A dirty crawl space is an ugly sight. It’s dark, wet and a hotbed of contaminants and vermin. These conditions make it difficult for the water heater, HVAC, and other systems housed in the crawl space to work efficiently. Moisture also fosters wood rot, which causes odors and weakens the structural integrity of your house.
Fortunately, there are many preventative measures when first moving in to ensure the crawl space stays dry in Cincinnati, OH. Keep reading to learn more.
Outside air brings in humidity to the crawl space, creating the perfect environment for rot, mold, and mildew. Air gets into the crawl space through more than just the vents. Openings around wires and pipes to the outside, air leaks in the joist, poorly fitted access doors, and areas under the sill plate allow passage of air. Seal all these paths with spray foam and caulk, and have vents and doors properly sealed for the best results.
A sump pump is your next line of defense after the internal drainage, as it ejects standing water from the crawl space before it causes damage. Install yours at the lowest spot of the crawl space for the best results. It will drain any water due to melting snow, plumbing leaks, and rainwater away from the foundation. A sump pump connects to a perimeter drain, which goes around the interior of the crawl space. The drainpipe collects water from the footing, wall joints, and crawl space walls before delivering it to the sump pump. Depending on where you live, installing a sump pump in the crawl space as part of encapsulation may be a legal requirement. Check with your trusted crawl space contractor to find out more.
Covering the floor of your crawl space is a great way to prevent dampening. Invest in vapor barriers made from heavy-duty materials and lay them down in continuous runs. This will deliver the most effective results. Also make sure to have your crawl space fully encapsulated with the vapor barrier along the walls, as well.
An electric fan is not going to do the job of reducing moisture effectively. Instead, a better solution is an energy-efficient dehumidifier, which is excellent for eliminating condensation in the crawl space. This prevents your HVAC system from running full time and can reduce utility bills. Installing a cheap dehumidifier won’t do. You need a high-capacity, high-efficiency dehumidifier with air filtration as it will dry up the crawl space air and remove musty smells.
Most crawl spaces have dirt floors and uninsulated walls. The outcome is an unending cycle of evaporation and condensation of cold walls, joists and ceiling. Eventually, the damp air will get into your home bringing with it mold spores and a musty smell. To better insulate this area and help stop condensation, we recommend rigid insulation panels that also are waterproof and treated to resist mold and pests.
Better safe than sorry, and the above tips will ensure you don’t have to deal with a wet crawl space after moving into your new home. You’ll not have to worry about musty smells, rodent infestation, wood rot, and high utility costs.
For more information on how you can protect your crawl space, request a free crawl space inspection and quote from trusted crawl space experts in Cincinnati, OH.