What Causes Crawl Space Humidity?
The dreaded crawl space. A dark, cavernous spot in homes that most people don’t like to venture into. We’ve talked about the importance of cleaning this place before, but another issue that stems from the crawl space is the factor of humidity. You might be wondering: what exactly causes crawl space humidity. It’s actually a combination of a few things.
It’s All Related
Humidity over 70% is not good, and you wouldn’t be able to tell unless you had a device that measured that kind of information, like the professionals at Economic Exterminators do. Just know this: Relative humidity over 70% causes issues.
Relative humidity is defined as a percentage of “the amount of moisture in the air needed for saturation,” the highest being 100%. The water that’s able to be held by the air depends on the temperature in the air: Cold air holds less. (Everyone in the Savannah area knows how humid and muggy the air gets the hotter the weather.)
But what causes such high humidity levels? Well, for one, the temperature. The hotter the temperature outside, the greater the humidity will be, but that’s not the only factor. Stagnant water is never a good sign, especially when there’s a lot of it in your crawl space. This water could point to a drainage or plumbing issue, in which cause you need to call a professional ASAP.
Another water-related issue is moisture that evaporates from the ground—most common in crawl spaces on the ground, such as basements (rather than attics). In these situations, the ground is dirt, and the dirt will soak up or leave the moisture that enters the crawl space. This moisture could also (easily) seep into the foundation walls or other exposed wooden beams in the area, leading to serious structural issues in the future.
Lastly, improper ventilation can also raise the humidity level in your crawl space. Bringing outdoor air into a crawl space increases the relative humidity. This outdoor air will potentially cool down the air in the crawl space, which you might think is actually a good thing…but it’s not. As we mentioned earlier, cold air doesn’t hold much moisture, so whatever isn’t absorbed increases the humidity.
By now, we’re sure that you’ve pieced together the potential damage that can be caused by high humidity levels, especially given all the factors that contribute to these levels in the first place. None of these aspects are great on their own, so when they combine forces and raise your crawl space humidity levels, bad things are afoot.
How to Fix Humidity
Since we’re not able to change the way the weather works, the second best option to reducing crawl space humidity is simply by hiring Economic Exterminators to conduct a crawl space encapsulation. What this means is that professionals will install a sealant to the crawl space, which creates a sturdy boundary between that environment and the one you’re living in. It reduces the moisture and temperature of the crawl space, both of which affect the humidity level. It also improves the air quality of your home, eliminates the potential for structural damage (and paying for it) down the road, and totally wipes out any environment that mold/bacteria/nasty critters could thrive in. When you’re ready to get rid of high humidity levels in your crawl space, give Economic Exterminators a call!