While many homeowners don’t realize it, the crawl space is an important area in the home. Having a leaking or moist crawl space can cause many problems in a home, including poor air quality, insects, mold, dry rot, and structural damage. Repairing or encapsulating a crawlspace not only solves these problems but also increases energy efficiency.
Dry-Basement Waterproofing is the leading professional provider of crawl space repairs and encapsulation in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and greater Iowa.
What Are the Signs of a Damp Crawl Space?
A few signs that you are having problems with a damp crawls pace include:
- Condensation on ductwork, pipes, or insulation
- Pooling water or damp floors
- Buckled, uneven, or sloping floors
- Mold or mildew on surfaces
- Insect infestations
What Problems Are Caused by a Damp Crawl Space?
Poor Air Quality
Having a damp crawl space is a leading cause of poor air quality not only in the basement but inside the house. Moist air containing mold or mildew can cause problems with allergies or even be life-threatening for someone with asthma.
Constant condensation or the presence of mold and mildew can cause problems with the homes underlying structure. Some metal pipes and surfaces may develop rust in a moist environment. Insulation deteriorates more quickly when it is wet or exposed to mildew. Constant exposure to mold and mildew also causes deterioration of the wood structure and even concrete surfaces in the basement and foundation.
Many insects like silverfish, earwigs, centipedes, sow bugs, and mold mites thrive in damp, dark, and lightly inhabited environments. While most are relatively harmless, you certainly don’t want them to move into the living spaces of your home. Subterranean termites are also more likely to be present where this is moisture and condensation inside a structure. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover termite damage.
Higher Energy Bills
While most people don’t realize it, the hot humid air during Iowa springs and summers causes the relative humidity level inside a crawl space to be much higher than it is on the outside. A ten degree change in temperature from 70 to 80 degrees on the outside can cause a 20% increase in basement and crawl space humidity. This humidity increases the overall humidity inside the home and makes it much more expensive to cool.
Why is Crawl Space Encapsulation the Best Solution?
At one point, homeowners were told that installing concrete or vapor barriers over a dirt floor in a crawl space was sufficient for solving moisture problems. Scientists later discovered that ground moisture wasn’t the only source of water because water would also seep through concrete blocks and crawl space vents. Sometimes the vapor barrier would make the humidity problem even worse.
What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Crawl Space Encapsulation involves three steps:
- A heavy-duty plastic liner is attached and sealed to both ground and foundation walls to prevent moisture from entering the crawl space.
- Vents and openings are sealed to keep outside humid air from entering the crawl space.
- Interior air is dehumidified to prevent condensation.
What Are the Advantages of Crawl Space Encapsulation?
A number of reputable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Building Science Corp. and Green Building Advisor did a study of crawl space humidity problems and found the best way to treat crawl spaces was to implement crawl space encapsulation. Not only did this control the moisture and air quality, but it improved overall energy efficiency by 10 to 20 percent.
Dry-Basement Waterproofing Encapsulates Your Crawl Space
If you want to avoid the problems and expense of a damp crawlspace, call Dry-Basement Waterproofing about repairing your crawl space in Iowa City or other Iowa community. Contact us today for a free estimate!