Crawl Space Damages from High Humidity

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

What do you think of when you think of humidity? I immediately think of summer and the “thick” air. The midwest is know for summer humidity, and its no secret that the humidity is very high and noticeable during the summer months. Besides the feeling of the thicker air, it can also be doing a lot of damage to your home in Central Iowa.

Damaged ducts…

Humidity is the moisture content in the air. This means that the higher the relative humidity, the more moisture that is in the air. Normally a nice summer breeze will make this feel a little better, but there isn’t a breeze in your crawlspace. When a crawlspace is unconditioned it is just nasty in the hotter months. The moisture seeps up through the ground and sits in the air causing mold to grow and wood to rot in your house. 

Even in the cool winter months, these signs will be left over. Plus there is condensation in the winter as well.  Even though we believe there is less humidity in the winter, doesn't mean there is less humidity in your crawlspace. Please don’t make the mistake of only looking in the crawlspace during the summer when the air itself is very humid, take a look in the fall and winter too. You may think everything is alright because the humidity tends to drop in that time of year.

Damage to the HVAC is imminent.  Cool air passes through the ducts in the summer, but the ducts are sitting in a wet and humid crawlspace. Ever take a soda out of the fridge and put it outside on a hot day? You will notice that water droplets start to bead up on the can, this is called condensation. The exact same thing happens to your ducts in the summer and to some degree in the winter. The best solution is to remove as much of the humidity from the crawlspace air as possible. If there is less water in the air, then there will be less water to get drawn to the cool ducts. This will save you money in energy costs and duct repair as well.

Hanging Insulation…Dry and Stable of Wet, Saggy and Drippy?

Crawl Space Damages from High Humidity - Image 1This is one of the most common things we see in the hundreds of photos Midwest Basement System Designers take every month. The fiberglass insulation is very light to start with, and it won’t take much moisture to make it sag and get stringy. The best way to describe this situation is by thinking of a sponge.

The next time you are in the kitchen, look at the dry dish sponge. It is all shriveled up and smaller than it was while in use. It soaks up every little bit of water until it is full. But what happens once it has reached capacity? It is heavy and no longer rigid, and it begins to drip.

Now imagine the sponge is the only thing keeping your floors warm in winter, and the only thing that holds that sponge in place is a small metal stick. That sponger probably wouldn’t stay in place you long under those conditions. That is exactly what happens to crawlspace insulation when it gets wet from high humidity, it sags and gets drippy.

Check it often…

So, be sure to check your crawlspace often and call Midwest Basement Systems for a free crawlspace inspection. These problems can be fixed and future problems can be avoided.  Call us Today!

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Midwest Foundation Repair
9850 Douglas Ave Suite 100
Urbandale, IA 50322