The Importance of Crawlspaces
Maintaining a dry crawlspace is essential to the health of your home. A crawlspace operates much like a basement and is subject to the same types of challenges. Standing water and high humidity levels can cause moisture damage and undermine the integrity of your home. That is why it is important to control moisture and maintain the right level of humidity. At Home Inspections, LLC, we work with homeowners throughout Columbus, Ohio, and Central Ohio, to help create and maintain a healthy crawlspace.
Different Types of Crawlspaces
Crawlspaces come in two main types: conditioned and unconditioned space. If your crawlspace houses mechanical components like waterlines, HVAC systems, etc., it is considered a conditioned space. This type of crawlspace will need a certain amount of airflow to provide adequate distribution air to the heating space. Unconditioned crawlspaces can be outfitted with foundation wall vents that will allow outdoor air to enter and create the proper level of ventilation. Insultation will also have to be installed throughout to avoid heat loss and running up your energy costs.
No matter what type of crawlspace you have, proper ventilation is key to preventing mold growth and maintaining a healthy home. While each central Ohio home is different, the right builder can provide customized solutions to fit your needs.
Controlling Crawlspace Water
Another main component of maintaining a healthy crawlspace is ensuring that water is directed away from the home. Installing the proper gutter system will ensure that water isn’t allowed to accumulate at the foundation and make its way into the crawl space. You may also need to adjust your landscape grade so that water runs away from the home.
Common Outdoor Crawlspace Ventilation Problems
Traditional crawlspaces tend to rely on vents to allow air to circulate underneath your home. Usually, the crawlspace is insulated with fiberglass and includes a concrete or soil floor. During the summer months, poor ventilation can allow humid air to enter and cause condensation on cooler surfaces. This moisture can encourage mold growth, cause wood to rot and attract destructive insects like carpenter ants and termites. Fiberglass insulation also has a tendency to absorb moisture, which can cause it to become dislodged. When the weather turns cold, poor insulation can result in expensive heating bills.
No matter what time of year it is, mold spores can easily enter the home and cause illnesses. If you or someone in your family suffers from respiratory problems, it is especially important that you maintain a dry and healthy crawlspace.
Crawlspace Ventilation Solutions
If you have a conditioned crawlspace, the easiest way to control moisture is to add air from the HVAC system to keep the area dry. Spaces with an existing duct system can quickly be adapted to direct air into the crawlspace. As long as the AC unit is the right size for your home, it can easily keep humidity levels under 70%.
While this is a common solution, it can cause the crawlspace to experience positive pressure while the rest of the home is under negative pressure. In addition, homes with oversized AC units might not experience optimal conditions during spring and fall. The main problem with this solution is that the crawlspace and main living area are subject to different conditions and the crawlspace will receive air based on the conditions in the home. This isn’t the most efficient way to control the crawlspace.
Installing a dehumidifier is another common and practical solution that can help you control crawlspace moisture. A dehumidifier will respond according to the conditions in the crawlspace and work to create an ideal moisture balance. While this does mean that you will have to purchase equipment that will need to be maintained and has the potential to fail, it is still an excellent solution that will allows you to avoid larger problems down the line.
To get a better understanding of the health of your crawlspace and decide whether you need to make some adjustments, contact an experienced inspector at Home Inspections LLC of Columbus and Central Ohio. We can evaluate your crawlspace and make suggestions for improvements that will keep your home and your family healthy.
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Highly recommended. We found Home Inspections through the recommendation of acquaintances who had similar high praise and were not disappointed. We had an inspection in November 2018 with James Jones, who was more thorough than we imagined, and helped us avoid a money pit. We were impressed enough to hire Home Inspections again in February 2019, Matthew Brown this time, for another property that ended up being great. Home Inspections has been the only inspection service that I have trusted enough to recommend to friends and family without hesitation.
James is the best in the business. Don’t call him if you’re a sleazy Realtor looking for an inspector who will turn a blind eye. He not only finds problems but also can explain how serious they are and what it will take to fix. James is my go-to home inspector, and the guy I refer to all my buyers.
Home Inspections LLC was amazing! They were fairly priced, and the only company who was able to work with us on scheduling to get our inspection done within our deadline. The inspector was not only very thorough, but also very kind and patient and answered any questions we had along the way.
Very detailed walked my husband and I through all the steps, what was wrong and how to fix it. James was Very communicative and professional. Did A very thorough inspections and explained anything I didn't understand. Definitely will be using again if needed. I'm glad we chose to go through Home Inspections, LLC.
James was extremely professional, and especially thorough! Inspection Report was extremely detailed with pictures along with an explanation of what was wrong and how to fix it which made it extremely easy to find and explain to contractors what I needed them to fix. The report also help highlight what items were key to have fixed. Not to mention, I got the report literally the same day! Highly Recommend!