If you have moisture in your crawl space and want to know how to fix it before it affects the rest of your home, this is the article for you. We will review some common questions homeowners have about moisture, dehumidifiers, crawl space sealing, and humidity levels. By the end of this blog, you’ll have all the answers you need to make an informed decision about your crawl space.
Is It Normal To Have Moisture In Your Crawl Space?
Yes, it is normal to have some levels of moisture in your crawl space. Unsealed and vented crawl spaces have high moisture levels during hot and humid months when precipitation is high. This can lead to various issues that can affect your entire home, such as mold, odors, structural issues, insects, and rodents. But you don’t have to have moisture in your crawl space. Foundation waterproofing experts can successfully keep moisture out of your crawl space using vapor barriers, sump pumps, drain tiles, and vent covers.
Will A Dehumidifier Dry Out Your Crawl Space?
Yes, a dehumidifier will dry out your crawl space and keep humidity levels consistent. But, a dehumidifier only works if you encapsulate and seal your crawl space, including covering any open vents. Otherwise, the dehumidifier will overwork, trying to circulate outside air.
Should You Run A Dehumidifier In Your Crawl Space In Winter?
Yes, you should run your crawl space dehumidifier in the winter. Precipitation in winter, like snow, sleet, and freezing rain, can all lead to unwanted moisture buildup inside your crawl space. An unsealed crawl space during winter can lead frozen pipes, causing all sorts of plumbing issues.
How Long Should A Dehumidifier Run In Your Crawl Space?
An efficient dehumidifier that keeps your crawl space around 50% to 55% relative humidity only needs to run 12 hours a day. The Real Seal uses AprilAire Dehumidifiers because they have a high capacity and intuitive digital control that allows you to easily set and control the moisture inside your crawl space. These dehumidifiers are designed and assembled in the USA, outfitted with corrosion-resistant coils and a sturdy design to prevent leakage.
Is Sealing Your Crawl Space A Good Idea?
Yes, sealing (encapsulating) your crawl space is a good idea.
Sealing your crawl space will keep moisture levels down mainly, not air from entering the crawl space. Outside air can still enter through vents, bad seals at the foundation top, and gaps in windows/pipes that go through the foundation. The main goal is to keep the humidity/moisture levels down.
Foundation waterproofing experts encapsulate crawl spaces by wrapping the floors and walls with a thin (10 to 20-mil) polyethylene sheet. This sheet creates an airtight vapor barrier that locks moisture out of your crawl space.
How Much Moisture Is Too Much In My Crawl Space?
Experts suggest keeping your crawl space moisture levels below 28%. Anything higher can lead to wood rot and mold, turning your crawl space into a damp and musty environment. High moisture levels can damage ductwork, wiring, and insulation, leading to costly repairs.
Is 70% Humidity Too High For My Crawl Space?
Yes, 70% is too high. Experts recommend keeping your crawl space between 30% and 60%, the ideal levels being 50% to 55%.
Note: The moisture and humidity in your crawl space should be at different levels since they are separate things. Moisture measures the amount of water in the air, while humidity is the amount of moisture as a percentage of pure water.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Crawl Space Encapsulation?
No, homeowners insurance does not usually cover crawl space encapsulation. The good news is most foundation waterproofing experts do not need to pull a permit with your city to encapsulate your crawl space, allowing experts to start projects right away and save you from paying any fees.
How Much Does It Cost To Seal A Crawl Space?
The national average cost of crawl space encapsulation is around $5,500. The price depends on the size of your crawl space, its current condition, how much cleaning is needed, and the types of materials professionals decide to use.
Can Mold Grow In An Encapsulated Crawl Space Or Under The Vapor Barrier?
If your crawl space was encapsulated by skilled professionals using anti-microbial sheeting, there should be no mold growth after it’s sealed. Mold does have the ability to grow under the vapor barrier if there’s uncleaned organic matter. That’s why foundation waterproofing experts with years of experience know they should clean out your crawl space, removing anything mold can possibly grow on (stray wood, dead insects, etc.).
Who Do You Call If You Have Moisture In Your Crawl Space?
If you live in Chicagoland and have moisture in your crawl space, call The Real Seal. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about humidity, moisture, waterproofing, and any other general crawl space questions. Our trained professionals will inspect your foundation, whether it’s a basement, crawl space, or slab, and get you the necessary answers. Don’t wait. Call today.