March 16, 2012

Warmer Winters Give You A Nasty Crawl Space

If you live in Southeastern Virginia you've been enjoying an unseasonably warm winter. 

While the warm weather is great for your tan, it creates moisture problems in your home. And all of that extra moisture contributes to mold growth, wood rot and even insect infestation.
 

Mold and wood rot thrive in warmer, humid environments - like your crawl space. And insects eat mold, and the floor joists softened by wood rot. After the insects have hunkered down in your crawl space, rodents will follow. Rats and mice eat insects and will follow the easiest to find food source. So you can see it's a viscous cycle.

The stack effect only makes these problems worse. Jesse Waltz, PE explains the stack effect and how it can create problems in your home:


"As air rises in your home, it carries with it the air that was previously in the crawl space. That includes moisture and mold spores, as well as anything else that may be airborne down there. As this air rises, replacement air is drawn through the vents. This replacement air is made up of unconditioned outside air that enters through vents and other leaks. This natural upward air movement is called the "stack effect" – similar to how a chimney works. 

Consequently, whatever is in the air at the lowest point of your home eventually flows up into the living areas. Almost half of the air we breathe on the first floor of our home comes from the crawl space. A dirt crawl space with crawl space vents is a never-ending source of moisture. Even if the dirt's surface seems dry, digging down a few inches reveals moist earth. This moisture is constantly released into the crawlspace."


So you can see how this warmer weather can create some serious crawl space problems.

Want to know how to stop crawl space problems in their tracks? Encapsulate! Learn more by checking out these resources: