Excess moisture is a common problem during the colder months with crawlspaces that don’t have at least a vapor barrier or encapsulation. Excess moisture is often caused by heavy rains, ice or snow, that will penetrate the dirt floor. This moisture ultimately creates a number of serious concerns, including mold and mildew. Encapsulating the crawlspace is the best solution. If that is not possible, then these steps will help reduce the moisture level. They also lower the likelihood of rodents moving in and will keep your home warmer and your energy costs lower.
We all know how uncomfortable excess humidity can be. In many ways your crawlspace suffers the same consequences when the humidity is too high. This is often caused by weather conditions or when the air underneath your home becomes warmer due to your furnace or heat pump running continuously. Closing the crawlspace vents will lower humidity levels, reduce the number of ways pests can enter and keep the space warmer. A warmer crawlspace lowers the chances of frozen pipes when the temps dip down below freezing. Also, don’t forget the crawlspace access door. Excess moisture can easily creep under and around the door if it doesn’t close securely.
Separate from a vapor barrier, crawlspace insulation is an important component in moisture control. While floor joist insulation is standard, energy experts now agree insulating the foundation walls helps tremendously in fighting excess moisture. While additional insulation provides added benefits in keeping your crawlspace dry, it can be a magnet for rodents seeking a warm winter home, so regular inspections by your pest control expert is important.
In many homes the hot water heater is located in the crawlspace. Double check to insure there are no plumbing leaks. Your ultimate goal is to eliminate any excess moisture from accumulating under your home. Clean your gutters. When gutters don’t properly drain the overflow collects around the base of the home, soaking into the ground and evaporating into the crawlspace. If the gutters are debris free and you still see standing water then install a downspout extension or consider a French drain.
Scout’s Pest Control would like to wish everyone in the Upstate of South Carolina a very happy and safe holiday season and we look forward to serving you in the New Year.