Condensation in the crawl space can add to the nightmare of an all already wet, damp and musty smelling crawl space. At first, the condensation might seem harmless, after all the crawl space is already damp. But left mismanaged, that condensation will induce a wide range of damage to your home. Crawl space condensation is a major factor in:
- Mold, mildew and fungus growth, which eats at your home
- Premature deterioration of wood structure
- Attracts wood boring insects like termites and powder post beetle
- In colder climates, the condensation will freeze causing the wood to split
- Heating and cooling duct work will rust causing energy loss
- Elevated moisture levels could cause bacterial growth
- Damage to electrical, television and phone cables
So what to do? The answer is easy and the moisture control process can be done by most able bodied homeowners. Eliminate the moisture and you have stopped the condensation. The warmer the air the more moisture it can hold, so when the warm moist outdoor air comes into the cool crawl space the moisture leaves the air and settles on the cooler surfaces like the vapor barrier, water lines, cooling ducts and just about anywhere it is cooler than the air outside. Since you can not control the outside temperatures you will have to control the moisture to get this problem under control.
The foundation vents are the biggest contributors because they will bring in the excessively moist air from outside. If you close the foundation vents without sealing the dirt floor first, you will have a completely different issue but every bit as devastating. When it comes to moisture control, whether condensation or just elevated moisture levels, you will have to commit to fixing all of the sources in order to truly prevent damage.Crawl space encapsulation is the best way to seal out the moisture from the outside and protect your home.