A crawlspace is an open area in the foundation under a house. It is possible for moisture to accumulate in crawlspaces, especially in humid climates. Eventually, the moisture can seep into the foundation of the house and along its walls. That causes the floor joists and supporting structures like wood framings to weather away, including severe rotting and condensation of the flooring surface. Excessive moisture is known to deform the most durable of hardwood floors.
Seeking a Solution to Crawlspace Dampness
You can prevent moisture from accumulating in the crawlspace by providing sufficient ventilation. Homeowners, remodelers, and builders are increasingly acknowledging the importance of installing a proper crawlspace ventilation system.
A noteworthy feature of such ventilation systems is that there are no guidelines as to which and how many of these ventilation configurations have to be installed in a given home. The system you choose will depend on climatic conditions and the severity of the damage. Ventilating your crawlspace is not as challenging as it may sound. There are many options which you can choose to suit your requirements.
Exploring Crawlspace Ventilation Options
Ventilation can be increased in the crawlspace of a household in many ways. If the problem from moisture seepage is already severe, then a combination of the following methods is recommended.
The simplest way to increase the volume of air ventilated in your crawlspace is the installing vents. If you already have a few vents, simply add more to increase the circulation of air. This method is ideally recommended for homes wherein the first signs of mold growth have just begun to appear in the crawlspace. If performed immediately, it can ensure that the problem will not aggravate towards the interior of the house. Adding vents is usually recommended because it is inexpensive and can be done by most homeowners themselves. Some folks prefer using vents with sliding doors to help them control the temperature of the crawlspace.
There are many crawlspace fans available in stores. They are very effective in removing crawlspace dampness. Fans can be automated, in which case they start operating without your involvement every time the smallest degree of moisture accumulation is signaled. Basic fans are attached to conventional electrical switches and can be periodically turned on or off to keep the crawlspace dry. Such fans can be installed anywhere in the foundation area depending upon the location of switches and the ease of operation.
Adding a Dehumidifier
Crawlspace dehumidifiers are becoming popular, but they are not a true ventilation system. They are considered a part of most emergency crawlspace ventilation-based renovation programs. They are slightly expensive and very effective. They are usually recommended in cases of extreme moisture-related damage to the crawlspace that needs urgent rectification.
Adding Vapor Barriers
Vapor barriers are beyond the realm of ventilating your crawlspace, but when combined with other options like the adding vents, they are counted as a part of crawlspace ventilation. Vapor barriers are made from fabrics that are impermeable to moisture. They arrest moisture or condensation in crawlspaces. Sheets made from synthetic, polyester-based materials are the most common types of such fabrics.