How To Deal With Crawl Space Air
A crawl space is a wide clearing under a building. This is usually the gap between the foundation of a building and the ground floor of the building. The crawl space can have various heights. The common design is for it to have just enough space for an adult to crawl through hence the name ‘crawl space ‘ : but it could be made very tall, tall enough for standing room, just like a basement. However the basic description is a space between the ground floor and the foundation crawl space. Image credit : snappyservices.com
The crawl space could be fully encapsulated, thereby limiting the movement of air and moisture from the surrounding environment into the building through the crawl space. This encapsulation can be done using vapor barriers. The crawl space can also be fully vented, allowing a greater flow of air between the environment and the building. The requirements for the crawl space design depends on the choice of the homeowner and the weather conditions.
Having a crawl space is vital as it gives the needed room for designers to fix important plumbing, duct work, and other important equipment that can improve the safety and comfort of your home This space provides easy access to sewage systems during repairs. Also, Houses with crawl space have a cooler temperature, especially in warmer climates.
Even though crawl spaces have many advantages, the recurring problem with crawl spaces is moisture accumulation. When there is heave rain, or snow, the crawl space vapor content increases, making it more humid. This accumulation of water in and around the crawl space leads to a foul odor emanating from the crawl space :This smell is strong, diffused through the whole building and persists even after spraying air fresheners . This is because the smell is only indicating the presence of a bigger issue.
So the most effective way of handling crawl space air is to first of all remove water from the crawl space, I.e to ensure the crawl space is dry . Secondly after draining and ensuring the crawl space is dry, provide a steady supply of dry clean air circulating the crawl space.
The crawl space can be kept dry by using an air mover, the air mover is a device that primarily removes water by blowing air towards the affected area at a very high speed. This dries up the wet crawl space quickly, removing the excess water from it by vaporization. To further prevent water accumulation in the crawl space it may be necessary to fully encapsulate the crawl space.
Even after drying the crawl space, the air in the space may still be damp and musty. This is because the humidity of the crawl space is high, and the air is still wet. To reduce the humidity and dry up the air a dehumidifier is needed. More specifically, a basement dehumidifier. Basement dehumidifiers are the best appliances used to regulate the amount of water vapor in crawl spaces. Increase water vapor also has attending problems like dust mites, mildew, mold growth and allergens. A dehumidifier therefore reduces the risk of these problem too.
Most dehumidifiers are designed to be energy efficient will not considerably impact your electricity usage. In fact some dehumidifiers can be installed with thermostats. Since humidity levels depend on temperature, the thermostat can be connected to the dehumidifier as a regulator,turning it on when the temperature falls within the humid ranges and turning it off when the temperature becomes normal. That way, you don’t have to worry about running the dehumidifier for 24 hours continuously through the week.
Ensuring the freshness and hygienity of crawl space air can be done without increasing energy costs. The best, energy efficient and long lasting dehumidifiers are designed to reduce energy usage and maximize efficiency.
In the buying and installation of dehumidifiers, the size of the crawl space must be taken into consideration. A smaller crawl space will require a small sized dehumidifier while a large crawl space can accommodate any size of dehumidifiers. The installation must be done by a certified professional to avoid accidents and damage to the building.
A healthy crawl space can contribute immensely to the comfort of your home. A home with damp and must odor is very uncomfortable. More so the bad odors often suggests the presence of parasites harmful to health. These odors also attracts pests and wild animals to the house. Most home inspectors will check for the neatness of the crawl space when evaluating the condition of the building. It is of utmost priority therefore to rid of offensive odors in the crawl space.
The quality of air from the crawl space determines the quality of air circulating your home.