Controlling the Humidity In Your Crawlspace

crawlspace cleanup service nashvilleIt is possible to avoid mold, pests, and foundation problems by managing humidity in your Nashville crawl space. But you have to understand the how and why of excess moisture in order to address the problems. 

What Is The Point Of A Crawlspace?

Crawl spaces can be found throughout homes in the Nashville area and are best suited to dry climates. In neighborhoods with poor drainage, rain can create a moist, soggy environment right below your living space. A crawl space raises the foundation of the home above the base flood elevation (BFE). So if there was a flood, the habitable areas of the home will stay dry.

When a home is built on a severe slope, the foundation still has to be level. Here, a common solution is to design it with footers and raised beams, with a crawl space running through it. This solution places all wiring, plumbing, and ductwork in an accessible area. Some families also use the area for additional storage. 

Risks Of A Damp Crawl Space 

Maintaining your crawl space at a level of about 55% humidity keeps the air healthy. A sustained amount of time with a higher level of moisture can result in:

  • Rotten wood supports
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • An environment for pests
  • Degradation of insulation material
  • Damage to Items stored there

Causes Of Water In The Crawl Space

Find and fix those initial problems before tackling the crawl space itself. Use a thermo-hygrometer to measure your ground moisture evaporation problem. Or schedule a visit from Tier Restoration for a thorough and professional inspection. 

If there’s standing water in the crawl space after a rain, and the yard slopes toward the foundation, hydrostatic pressure can force water in through the foundation walls. You’ll need to regrade the garden. Or if a neighbor’s home is draining onto your property, you might need a sump pump.

If you suspect a plumbing leak, get a plumber to check out all the pipes under the house for any leaks- even a pinhole.   

Finally, correct the function of the crawl space vent. When it rains a lot, they can let in a flood. 

What Can Be Done?  

Install a properly sized dehumidifier especially designed for crawl spaces. In a pinch, an electric fan could help if you don’t have a dehumidifier. Over several days, you’ll notice a significant moisture reduction in your crawl space.  

Covering your crawl space’s floor with a moisture-resistant barrier controls the moisture, discouraging mold growth as well as pests. Vapor barriers are thin, but strong, plastic sheeting that resists moisture coming up from the ground. If you already have a vapor barrier, the Tier team can check it for integrity. (Perhaps it was installed poorly, perhaps it is aging poorly.)

When You Suspect Excess Humidity in Your Nashville Crawlspace

Tier Restoration will examine your home and present a plan of the most reliable way to control the relative humidity in your crawlspace. Options might include sealing the area with a high-quality vapor barrier, closing off the foundation vents that are open to the outside, or installing a properly sized dehumidifier.  

They understand that managing moisture is key to maintaining your residence, but every address is different. Tier Restoration has been helping homeowners solve water and moisture issues since 1975. They create a “next level” experience for every client.