6 Signs That You Should Dehumidify Your Crawl Space Right Away
It’s natural for homeowners to worry about their crawl space. The nature of the space itself provides unique opportunities and challenges for dealing with potential issues that can turn up there. Among the most common problems is too much humidity. This may not seem like a particularly damaging issue, but it can easily cause serious problems and damage to a home over time. Discover the six signs that you should dehumidify your home’s crawl space right away.
How Does Moisture Get into My Crawl Space?
Humidity is essentially just moisture in the air. With the sole exception of the most arid deserts, humidity is literally everywhere in the world. Because of this, it’s natural for certain areas to end up with a little (or a lot) extra humidity from time to time.
Due to its location near the ground, crawl spaces present a fairly ideal environment for excess moisture. For one thing, the earth holds onto water after rain. Eventually, that rainwater has to evaporate into the air.
Because your crawl space is so close to the ground (cooler air) and shaded (less sun, colder temperatures), moisture has a natural tendency to gather and accumulate there, and to stay put once it does.
Another way that moisture gets into your crawl space is a good old fashioned leaky pipe. Since pipes are often found in or near the crawl space, it’s not uncommon to find a leaky pipe dripping water into the crawl space, which raises the overall humidity level there.
However it happens, excess humidity in the crawl space is a problem. It can result in serious structural damage and even cause your home’s value to drop. To determine whether you actually have this issue in your own home, you can keep an eye out for 6 primary warning signs.
How to Tell If You Should Dehumidify Your Crawl Space
These are the six main ways you can tell if your crawl space has excess humidity and needs to be dehumidified.
- Odor (often from carpets or other flooring areas)
- Window Moisture
- Saggy or Buckling Floors
- Drywall Cracks
- Gap in Between Baseboard and Floor
- Moldy or Damaged Floor Insulation
Since these could be signs of other home issues, let’s take a look at each one individually.
What Happens If You Don’t Dehumidify Your Crawl Space
With all this talk of excess humidity and the necessity of dehumidifying, you may be wondering what happens if you don’t catch it quickly enough. Unfortunately, the problems only get worse from here.
If you don’t dehumidify your crawl space and problems escalate, you can end up with actual structural damage in your home. The wood can soften and rot. Mold and mildew can develop. You may have even difficulty reselling the home if the problem isn’t taken care of. It’s not a pretty picture.
To make a long story short: if your crawl space has too much humidity for too long a period of time, it can cause you and your family serious headaches both now and down the road.
How to Dehumidify Your Crawl Space
Now, for the solution. The process of actually dehumidifying your crawl space is more than simply throwing a retail dehumidifier down there and hoping for the best. In fact, it’s more of a four-fold process: identify, clean, dehumidify, and protect.
First, you need to identify where all the extra humidity is coming from. Next, you need to have someone clean up your crawl space to create a new blank slate to start over down there. Finally, you can install a vapor barrier to prevent water from getting into your crawl space down the line.
While you may think you can attempt this on your own, it’s highly recommended that you have a trained, local pro come in and do it for you. There are many reasons for this, but the big ones are safety and equipment.
Crawl spaces are notoriously difficult to deal with under the best of circumstances, so they tend to present unique safety challenges for DIY homeowners. What’s more, the equipment needed to install a dehumidifier and vapor barrier is unique to those specific tasks, which would require major purchases a homeowner isn’t like to reuse in the future.
The Best Way to Dehumidify Your Crawl Space
It all boils down to this: too much humidity in your crawl space can ultimately lead to serious problems for you, your family, and your home. If left untreated, the issues can become accelerated and aggravated over time, only making things worse. Thankfully, the local professional team at Dragon Vapor Barriers has the expertise necessary to tackle even the toughest crawl spaces. Give us a call or email today to find out how a dehumidifier and vapor barrier can benefit your home and provide incredible value for years to come.