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Crawlspace Dehumidification

Many people suffer from allergies and excessive dust and particulates in the air and need to do something to improve their indoor air quality. We can help.

Crawlspace Dehumidification

Let’s reason together. If you were to leave your house (in the Nashville area) unattended and unoccupied for 5 years and you cut the AC off, what condition would your house be in when you returned. Let’s say for purposes of discussion, the heat was on so the pipes didn’t freeze. Look what happened to schools when they used to cut everything off during the summer. Ask mortgage companies what shape foreclosed properties are in when no one lives there for years. The weather in the Nashville area is humid. One of the main things an air conditioner does is dehumidify the air unless it can’t. High humidity will raise the humidity inside. Even the very tight, TVA EnergyRight house will be affected by outside conditions. In fact, some structures have been tightened to the degree that the air conditioner becomes oversized and doesn’t run long enough to dehumidify the air. As a result, humidity rises to a level that supports mold growth inside.

Do I need a crawlspace dehumidifier?

So should you open your foundation vents in the summer or winter? What would happen in the abandoned house in the example above if you opened the windows during the summer? Do you think that would improve the situation? Of course not! I guarantee you all the drywall in the ceilings upstairs would grow mold. So how is a crawlspace different? The truth is, it isn’t. What’s worse is that there are usually ducts in the humid crawlspace that sweat due to condensation. When that condensation evaporates it raises the humidity even more. The wood subfloor absorbs the water in the elevated humidity climate and the high dew point reaches the temperature of the wood and condenses directly on the wood. Both conditions create a wood moisture content level that supports mold growth.

Crawlspace Humidity Control

The most reliable way to control the relative humidity in a crawlspace is to seal the crawlspace with a high-quality vapor barrier, seal the foundation vents and any other openings to the outside, then install a properly sized dehumidifier with a dehumidistat that maintains a relative humidity of around 50% Rh. An automatic condensate pump that pumps out the condensate so you don’t have to dump a bucket is a must. A remote sensor can allow you to monitor the temperature and relative humidity so you don’t have to crawl under your house to make sure everything is working properly. The upside is that it will work if properly sized (with the additions of fans in some cases to circulate air to the dehumidifier). The downside is that it is a piece of equipment, much like your air conditioner, that will require a little maintenance, until it finally breaks, like all equipment.

For a qualified assessment and proposal for your crawlspace dehumidification, call 615-371-5355.

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