Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 by Katerina Hladikova
Have you ever asked yourself how a crawlspace is different from a basement? The answer is pretty simple; they are only different in ceiling height. Today we would never build a dirt floor basement, so why do we create dirt floor crawlspaces? You might have guessed it, it’s to save money. At least that’s what you may think. Even though, you are paying less for your home with a dirt crawlspace, you will end up having to invest money into it again thanks to all the damages that come from having a dirt crawlspace.
If you went to your friend’s basement in the middle of winter and their windows were all open, you would tell them to shut their basement windows! Yet we build large holes in crawlspace walls and see it as normal.
You may say, sure but I don’t ever see or use my crawlspace, I don’t want to go down there, so why should I care? Here are several important reasons why you should care:
Up to 50% of the air you breathe on the first floor is air that comes from your crawlspace. Therefore, whatever is in your crawlspace is in your home, affecting you. For example, if there is mold in your crawlspace, there are mold spores in your home.
We know that air flows upward, so if you have a damp or wet crawlspace, it will bring humidity from the crawlspace with it. This can cause several issues:
Increased cooling and heating bills (as it takes more energy to heat and cool damp air)
Aggravated asthma and allergies thanks to dust-mites and mold
Smelly and damp carpets
Buckling hardwood floors
Condensation/rotting/mold in your attic
Decreased life of roof sheathing and shingles as well as paint on the outside of your house
If you have ducts in your crawlspace it moves the air from your crawlspace into your living space even faster, and it costs your more money. This is because ducts are made of segments of sheet metal. Between the sections are elbows and joins which are bent, crimped, or screwed together. This means that with each joint air leaks out, it costs you money and causes your family to breath diluted crawlspace air all day.
If you have a dirt crawlspace, you should be aware of all the risks that come with it, and make appropriate changes to help you and your family save money and live a healthier life.
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