A lot of homeowners worry about what the summer heat can do to their crawl space and lose focus on the real problem – moisture. Heat dissipates as temperatures change, but moisture lingers in the crawl space air. In this post, we’ll look at common problems that homeowners with crawl space areas in Orlando, FL, face and what solutions exist.
Common Crawl Space Problems in Summer
What summer heat can do to your crawl space should be the least of your concerns. Other issues are weightier and more harmful. Knowing what these issues are can help you avoid costly or unnecessary repairs.
Your first concern should be mold growth, a pretty common phenomenon in dimly lit and moist environments. This microorganism can easily grow and thrive in your crawl space. Black mold is the most toxic one. However, other types of mold like yellow mold can cause structural decay. Mold also nourishes crawling insects, so it’s going to encourage insect invasion as well.
Next up is condensation. It occurs when moist air gets into the crawl space and lands on cool surfaces. At some point, the air gives up its moisture. That’s when you’ll see moisture droplets forming on your crawl space walls and insulation. Condensation encourages many problems inside the crawl space and even in your home.
When outside air rushes into your home, it doesn’t just bring moisture but mold spores, dust mites, and other pollutants. All these are potentially harmful. They will lower the quality of the indoor air, and your loved ones may experience allergies, itchy eyes, and respiratory problems.
Air from the outside won’t just cause breathing problems, it can also ruin your crawl space insulation. Fiberglass is susceptible to moisture. It sucks in moisture when exposed to humid conditions. The excess moisture will weigh it down and reduce its R-value, eventually causing it to fall off your crawl space walls and ceiling.
After some time, your wooden joists and beams may start rotting. These underlying support structures will continue decaying until they crumble under the weight of your home. Keep an eye out for settling floors or leaning walls, as they’re signs of impending structural collapse.
Protecting Your Crawl Space in Summer
While summer is a good time to enjoy the outdoors, it’s also a season that lets you carry out those repairs and maintenance tasks you’ve been postponing. Check your crawl space and call your local crawl space repair experts if you need a professional inspection.
If you have open vents, seal them with vent covers and stop outside air from flowing into the crawl space. However, it’s pointless to block the vents and leave the crawl space open to the elements.
Make sure you seal this space with a thick 20-mil plastic vapor barrier like CrawlSeal™. This heavy-duty material covers your entire floor and crawl space walls. This locks out warm, moist air, and makes it less attractive to wood-damaging pests and insects. Your crawl space will remain clean and dry for much of the year.
Don’t forget to install crawl space insulation and replace any existing insulation if it is damaged. That’s the only way to ensure any changes outside don’t affect your home. When it’s hot outside, your home will remain cool. And when it’s cold outside, your crawl space and home will be much warmer.
Cover all your south-facing windows with curtains or blinds to prevent hot air from flowing into your home. If you must open your windows, do so in the evening or early in the morning before the ground heats up.
Your crawl space has the propensity to get humid and damp in summer for obvious reasons. Once you seal this area, install a crawl space dehumidifier to air out the air inside. Aim for at least 50% dryness. Otherwise, mold and wood decay will happen. We strongly advise you to get an energy-efficient dehumidifier with an air filtration mechanism. Such an appliance will remove moisture and clean up your air.
Don’t let the hot and humid summer weather ruin your crawl space. Alpha Foundations can help you deal with moisture before it causes problems. Schedule a free crawl space repair inspection with our experts and discover what’s wrong with the below-ground space in your home.