Since you don’t spend a lot of time in your crawl space, you may not be too concerned about dampness underneath your home.
But this could be a big mistake because moisture can cause significant problems to your home’s structure. It could also pose health risks for your family while impacting your comfort.
Crawl Space Dehumidifier
Investing in a crawl space dehumidifier helps protect your health because it provides you with clean, dry air to lower your chances of developing breathing problems.
It’ll help dry out the crawl space when it gets moist or damp due to leaks or water damage caused by flooding, so you want one of these units in and running in your home.
Everyone deserves a healthy and safe home, and we want you to take steps to preserve yours.
This is why we’re going to discuss how water gets into your crawl space, what happens if you don’t have a dehumidifier, how you can tell you need one, the benefits, and features you should look for when you shop. In turn, you’ll keep the crawl space dry and healthy.
How Water Gets Into the Crawl Space
Water can leak into your crawl space from several sources. If you have standing water, the main problems are usually cracked in the foundation or poor drainage around the house.
You should review your downspout and clean the guttering regularly to ensure they’re not leaking around your home, and if your downspouts are less than 10-feet away from the foundation, this could be the problem.
When water collects around the foundation, it causes hydrostatic pressure, and this stresses your foundation out and creates damage.
Condensation on the HVAC equipment and pipes also contributes to moisture pooling in your crawl space.
Water can evaporate directly from the ground and collect in your crawl space if you don’t have a vapor barrier in place. This is why vapor barriers are referred to as moisture barriers.
What Can Happen if You Don’t Have a Dehumidifier
Moisture can create several problems in your home, and when you add dust to the crawl space, this sets up the perfect environment for mold to take hold and flourish.
If anyone in the household has a respiratory condition, asthma, allergies, or they have a compromised immune system, a cold can be a huge threat to your overall health and wellbeing.
Higher moisture levels aren’t the best thing for your belongings or your home because most materials like electronics, fabrics, and wood can get damaged from moisture exposure.
Your home’s structure isn’t immune to this damage either because humidity and moisture will contribute to your structural flooring system decay.
Most of your home’s supporting parts are made out of wood that can rot with moisture, including the sill plates, floor joists, and the main beam.
How You Can Tell if You Need a Dehumidifier
It’s possible that you won’t notice straight away if you have a problem with humidity or moisture in your home since you usually won’t go into the crawl space unless it’s 100% necessary.
A few indicators that you have a problem with include:
- Clammy or sticky feeling constantly
- Cracks in your drywall
- Creaking, sloping, or sagging flooring
- Gaps between your baseboard and the floor
- Moisture inside your windows
- Strong musty smell
If you’ve already noticed some of these symptoms in your home, you should get a strong dehumidifier for your crawl space. You’ll need to get an experienced and reliable contractor to help remediate the mold and repair the sagging flooring. You may also want to consider encapsulating your crawl space to seal out moisture and keep it free of water, pests, and mold.
Benefits of Using a Crawl Space Dehumidifier
It’s important for you to note that the air in your crawl space will impact your home’s air quality. The air rising at higher levels in your home does come from the lower levels, so the moist air in your basement and crawl space will circulate around the home.
This air carries a host of airborne particles with a damp smell, so taking care of this problem can help you avoid mold developing or a humid atmosphere.
Especially if you have vents that go to your crawl space’s level, the air you’re breathing isn’t clean.
Investing in one of these dehumidifiers will help to protect your health because it gives you clean and dry air that reduces your risks of developing breathing issues.
Your home’s atmosphere is less welcoming to mold and dust mites due to the cleaner air, and it’s a priceless investment if you’re someone who suffers from allergies because it can help reduce your symptoms.
This dehumidifier will help protect your home’s structure since having a humidity level of 28% can lead to wood rot, and the dehumidifier will take care of it.
Condensation is also damaging because it can increase the wood’s decay, so if your house’s structure is a wooden framework, the wood might fail when it comes to supporting its own weight.
A crawl space dehumidifier will help you keep your moisture levels optimal to prevent this from happening.
Less humidity also lowers your chances of contamination because termites or humidity-loving organisms can thrive in a damp crawl space.
Keeping them away by lowering the humidity levels will stop them from damaging your home from the inside out.
This unit will help increase how comfortable you are in your house because a higher humidity level can make your air feel sticky and hot all of the time.
It can also heighten your breathing problem symptoms, even if you have an air conditioner running because it won’t get rid of the humidity.
So, having a lower temperature with higher humidity still isn’t comfortable, and a crawl space dehumidifier can give you more control over these issues.
It can help you lower your energy bills by reducing how long you have to run your air conditioner.
A dehumidifier will improve your indoor air quality while reducing the amount of time you run the air conditioner, and this can result in lower electricity bills.
The Most Important Features You Want to See in a Crawl Space Dehumidifier
You should know which features you want to see in your crawl space dehumidifier before you purchase one.
This will help you narrow down your final choices and ensure that the one you do pick out will match your needs. The biggest things to look at include:
Depending on this range, you can estimate how well your dehumidifier will perform in your space. You need to keep in mind how large the surface is and your humidity levels.
The goal is to pick out a model that can dry it out correctly, even when the moisture levels rise above the average levels.
The crawl space usually isn’t sealed or insulated so that it can trap a large amount of humidity.
Depending on how much humidity you have in your crawl space, your dehumidifier’s tank can fill up relatively quickly.
If you have a tight schedule and don’t have a lot of time to go and constantly empty it, this can be tedious.
You can consider purchasing a larger size so you will only have to empty it every other day instead of every day.
Your comfort level will depend on this factor, and you don’t want to invest in one of these units only to have it take up too much room in your crawl space.
A big unit can really stick out and look out of place in a more cramped area, and it can cause you to hurt yourself when you try to move it down there. Pick something that is the correct size for your space, and that is easy to move.
Any dehumidifier you put in your crawl space should take away from your worries instead of adding to them.
The newest models include features that guarantee that your product is safe and durable, and you want to consider which features will make it easier for you to leave it running.
They offer things like a touch screen, automatic shut-off, remote controls, and a timer setting.
If you’re going to stretch your budget to get a particular crawl space dehumidifier, you want to get one that has a solid warranty on it against failure to make your investment worthwhile.
Most will have a five-year warranty attached to them, but some have a lifetime warranty on service and parts.
Check out your model’s specifications, so you know what options you have available if your device breaks down and needs repair.
It’s important that you have a dehumidifier in your crawl space, and we just outlined the consequences of not having one.
You can use this short guide to compare products and make the best decision for your needs.