A popular construction feature used in Richmond and the surrounding communities, crawlspaces facilitate access to utility lines underneath a house when building a basement is impractical. Like other areas of your house, the crawlspace must be properly maintained.
Importance of Crawlspace Moisture Control
Excess moisture can cause considerable structural damage, especially when it occurs in a crawlspace. The risk of wood decomposition increases when the moisture level of the material exceeds 27 percent. Each year, properties sustain more than $17 million in damage resulting from problems like buckled walls and warped floors caused by excess moisture. The condensation from the moisture as well as mold and fungus growth can also ruin insulation, lowering its R-value. The degradation of this material means that more energy is required to heat and cool your house.
In addition to structural damage caused by wood rot, high moisture levels in a crawlspace can lead to a variety of other issues, including mold and fungal growth as well as poor indoor air quality. If mold is growing in your crawlspace, you may have a serious problem. While white mold usually does not damage wood, brown and black mold means that structural damage is occurring and support beams may have to be replaced. Roots extending from the wood into the soil generally indicate the presence of a destructive fungus.
As the mold and fungus grows, they release millions of spores that contaminate indoor air. Along with dust mites that inhabit the damp crawlspace, these microorganisms are among the most common air pollutants and allergens found in homes. The warm, moist environment of the crawlspace attracts bugs, rodents and other pests that may carry a variety of health risk. Rather than let air out, side vents enable your HVAC system to draw air through the contaminated crawlspace and into your home. Tests show that as much as 40 percent of the air inside your home originates from this portion of your house. Gases like radon and methane can also find their way into your home through the crawlspace. The best way to protect your home is to ensure that moisture is maintained at safe levels.
Signs of Crawlspace Problems
To put an end to your crawlspace problems, give us a call if you see any of the following signs:
- Open or missing vents
- Damp, dirty insulation
- Insulation lying on the ground
- Standing water inside the crawlspace
- Insects, rodents or other pests in the crawlspace
- Rusty metal surfaces
- Cold spots on the floor during the winter
- The smell or sight of mold, fungus or wood rot
Why Use a Professional
Like each home, many of the problems that homeowners experience are unique. As a result, we offer a wide range of solutions designed to address your individual circumstances and protect your family while maintaining the value of your home. These include installing:
- Crawlspace Vapor Barriers
- Crawlspace Dehumidifiers
- Crawlspace Air Inducers
- Crawlspace Doors and Vents
- Sump Pumps
- French Drains
We can also encapsulate your crawl space, which is recommended by many building scientists, and repair structural damage. You do not have to put up with a damp, musty crawlspace. Call the professionals at Accel. Our team can provide the best solution for homes in the Richmond area.