A Damp Crawl Space: The Nasty Little Secret Under Too Many Homes

A Damp Crawl Space: The Nasty Little Secret Under Too Many Homes

A Damp Crawl Space: The Nasty Little Secret Under Too Many HomesTimes change. It used to be popularly believed that a vented crawl space was a healthy crawl space, but that thinking has altered. Here in the Peachtree City area where we average 51 inches of rain a year, and temperatures are in the 80s or above all summer; humidity can be a conspicuous problem. A damp crawl space is a nasty little secret under too many homes; make sure yours isn’t one of them.

Structural Problems

Dampness can be a determined, if uninvited, guest. Once moisture enters an unused space, it’s likely to remain there. If that area is clad with, for instance, batts of insulation, moisture will remain inside, even after protracted dry spells. Structural problems can be twofold:

To work efficiently, crawl space insulation is typically attached directly to buildings, either against the walls or on the underside of the first floor. This results in moisture being held tightly against wooden joists and floors panels or planks, and against structural components, some of which are made of metal. When insulation is waterlogged, it will rot wood, corrode metal, and degrade wiring and pipework.

Conversely, insulation can be pulled away from its site by the weight of the water. When this happens, it is no longer effective. Energy and money are being lost.

Health Concerns

A damp crawl space beneath your floors can be infested by colonies of mold, mildew and fungus. The smell – of black mold, particularly – can be noxious, and the spores are acutely aggravating to those who suffer from allergies. In extreme circumstances, toxic mold growth becomes a health hazard to anyone entering or occupying the building.

No More Dirty Little Secrets

The remedy is simple: With our muggy climate, Peachtree City residents would be well advised to bring their crawl spaces into the conditioned space of their homes. There’s more to it, though, than simply closing off vents. Existing moisture must be removed, and your HVAC ducts may need to be rerouted or added to. These are jobs for professionals.

Powers Heating & Air serve residential customers across Fayette and Coweta counties. Please contact us to arrange a consultation.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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