Many homeowners can’t or don’t go into their crawl space. Often, they won’t know if there is a problem in their crawl space until a pipe bursts, the termite company sees moisture related issues, or when servicing is needed for their HVAC system.
So how can a homeowner tell there is a bigger issue in the crawl space without ever going underneath the house?
Here are ten signs you might notice that could signal you need to have a professional inspect under your home.
Mildew or musty odors in your home
Musty smells usually mean mold. Due to the climate zone we live in, our vented crawl spaces are often creating the perfect recipe for mold growth. These microscopic airborne spores can leak into the living area of your home and affect your health.
Feeling a draft doesn’t always mean you need to replace your windows. Connective currents, or improper insulation, and other air leaks are usually the root of the issue.
This is typically a sign of problems with insulation, air leaks, and/or HVAC system problems.
Heating/Cooling System running constantly
This can be an indicator of a leaky home with improper insulation or an inadequately sized heating or cooling system.
Dehumidifiers or Insects
If you have to run a humidifier or dehumidifier, or you’ve treated your home for pest issues, you’re probably treating the symptom, not the source.
Freezing pipes in the crawl space
Frozen or burst pipes is usually the result of non-insulated water lines in a cold vented crawl space.
Popping, cracking, or warped floors
High moisture and humidity in your crawl space often causes damage to the floors above it.
Standing water around your foundation
Pooling or standing water against your foundation could indicate that water is getting into your crawl space. This not only raises the humidity in the crawl space but also can erode the soil under your foundation causing structural issues.
High energy bills
A high bill usually means energy loss. Making specific repairs to your home and properly air sealing will help you save money and make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.
Asthma or Allergies
Leaky or drafty homes often bring unwanted allergens into your home from outdoors and/or your crawl space resulting in poor indoor air quality.
Understanding your home
Most homes are built on a vented foundation with a thin 6-mil vapor barrier covering the majority of the ground. Fiberglass batt insulation is installed between the floor joists, and the vents are left open for ventilation.
This means that warm air carrying moisture is pouring into the crawl space during the spring and summer months. The crawl space is typically cooler than the outside air. As outside air enters, it’s cooled down and the moisture content of the air in the crawl space increases. Condensation occurs on the cool surfaces in the crawl space such as floor joists, fiberglass insulation, block walls, and the vapor barrier.
As this moisture collects on organic materials, the combination of high humidity and warm temperatures will create the ability for mold to grow. The air pouring into the crawl space is being sucked up into the home through a process called “The Stack Effect.” This pulls the moldy, musty, humid air from your crawl space into your home.
As all of this happens you may begin to notice some of the ten symptoms listed above. Letting these problems go, typically only causes more problems in your home and becomes more costly to fix over time.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, be sure to contact The Drying Co. to do a thorough inspection.
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