Hopefully, you’re not spending a lot of time down in your home’s crawl space. So you might not care or even know about moisture down there. A wet, damp, humid, moldy crawl space can be a huge problem. It can lead to health problems or expensive home repair and structural issues. One way to fix the problem before it’s a much larger problem is with a dehumidifier in the crawl space. How do you know, though, when to get a crawl space dehumidifier?
Signs a Crawl Space Needs a Dehumidifier
The air in your crawl space will also go into the rest of your home. So any air quality issue in the crawl space – say mold, dead animals, odors, chemicals – will be in the air you and your family’s breathing. The state of the crawl space can also impact the literal structure and foundation of your house. This can lead to major damage which can be very expensive and dangerous.
A common factor in many of these problems is too much moisture. A dehumidifier can help a great deal. If you’re experiencing any one of these issues in your home, it’s a good sign you need a crawl space dehumidifier.
Here are five indications a crawl space requires a dehumidifier.
Bad Air Quality
Air from your crawl space moves up into the living spaces in your house. Any kind of poor or contaminated air quality in your crawl space means you’ve got the same air quality in your house.
Bad air quality can mean a wide range of serious concerns. These concerns can vary by person, affecting different people in differing, hazardous ways you don’t want for your family. Air quality can help or harm health including asthma, allergies and respiratory problems.
A crawl space dehumidifier may well help minimize moisture, which will certainly help a home’s overall air quality.
In a humid Carolina spring, summer and fall, it’s pretty common to have moisture and condensation in a crawl space. It’s more frequent when components of HVAC or plumbing may be in a crawl space. You should take steps to remove or limit the condensation build-up and certainly any standing water in a crawl space.
Dehumidifiers remove moisture and this saves you from a lot of other issues and side effects, even including the longevity of those HVAC and plumbing parts.
Mold loves to stay and grow in dark, warm, moist places. It causes a terrible number of potential problems in a home. Mold in a crawl space is infecting the air you living in inside the house.
Mold in a crawl space typically means getting a professional to care for it and remove it. After that, a dehumidifier is a good part of a plan to make sure mold’s gone for good.
A mildewy smell in your crawl space, which will soon be apparent inside the house, may be from mildew, mold or another nasty, even toxic cause down there. Extra moisture will make it even worse and spread faster. If you smell foul odors, can’t find anything wrong in the house, check the crawl space.
Damage to the House
In extreme cases of water damage in a crawl space, it can result in damage to the foundation or structural make-up of your house. This can be hugely expensive and stressful. Water combined with animal-related, mold, toxic substance or debris damage can cause major corrosion, structural damage or the need for extreme remediation by specific pros. Water damage can cause rust, beam damage, damage to insulation, floor damage, rotting and extreme levels of mold.
What May Happen If I Don’t Use a Dehumidifier?
Moisture can cause a number of big problems in a house. When we’re looking at a crawl space and too much moisture, you can add dust, dirt, metal, pollen, bugs, wood and anything else down there to the water.
If you or a relative has asthma, allergies, a breathing problem, or a compromised immune system, mold and mildew can create serious health problems. In some studies, mold and mildew have been shown to contribute to the worsening of asthma – particularly in children.
High moisture levels aren’t great for your home and personal belongings, either. The majority of products such as textiles, timber, and digital devices can be damaged from direct exposure to moisture.
The actual structure of your house is not immune to this, either. Wetness and humidity add to the decay of your floors, walls and systems such as HVAC ducts, too. Most of the sustaining components that make up your floor are made of timber: floor joists, sill plates, even the primary beam. If these parts begin to decay, your floors will start drooping or sloping. This can wind up being many times more expensive than taking a step such as running a dehumidifier or other simple ways to keep a crawl space dry.
High, constant moisture can cost you money in utility expenses, as well. Your HVAC system removes some humidity when it runs, yet that’s not 100% effective depending on a lot of other variables. Then, if the HVAC is removing excess moisture it’s likely adding wear and tear on the HVAC. Putting in a dehumidifier will reduce the load on the HVAC system, while letting you ease up on the thermostat some. Dry air feels cooler than humid air. You’ll be able to bump up the temperature in your home by a couple of degrees if the air is drier.
At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult and free estimate. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.