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The Evolution of Crawlspace Moisture Control

By: Jasna Alekandrova

The modern age that we live in brings new ways of solving problems, even ones that have been around for a long time, such as crawlspace moisture. Most houses in Virginia are built on a crawlspace. This is not just for show. It is apparently cheaper and easier to build a house that has a crawlspace foundation. It’s easier to construct flooring on a crawlspace and the open area under the house allows for the easy mounting of operating systems like ducts for heating and air conditioning, as well as plumbing. Acting as a central command center of the house, a crawlspace needs proper ventilation to keep it functioning like a well-oiled machine. That’s why there are new modern methods for controlling the moisture in crawlspaces.

Good insulation allows for a closed crawlspace

When leaving foundation vents open in the past, the crawlspace had to be protected from moisture that would build up due to evaporation from the soil. A new way to protect your crawlspace is called encapsulation, which means installing a vapor barrier in the crawlspace, not just on the ground but on the walls of the foundation as well. However, installing a vapor barrier and insulation is just one of the steps that you need to take in order to secure your crawlspace. Waterproofing can be improved by installing a drainage system or by repairing your current system. The drainage system must be placed in line with the walls of the foundation with the water draining away from your house. When building a new home, it’s easier to place the drainage system on the exterior wall of your foundation. For those who have an existing home, it is easier to install them on the inside because it is an open available space.

Use of modern technology to protect your crawlspace

After ensuring that you have proper insulation, barriers and drainage, it is important to maintain a stable year-round temperature inside the crawlspace. Differences in the temperature of the outside air and the crawlspace are a big cause of crawlspace moisture buildup. Many people use a crawlspace dehumidifier, which keeps the temperature and the moisture content in the crawlspace at the same level no matter what season it is. Dehumidifiers are not the ultimate solution, but many people believe that it is one of the best solutions. When you use a dehumidifier, the best way to keep the temperature steady in your crawlspace is to have an easy way to turn the dehumidifier on and off, as well as equipping the area with circulation fans. Circulation fans will help in maintaining a steady temperature but they must be operated carefully. If moisture is present in your crawlspace, using circulation fans can have the opposite effect by moving the moist air around crawlspace. Other people prefer using air conditioning in the crawlspace instead of a dehumidifier. Air conditioning will help make your house more comfortable no matter if it’s winter or summer. Using your existing air conditioning and heating system will heat your crawlspace in the winter and cool it in the summer. If you decide to use your air conditioning/heating system to temper your crawlspace, then you will want to ensure that your system is properly ventilated so that the crawlspace air is not being re-circulated into the house. By doing this, you can maintain and improve the air quality inside your house as well as in your crawlspace.

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