Using Dehumidifier in a Crawl Spaces
There might be a significant danger lurking in your residence! You may not know it is there until you start having allergic reactions, irritations and even flu-like symptoms. So what is the culprit? In small amounts it is not very harmful. If it grows in frequently used living spaces it’s easy to observe the discolored spots in your walls and furniture so it does not have an opportunity to spread.
Unfortunately, there’s 1 space in your house that mold can go undetected, allowing it to grow at a fast pace. These spaces may exist throughout your house like the attic or cellar. As they are not readily accessible we do not use them very much. If mold began to form we’d likely never understand until it began to affect your health. Even then it may take some time to realize what the origin is.
Usually mold is different because there’s excessive moisture present. If this is true then you may have other things to be worried about also. High humidity is the preferred environment for insects and pests. In addition, it can compromise the structural integrity of your dwelling. Wood can start to rot, floors sag and metal starts to corrode and deteriorate.
Fortunately, if you become aware of the moisture early enough, it is possible to prevent these issues from occurring. The easiest solution is to wash out the space with a crawl space dehumidifier.
There are a few steps you want to take for removing excessive moisture and installing a dehumidifier for your crawl space.
Locate the Source
First, remove the source of the issue by determining how moisture is getting into the area. There’s absolutely not any point in trying to begin cleaning up and drying out a room if it’s only going to keep accumulating more moisture from the future.
Is it a leak in the roofing, siding or cellar?
Do you reside in a place with high humidity? Thoroughly inspect your house from roof to cellar to ascertain where the water is getting in. When you determine what the source is you will have to fix it immediately.
If the source is high humidity then continue with the below steps before using any airflow gear like a dehumidifier since this might simply spread mold even more.
Evaluate the damage
Once the source of the leak is corrected check the room to ascertain what sort of damage was caused. You will need to search for signs of mold, insects and damage to the structure. Some of the factors can cause hazardous conditions which can be detrimental to your health so it is important to wear protective gear, use a flashlight and do not work alone.
How to identify if you have any dangerous or unhealthy conditions related to excessive moisture:
Mold or mildew odor: This may be an unpleasant, musty odor like leaving wet clothes in a washer for a long time. It’s more evident in a crawl space because the odor can be more concentrated in a tiny, closed-off space.
Visible signs of mold: This may seem obvious but some people can not differentiate mold from dirt or soot. Some mold appears white and thread-like. Mold can be all sorts of colours such as black, white, gray-brown, gray-green, white or even orange, purple or pink if it is behind background.
Ants: These are a particularly major problem in crawl spaces. Black carpenter ants particularly are a real problem for home harm. Start looking for sawdust or droppings as a indication that they have entered a space. They like to continuously eat wood. Look out for signs of blistered or wavy timber, mud tubes or tunnels and sawdust-like residue.
Beetles: There is one special family of beetles which are wood borers and may cause some serious structural damage to houses. They are especially attracted to timber that is not coated with varnish or paint, so crawl spaces beneath floor boards are extremely appealing to them.
Sagging floors: This can sometimes occur in elderly houses because of foundation settlement, but it may also occur due to excessive moisture. It may not appear clear to the eye, but if you become aware of windows or doors not shutting properly since the alignment is off then it may be because of sagging floors.
Rotted wood: When moisture levels are high enough fungi can grow and begin digesting the proteins and sugars in timber. If caught early enough it will not cause too much harm, but when it goes for too long that the consequences can be severe. Wood rot is often known as “house cancer.” Any timber affected severely enough will have to be totally replaced, which can be rather expensive. This may just cause another water issue down the road. Cleanup
Remove any debris, junk and moist materials. This is essential to be able to create the drying out process easier. Based on how much water there is you may have to use a sump pump to pick up the water.
If there is a mold present, it’s essential that you clean it up until you begin to use any airflow gear like a dehumidifier. This will only spread the mold and also contaminate the equipment.
It includes some basic information regarding mold, cleanup guidelines, and prevention and management tips. Because mold can be damaging to your health it is ideal to inform yourself on the appropriate procedures for cleaning this up. If the area has over 30 sq. ft. of contamination then it ought to be cleaned with a professional mold firm.
Be sure to clean up any rodent or other pest infestation since there might be a viral or bacterial hazard. If urine does exist on a dirt floor then it may be necessary to eliminate the layers of soil that is contaminated. Then spread a plastic covering over gravel or dirt surfaces.
Remove any dead tree limbs around your home because this may be a source for rodents, termites and beetles.
Keep the space dry using a dehumidifier
Now that you have taken care of the water entry problem and some other issues of pests and mold, you can begin to dry out the area.
First, you will need to determine what size dehumidifier is ideal for the space. You can click here to learn which capacity unit you may need depending on the square footage of the space and the moisture conditions present.
Now that you have figured out the dehumidifier size you will need to ascertain which kind of unit to buy. This all depends on the sort of moisture problem you might have. Is it a one time event because of a leaking roof, burst pipe or faulty drain? Or is it because of something more continuing like living in a place with high humidity?
If the issue is long-term due to high humidity then you may want to think about installing a permanent crawlspace dehumidifier. In this case you will want to find a model with a constant drain pump which you can connect to a drainage system, which means you won’t need track a water collection tank.
Otherwise, if your problem is more temporary, then a mobile unit with no pump will work just fine; it will be much easier to maneuver and will not need installation. Use it before the humidity has reached a healthy level — just make sure to drain the water collection tank occasionally.
What is the ideal humidity level?
A fantastic humidity level is anywhere between 30 percent – 50%. Anything over 50 percent is considered too high and may become a breeding ground for pests and mold and begin to undermine the structural integrity of your dwelling. You may buy a dehumidifier with an integrated humidistat to control the humidity level or you could buy a hygrometer that will let you know what the degree is.
Whether your problem is temporary or continuing it’s still important to do routine inspections of the crawl space to be certain that the moisture problem has not returned. You’ll also have to regularly clean and take care of the dehumidifier ensuring that it will continue to work properly.
Nonetheless, this is an issue that has to be cared for immediately simply by using a dehumidifier. When it’s taken care of sooner rather than later, you can prevent mold from forming, pests from taking over and prevent damage to the construction of your house, which can be extremely costly! Ultimately, what is most important is ensuring that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.