Most homeowners fail to understand the importance of keeping the crawl space dry. Uncontrolled levels of humidity in the crawlspace can greatly affect the foundations’ integrity of the house.
If this problem is left unfixed for a long period of time, you will face high house repair bills. Excess moisture in the crawl space can also can serious health conditions to the residents of the house.
What makes is making your crawl space wet?
Several factors are making your house crawl space wet:
- Poor drainage systems.
- Ineffective ventilation.
- There may be cracks in the walls or on the foundation. These cracks let the water into the crawl space from the house, hence it feels damp.
What is the effect of a wet crawl space?
A wet crawl space will affect the structure of the house foundation. This greatly devalues the house. If the moisture issue in the crawl space is not fixed, in the long term it causes cracks in the walls. These cracks allow humidity to spread from the crawl space into the house, thus spreading the damp smell. The crack allows pests like ants and other insects an easy way into your home.
The increased moisture in the crawl space creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. Mold and mildew can cause serious respiratory problems like asthma and allergies to the house occupants.
How do you fix the humidity in crawl space?
The most effective way to control the level of humidity in the crawl space is to buy a dehumidifier. Most basement dehumidifiers and crawl space dehumidifiers are built to work at very low temperatures.
Crawl space dehumidifiers will control the humidity levels in the crawl space only and not the entire house above. The crawl space dehumidifier ensures all the air in the crawl space remains dry thus reducing the moisture damage significantly.
What crawl space dehumidifier should you buy?
When buying a crawl space dehumidifier you must understand:
1. The size of the crawl space – you can easily measure the size of your crawl space in Square Feet’s.
2. The capacity of the crawl space dehumidifier – different types of crawl space dehumidifiers have the different capacity(capacity refers to the amount of water measured in pints the dehumidifier can extract from the crawl space every 24 hours.)
3. Level of humidity in the crawl space. –you can easily determine the moisture levels in the crawl space as :
- Damp – The crawl space is occasionally damp. (the recommended dehumidifier capacity 20 – 30 pints)
- Very damp – The crawl space is always musty and damp.(the recommended dehumidifier capacity 30 – 40 pints)
- Wet – You can occasionally spot a sign of condensation in the crawl space. (the recommended dehumidifier capacity 40 – 50 pints)
- Extremely wet – Water is clearly seen on the crawl space floor and walls. (the recommended dehumidifier capacity >50pints)
Another important factor to consider when choosing a crawl space dehumidifier
- Air filtration – A good crawl space dehumidifier should be able to clean the air to avoid bacteria build up in the crawl space.
- Energy consumption – Buy an energy star rated crawl space dehumidifier to ensure there isn’t a significant increase in your power bill
- Automatic Humidity – Able senses the crawl space humidity automatically. This makes it convenient and saves on energy consumption.
- De-icing features to ensure the crawlspace dehumidifier able to remain functional even in temperatures below 20 degrees.
- Ease water disposal – Buy a crawl space dehumidifier that has a pump to pump the collected water outside to a safe place.
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NOTE: It is important to know that the crawl space dehumidifier will not correct any water leak problems or any other external elements that are increasing the level of humidity in the crawl space. Before installing a crawl space dehumidifier is important to identify the major cause of the increased humidity in the crawl space. A crawl space dehumidifier tackles the moisture in the air.