Crawl Space Condensation And How To Avoid It

A droplet of water forming on crawl space condensation.
“Condensation + gravity” flickr photo by quinn.anya shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Do you have a damp, wet crawl space? Do you have crawl space condensation? In this case, the musty odors and wetness probably bother you. At some point, did a home contractor convince you that it was a good idea to vent the crawl space to get rid of the problem?

Why Vents Can Cause Crawl Space Condensation

Crawl space condensation can be a real problem. It allows moisture into your home and causes a damp, musty smell in your crawl space. Additionally, it becomes a haven for insects and other creatures. Encapsulation can help, but will never fully deter insects. Furthermore, if left untreated, it can create hazard issues, such as mold and fungus growth. If left unchecked, crawl space moisture can cause serious harm to your home and become an expensive problem. If you have a vented crawl space, you increase your chances of condensation beneath your home.

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Why Is There Moisture Under My House?

Here’s why:

  • Water moves in and around your home as vapor through the air.
  • Warm air can hold much more water than cold air can.
  • Due to the relative coolness of the ground compared to ambient temperatures, the space beneath your home is cooler than space outside.
  • As warm air enters your cold crawl space, it becomes colder and can’t hold the water in the form of vapor.
  • For every degree that the air cools, the relative humidity goes up 2.2%.
  • 100% humidity or higher equals, you guessed it, condensation in your crawl space.
  • Ductwork. On hot summer days with the A/C on high, ductwork under the house will be much colder. This causes condensation under the house.

In conclusion, what can you do to fix it? Consider having your crawl space encapsulated. Crawl space encapsulation helps to eliminate excessive moisture in your crawlspace and keeps it clean and dry. Encapsulating your crawl space helps control the environment by sealing vents, laying and sealing a 20mil plastic, and using a dehumidifier to control the relative humidity.

Water in your crawl space causes condensation, mold and wood rot. It’s a serious problem for your structural integrity and for your family’s health. If you have a vented crawl space, contact AFS today to talk about your options for fixing the problem.

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