Do you get symptoms like headaches and allergies, seemingly at random? Is there a lingering odor in your home that you just can’t locate, like mold or mustiness? Are there spots in your home that always feel damp? Your crawl space may be affecting your home more than you realize.
There are a few surprising ways a crawl space affects the rest of your home:
- Air quality
- Energy bills
- Structural integrity
If your crawl space has one of these problems, then your home has these problems. Just because you never go into the crawl space doesn’t mean it’s not important. Out of sight should not be out of mind when it comes to your crawl space. Up to 30 percent of new and renovated buildings may have indoor air quality issues, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If your crawl space has any of these issues and they’re affecting your life, give BIOSWEEP of Alabama a call. Our crawl space encapsulation process produces immediate improvements.
A Crawl Space Can Harbor Moisture
Most crawl spaces do not share the same ventilation and air circulation of the home. That means temperature differences between the air in the crawl space and the air in the home. These differences in temperature and humidity can cause condensation. (Usually, the crawl space is hotter than the home, which means the hot air from the crawl space meets with the cooler air from the conditioned part of the home.) Whenever hot air meets cool air, you get condensation.
Moisture is the source from which most of these other home problems spring. If your crawl space has condensation issues, then you will get a host of other issues if you don’t address this root cause. Our crawl space encapsulation process mainly targets moisture for this reason.
Mold Can Grow Unchecked
Mold loves crawl spaces. To grow, mold has several needs: food, water or humidity, and the right temperature. The food is covered by the cellulose in the wood in your crawl space. That means that all the conditions are in place for mold growth when the moisture and temperature are right.
Once your crawl space gets a moisture problem, mold will start to fester. Mold grows quietly and releases spores that can cause occupants of a home to experience allergy-like symptoms and other problems like breathing issues and headaches.
Pests Can Infest a Crawl Space
Another problem of moisture is pests. When you see a pest in your home, they’re likely in search of water or food. A crawl space with moisture problems can give them the water they need to set up shop.
Pests like rats and cockroaches with reliable water supplies in your crawl space will venture into the home’s living space to find food. They live and reproduce completely unseen because no one ever goes into their crawl space, so the true extent of the problem often goes unnoticed. Before you know it, you’ve got a real issue that takes a lot of money to solve.
Indoor Air Quality Can Suffer
Most homeowners don’t know that nearly half the air on the first floor of a home comes from the crawl space. It’s a phenomenon known as the “stack effect.” That means if you have compounds in the crawl space, then you can have compounds rise from the crawl space into the air you breathe.
Mold spores and pathogens from pest droppings can ride into the first floor of your home. If you smell a musty odor, it’s possible that your air is contaminated. These compounds should be taken seriously. If you have a family member experiencing lingering allergy symptoms, call us to get your indoor air quality checked.
Energy Bills Can Rise
Your home’s heating and air conditioning units are built to handle a certain amount of humidity and particulate matter in the air. If your crawl space is throwing more compounds and water into them, then they wear out faster and have to use more energy to work properly. The air conditioning in particular works as a dehumidifier for your home; it’s one of the machine’s most important functions that most people don’t know about. If the home is more humid, it uses more energy.
Structural Integrity is at Risk in a Contaminated Crawl Space
A close cousin to mold makes your crawl space a danger to the integrity of your home. Dry rot, a fungus that grows in very similar conditions to mold. Dry rot eats through your wood at an accelerated rate. When important parts of your home’s structure get dry rotted, they can even fail. Your floor joists and boards are at risk if your crawl space harbors dry rot.
If you have any reason to suspect your crawl space may have moisture issues, it’s imperative you give us a call! BIOSWEEP of Alabama is here to help!