Dear Cool Cat,
I’ve noticed some moisture in my home’s crawlspace. Is this normal or should I be concerned?
Cassie in Socastee
Helloooooo, Cassie in Socastee! Cool Cat here with the answers you need. Yes, moisture in your crawlspace is usually cause for concern. Our hot and humid climate is great for mold growth. However, mold growth is not great for people or the structure of your home. Mold particles can make their way into the rest of your home and make you and your family sick. Mold also causes wood rot and can lead to collapsing floors and walls. Moisture in your crawlspace is also a big neon sign inviting termites in, and we’ve got a lot of termites in our neck of the woods.
Potential Causes of Crawlspace Moisture
So, Cassie, the first thing the cats at Carolina Cool look for is what could be causing moisture in your crawlspace. There are a ton of possible causes but here are a few of the most common:
- Plumbing leaks – This is a major problem because the source of the leak could be located within a wall and causing a lot more damage then you realize as the water makes its way down to the crawlspace.
- Condensation line from A/C drains into crawlspace – Things get hot here in the summertime – and humid. A/C units pull buckets of moisture out of the air before it gets pumped through your vents. All that H2O should be routed through a drain that releases as far away from your house as possible. When it drains into the crawlspace, it has nowhere to go.
- Ground level in crawlspace is lower than outside – Gravity is usually a good thing. It keeps us from flying off the planet and that’s kind of necessary. But gravity also causes things like water to move from a higher point to a lower point. If the ground level in your crawlspace is lower than the ground outside, gravity is going to pull that moisture right inside. That’s not coooool!
- Wrong ventilation strategy – Lots of cats think creating airflow into the crawlspace will solve moisture problems. Trust Cool Cat – that is the wrong idea. Check it out, when it’s all hot and summery out, the air holds more moisture and it gets way more humid. Crawlspaces tend to be cooler than the outside so when you use a ventilation strategy that just brings that hot, humid air into the cooler space, the moisture condenses and builds up. Crazy!
Fixes for Crawlspace Moisture
Don’t panic, Cassie! The cats at Carolina Cool have your back. They have the gear and the know-how to figure out the best way to fix your crawlspace moisture problems. Here are a few of the common fixes these cats tell me about:
- Install a dehumidifier and route the drain pipe as far away from the home as possible.
- Have all of the ducts in your crawlspace properly sealed and insulated. If that isn’t doable or doesn’t fix the problem, it might be a good idea to relocate the duct work to the attic.
- Have a sump pump installed in your crawlspace. This is a good option when you’re dealing with a lot of moisture and another fix isn’t a better option.
- Consider crawlspace encapsulation. Encapsulation creates a water-proof barrier for your crawlspace.
- Have all of your gutters and downspouts checked and re-routed, if necessary, to move that water as far away from the home as possible.
Hey Cassie and all my friends along the Grand Strand, keep those questions coming! Cool Cat has the big scoop answers to your questions and the best resource in town – the pros at Carolina Cool.