot days (turning into moisture when hitting the cooler earth inside) or simply bringing in moisture during the wet season.
Why is my crawl space floor made out of loose dirt?
That’s a good question, and there’s no easy way to say it, but the only reason your home was built with a dirt floor crawl space, is because it was cheaper to do it this way, rather than to build you a concrete floor! If money was no obstacle, trust us, your home builder would have built you a concrete floor inside your crawl space…
Why is my foundation and crawl space built out of cinder block walls?
Again, no easy way to say this, but your basement and crawl space are built out of concrete cinder blocks because it was the easiest and cheapest way for your home builder to get the job done. Was it the best solution? Probably not. The problem is that cinder blocks are the least resistant to water and humid air going through them. Indeed, cinder block walls are often referred to as “God’s gift to waterproofing contractors!”
So, why should I care about my crawl space? I never go in it anyway!
Well, first, you probably don’t go into your crawl space because it’s nasty in there, right? So we don’t blame you at all. However, when your crawl space is nasty, it also brings into your home mold, mildew, bacteria, allergens, and funky pests and critters (which ultimately die in there and pollute your environment even more!). Moreover, and this is important, the humidity and mold growing inside your crawl space are also bad for the structural integrity of your home. They can lead to sticky windows, buckling hardwood floors, bent or rotting wood framing, rusty fabricated metal parts, and higher energy bills. And so, if you care about your pocketbook, the structural integrity of your home, and the health of those living in the home, you should definitely care about your crawl space!
But I am not breathing in the dirty and foul air of my crawl space, am I?
Yes, you are definitely breathing in the foul air of your crawl space! This is because the warm and humid air inside your dirty, bacteria and fungus-infested crawl space is not staying in there, but rather is leaking out and rising into your home’s living areas! In fact, all homes have a strong suction force at their lower levels, which draws in outside air, creating an airflow from the ground all the way up to the roof of the home! And so, air from your basement and crawl space is indeed traveling up your home, and whatever nastiness is in your crawl space air, it is being funneled into your kitchen, living room, and bedrooms upstairs!
So what are the negative effects of air that flows upward from my dirty crawl space and into the upper levels of my home?
Well, for starters, who wants to breath dust mites, mold, fungus, mildew, bacteria spores, and whatever else is coming out of the decomposing bodies of dead pests and critters? If you don’t think this is bad, try to find a doctor who will tell you that having these in a home is “just fine”! And don’t forget, the extra humidity can damage your home, causing sticking (swollen) doors and windows, damp and smelly carpets, buckling wood floors, decomposing indoor and outdoor paint, and increased heating and cooling bills as damp air takes more energy to heat and cool!
Am I not drying out my crawl space and basement by venting them?
This may be counterintuitive, but no! In fact, when you vent a crawl space in the hot season, the warm air that comes into the cooler crawl space becomes cooler, raising the air’s relative humidity. And when you vent the crawl space during the rainy season, humid air floods the crawl space and again, raises its relative humidity! Crawl spaces should be sealed, not vented!
Okay, so what should I do to fix my crawl space situation?
There are four easy steps to fixing this situation. First, the professionals at Weinstein Construction can help by fixing any water leaks and drainage problems, which can happen when water does not properly drain away from your home’s crawl space. Second, Weinstein Construction professionals will isolate your home from the earth floor of the crawl space by adding a vapor barrier liner to your crawl space. Such a liner is made from ultra-durable polyethylene which resists punctures and tears and is also blended with anti-bacterial materials which offers additional protection against mold and bacteria. Thirdly, we will seal the vents and outside air leaks. And lastly, we will install an “Energy Star rated” dehumidifier to dry out and continuously “condition” your crawl space air.
Is there a crawl space system that Weinstein Construction can recommend?
Yes, of course, the professionals at Weinstein Construction can tailor a solution to your home and help you keep moisture away from your home’s crawl spaces, safeguarding the value of your property and helping to make your home healthy and safe for all who live there. We are experts at drainage systems, crawl space insulation, and moisture barriers and offer affordable solutions for every homeowner’s situation. Moreover, no permits are required for these cost-effective jobs!
Weinstein Construction’s professionals have the right crawl space solution at an affordable price! Call Angela today at (800) 862-6582 for a free inspection and review of your home’s crawl space needs! We are also expert drain contractors and can also help with basement waterproofing, leaky basement repair, basement wall sealing, French drain installation, and foundation cracks repair and foundation replacement!