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Is Your Crawlspace Hurting Your Indoor Climate?
Is Your Crawlspace Hurting Your Indoor Climate?
If you’ve lived through an Atlanta summer, you’ve likely noticed how swelteringly hot and humid that it can get. In fact, Atlanta’s average relative humidity ranges from the high 60s to the 80s. But that shouldn’t be a big deal if you can relax at home and turn on the air conditioning, right? Unfortunately, with such high levels of humidity during the warm seasons, your home might not be feeling as good as you are in your living room. Eventually you too will begin to feel the effects that humidity has been having on your home. But what could be causing that? Your home is meant to be a place to be safe from the outside elements. If the Atlanta summer humidity is somehow making its way in, there’s a good chance that the culprit behind it is your crawlspace.
Let’s have a closer look at what a crawlspace has to do with your indoor climate, and how you can make sure your home keeps cool during the summer heat…
Crawlspaces and Humidity
When people think of crawlspaces, they usually think of how it’s supposed to serve as a barrier between your home and the moisture from the earth beneath. These crawlspaces are usually vented to encourage air circulation and keep dry, but the design is unfortunately flawed, especially for warmer climates. In an area such as Atlanta, the long periods of intense humidity can take a toll on homes with crawlspaces. As air flows in and out of a vented crawlspace, it gets no drier because humid air is simply being replaced with more humid air. At the elevated levels of humidity that Atlanta can experience in the summer, this can lead to problems caused by excess moisture in the crawlspace.
Here are just some of the problems that your crawlspace may begin to suffer due to the presence of excess moisture…
- Mold growth
- Wood rot in your wooden supports such as your crawlspace floor joists
- Pests like termites and dust mites will become drawn by the damp and shelter that a humid crawlspace offers
- Rusting of metal equipment in the crawlspace
But the troubles don’t stop there. The difference in air pressure between your crawlspace and the rest of your home can create what’s known as the “stack effect”. This causes a lot of that humid crawlspace air to get sucked up into the rest of your home. Along with that air, other things may be carried along with it ranging from mold spores and dust mite feces to harmful radon gas that may be seeping up from the soil. That humid air flowing into your home can also bring the same moisture-related problems to your living spaces that may already be plaguing your crawlspace.
Too much humidity in your living spaces can also have an effect on your personal health. With too much moisture in the air, it will be harder for your sweat to evaporate and cool your body off. Financially, too much humidity can also place a strain on your electrical bills as your air conditioning system will need to work harder to cool your house down.
How Can I Fix My Humid Crawlspace?
The best way to protect your crawlspace from the summer humidity is to seal it and encapsulate it. This process will prevent the outside air from having an easy way into your crawlspace, and ultimately, into your home living spaces. A crawlspace encapsulation will keep your crawlspace dry, and even make it useable as a storage space, if you so desire. Here are some of the components that are typically included in a crawlspace encapsulation system…
- Vapor barrier lining
- Vent blocks
- Crawlspace dehumidifier
With these components in place, your crawlspace can be free of that humid summer air, and you can enjoy a more refreshing home environment. You may wish to consider having your crawlspace waterproofed as well, especially if your crawlspace tends to become swamped whenever it rains. By taking these preventative measures, you can make full use of your crawlspace and make your home a healthier place to stay cool.
Protecting Your Crawlspace with a Professional Contractor
It may be tempting to try a DIY method in encapsulating your crawlspace, but it takes both knowledge in certain materials as well as experience in the industry to ensure that your crawlspace is properly encapsulated and/or waterproofed. It is highly recommended that you consult with a professional crawlspace encapsulation and waterproofing companies in Atlanta. Be sure to choose a company that’s earned many positive reviews, has decades of experience in working with crawlspaces, and offers an excellent warranty on their services.