IBA Crew in Crawl space with PVC

Crawl Space Repair

Normally these areas are empty, but you never know what creepy conditions you’ll find there – mold, pest infestation, wet insulation, and much more.

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Causes

While various factors can impact your crawl space and home, the biggest culprit has to do with the way your home was constructed.

The stack effect refers to the airflow pattern in a house from bottom to top, like a chimney. Air enters at the bottom, rises through the structure, and is expelled through the top. It all has to do with air pressure. Air flows from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. When there is a greater difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more significant this airflow becomes. (Source: Fine Homebuilding

To get a better understanding of the stack effect, it might be beneficial to see it in action. While you can’t see airflow, there is a great demonstration of the stack effect in a YouTube video from the Cold Climate Housing Research Center titled “Your Nothern Home: Stack Effect.”  

More than half the air you are breathing inside your house comes from the crawl space. So, whatever is in your crawl space – such as mold and high humidity – also is in the air circulating throughout the rest of the house and affecting your living environment. 

There are different ways water can enter a crawl space – through the walls, floor, open vents, and plumbing leaks. No matter how it got in, it’s a big problem. Areas of leaking, standing water are very attractive to bugs and other pests who seek shelter and a food source. Water can easily saturate soft fiberglass insulation and lead to mold growth, and wet support systems can fail to do their job and contribute to sagging floors.

If there is high humidity in the crawl space along with water, this is a recipe for disaster. Humidity levels above 50% contribute to mold growth, unpleasant odors, failing support systems and more.  Crawl spaces commonly have high relative humidity and moisture. These conditions promote mold growth, especially on organic materials like wood and insulation. Moisture in the crawl space also can enter other areas of the home through cracks in walls, floors, and the ceiling, and contribute to mold growth there. (Source: EPA)

Resources

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