For decades, building codes and conventional wisdom crawl spaces with outside air as the primary means to control moisture in crawl space foundation homes. Because of this, many homes built on crawl space foundations in the Southeaster United States have suffered from poor moisture management within the structure and also the ailments caused by excessive moisture.
Research and now actual usage has shown that closing the crawl space so that the crawl space has NO ventilation to the outside, can provide greatly improved moisture control and results in significant energy savings when installed properly.
Answer: The main sources of moisture are from:
Outside Air – warm, moisture saturated air brought into the cooler crawl space from open vents can become a major source of excessive moisture in the crawl space.
Why? When warm, moist air cools in the crawl space it no longer has the ability to hold as much moisture. When this very wet air touches a cooler surface the water vapor condenses (Dew Point) and water forms on those surfaces.
The Ground – poor drainage in the crawl space can be the main source of moisture. This can be seen in some obvious cases as pooled water or poor drainage can just be adding to the crawl space moisture from the saturated soil caused by poor drainage.
The Foundation – below grade foundations may not have properly designed drainage. This can be seen in moist cinder blocks or concrete foundation walls. The moisture from the saturated foundation adds to the crawl space moisture level.
Excessive moisture can cause many structural issues to occur in your home and it can also lead to health issues caused by molds. These structural issues associated with excess moisture are reduced or eliminated by closing the crawl space:
• Insect Damage
• Air Quality Issues
• Wood Rot
• Swelling of Doors and Windows
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