Moisture in Crawl Space: Is It Normal?
If your home in Woodstock, GA, has a crawl space instead of a basement, you might not realize it has a humidity problem right away. Many homeowners wonder if moisture in crawl spaces is normal or a sign of an underlying problem.
It’s reasonable to assume humidity levels in a crawl space are naturally high due to weather changes. However, the area should be as dry as possible. Anthem Insulation & Home specializes in crawl space insulation in Woodstock, GA. Here, the team explains how moisture gets inside crawl spaces and why it’s not good for a house.
What Causes Crawl Space Moisture
It’s typical for homes on below-grade lands in Woodstock to have moisture in crawl spaces. The dampness stems from evaporated water in the soil beneath the house. Due to constant evaporation and condensation, crawl spaces can have a lot of moisture.
Humid summers lead to persistent soil moisture evaporation. Outdoor humidity and winds will also get inside crawl spaces, leading to additional condensation. Even if the air feels dry, moisture can quickly accumulate inside a crawl space and cause serious problems for the building.
Eventually, water vapor will seep through hollow spaces and gaps in the foundation walls, floor beams, or crawl space insulation. Without vapor barriers to protect the area beneath the house, mold, mildew, wood rot, and foul odors can develop inside the home.
Other ways water can enter your crawl space include:
- Clogged gutters
- Local flooding
- Plumbing leaks
When to Worry About Moisture
Ideally, crawl spaces should have no more than 55% humidity. Excess moisture in the air can lead to puddle formation under the house and mold growth. According to a study about fungal levels in damp crawl spaces, about 19% of the participating homes with mold contamination in wet crawl spaces saw increased mold spore levels inside the main house through the HVAC system.
It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold colonies to grow in damp environments, which makes crawl spaces a possible breeding ground for microbes. Though it is normal for these spaces to be damp, the risk of mold spores infiltrating your home’s HVAC system increases in highly humid conditions.
If your crawl space exceeds the ideal humidity level for several consecutive days, look for signs of trouble, like black, moldy spots on walls, floors, and other support structures. Also, check for puddles in the crawl space and a musty smell, which usually indicates mold colonies.
How to Keep Your Crawl Space Dry
The best way to regulate moisture in crawl spaces is to encapsulate it in a sturdy moisture barrier. Other moisture prevention methods include:
- Installing a sump pump to eliminate pooling water
- Replacing wet insulation and debris
- Cleaning gutters and downspouts regularly
- Repairing leaky pipes and foundation cracks
Insulate Your Crawlspace with Anthem Insulation & Home
Professionally installed crawl space insulation and vapor barriers will shield houses from excessive moisture in crawl spaces. The Anthem Insulation & Home team in Woodstock, GA, has over a decade of experience insulating crawl spaces and attics. Contact the team today to request an appointment.