Most homeowners don’t visit their crawl space unless they have to. It’s a damp and small space and most homeowners only visit the crawl space when something is wrong. One of the things that may concern you is the bad smells coming from the crawl space. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners put off dealing with this problem for as long as possible.
Bad smell is a sign that there’s mold and mildew and that the humidity level in the crawl space is too high. Odors could also impact the air quality and lead to a variety of diseases. That’s why it’s important to deal with them as soon as you can.
The Stack Effect
The air in your crawl space doesn’t just stay there. In fact, it moves and circulates throughout the home. This process is known as the stack effect. Hot air is less dense than cold air and that’s what makes it rise to the top of your home.
This means that the particles originating in the crawl space end up moving throughout the home and spreading bad smells in the process.
Eliminating Bad Smells
There are things that a homeowner can do to eliminate bad smells and thus make their home a better place to live in. In taking these actions, you can also increase the air quality in your home for you and your loved ones.
Mildew and mold thrive in a damp crawl space and are sometimes a cause of the smell. It’s useful for a homeowner to deal with this before it becomes a safety and health concern.
Here are some of the ways you can ensure that bad smells won’t come from your crawl space again.
Installing a Vapor Barrier
Crawl space should be encapsulated with a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is attached to the walls and the floor of the crawl space and it’s easy enough to install, making it a day’s work. So, how can encapsulation keep your crawl space free of bad smells? As mentioned, these smells mostly come from mold and mildew. Since they thrive in a moist environment, a vapor barrier will make your crawl space unsuitable for mold growth. Also, bad smells can sometimes come from deteriorating animal carcasses. If a mouse, a rat or a raccoon died in your crawl space, your home will start to smell really bad. Luckily, encapsulation can keep the pests at bay.
The Importance of a Drainage System
A crawl space should be as dry as it can be which is best accomplished by installing a drainage system. With a crawl space drain you can easily direct excess water away from the foundation and prevent it from causing any damage. Since the crawl space will remain dry, there’s less chance of mold and mildew forming in it.
What a Sump Pump Is Used For
A sump pump is another important part of a drainage system and one that’s necessary when there’s a flood. It’s a pump that’s used to quickly remove water from the crawl space and dump it away from your home.
It’s best for the pump to be in a sump pit where the water is collected. The pit should be big enough for at least one backup pump since it may be a useful option when there’s no power. The sump should be periodically inspected so you’re sure it works.
Installing a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can be installed in the crawl space and it’s used to reduce the humidity levels. When there’s a lot of rainfall in Chattanooga, TN, the air in your home becomes more humid. Luckily, with a dehumidifier you can keep them under control and prevent mold growth.
A dehumidifier will also reduce energy consumption and help you save money on utility bills. By cutting back on temperature-changing moisture, your HVAC won’t be forced to work harder to regulate the temperature, therefore using less power.
Killing Mold and Mildew
It’s not enough to keep the humidity levels under control and prevent mold from growing. Before that, you’ll need to do what you can to remove the mold that’s already formed. One of the ways to do so is to use an ozone machine. It’s best to hire a mold remediation company to set one up and operate it for you. Ozone can be a dangerous substance and it’s best to let the experts use it in accordance with the rules and regulations.
When you notice bad odors coming from a crawl space, it’s best to schedule a free inspection and have professionals look for the source of the problem. Once an expert has inspected the crawl space they’ll come up with a solution that will keep the crawl space dry and clean.