7 Mistakes That Attract Crawlspace Moisture
Crawlspace moisture is more that just a bit of dampness in a part of your house you don’t plan to visit. It is a major problem both structurally and for your health. As well as causing your foundation to weaken, your floor joists can start to rot. Molds can leach their way up into the air you breathe, and your whole house can take on a foul odor.
At Quality Foundation and Repair, we’ve seen many DYI crawlspace repairs in Omaha go wrong. Our professional crawlspace contractors in Omaha have seen these mistakes in many homes in the area. Some people try to fix it themselves. They turn to the Internet and read forums. Sometimes they even get good advice. Many people, however, wind up making these 7 mistakes that do more harm than good:
- More vents- It sounds like good advice. More ventilation means more airflow, which means the moisture moves out, right? Wrong. Air only moves side-to-side when it’s outside. Once it gets into an area like your crawlspace, it goes up. All you’re doing by adding more vents is allowing more moisture in. This air then finds its way up into your home, bringing with it mold allergens.
- Vapor barriers on the joists- This is another one that makes sense on the surface. Moisture can’t penetrate plastic, after all. However, the moisture content is in the air. When you staple a vapor barrier onto the joists, what happens is the moisture in the air just got trapped in an inescapable prison. It condensates right up against the joists and proceeds to wreak havoc as the wood rots. Vapor barriers can serve to protect your family from methane, radon and harmful moisture if they are properly installed by a foundation repair company in Omaha such as Quality Foundation Repair.
- Fiberglass insulation- Fiberglass insulation is like a sponge to crawlspace moisture. It soaks it up and can become heavy. It will then fall off of wherever you put it. If you decided to staple it in place, all of that moisture gets pressed up against the wood. This leads to rot. Applying the insulation to the ducts in an attempt to control moisture and condensation won’t rot the wood, but it will become a haven for mold.
- Dryer vents- It’s not unusual for dryer vents to go through the crawlspace. Where the problem comes in is when they need repair and they don’t get it. Ducting will give off warm air on its own. A broken dryer duct will more than just “give it off”; it will pump it in!
- Ineffective drainage- This is definitely not a situation you want to ignore. Standing water in a crawlspace is the source of so many problems for a house and for the people living in it. Simply putting in a sump pump is not going to resolve the issue, especially if there is no way to get the water around the perimeter to drain to the pump. Our professionals know how to properly install a drainage system that works when your are planning a crawlspace remediation in Omaha.
- Spray foam insulation- Spray foam in a crawlspace is not a good idea. Not only will the foam wick moisture up to the wood, but pests such as termites eat their way through it without a second thought. The tunnels they carve destroys the foams ability to do its job. Also, as the wood in your crawlspace expands and contracts, or even as the foam hardens, gaps can form that channel the moisture right up to the wood.
- Gutter and downspouts- Cleaning gutters and downspouts is probably not on anyone’s list of favorite chores around the house. However, failure to keep them clean and maintained can lead to rainwater pouring down all around your foundation and leaking in. Even if you keep them clean, you should also make sure that your downspouts drain far enough away from your home. Extend them to an area that naturally slopes away from your foundation.
Crawlspace moisture can be cause by many things such as humid weather, poor drainage, leaky plumbing, or high water tables. Mold allergens can climb up into your home and cause respiratory problems for people with allergies or asthma. It can also cause severe structural damage. We’ve helped many people turn their crawlspaces into dry, safe, and usable space with crawlspace encapsulation in Omaha and surrounding communities. If you suspect that your home doesn’t have adequate protection against crawlspace moisture, contact us today to see what can be done.