Crawl Space Moisture and Odor Problems in Charlotte NC Crawl Spaces
When summer arrives in Charlotte area, the increased heat and humidity levels in your crawl space area triggers the growth of mold, mildew, wood rot (fungi) and attracts insects like termites, spiders and other creepy crawlers.
Crawl space odors – musty, earthly and sometimes even a cat-urine smell can build up beneath liners and vapor barriers as organic materials break down and resulting gases seeping into the crawl space and into your family’s living space.
Mold growth, encouraged by high humidity levels, can be very detrimental to your family’s health, especially if you or anyone in your family has allergies or suffers from asthma.
Stack Effect and Basement Odors/Crawlspace Smells
The mold produces mold spores and musty, earthy odors that fill the crawlspace area and slowly permeate the home’s living area happens through the process called the “stack effect”.
As fungi grows, it feeds on moist wood, the actual structural support of your home, and if left unchecked, can actually destroy the joists, support beams and subfloor panels resulting in sagging, unlevel floors, squeaky and buckled hardwood floors, buckled and cracked interior walls.
High humidity levels (crawl space moisture) in your Charlotte area crawl space with other Mecklenburg homes and excess crawl space moisture vapor can cause numerous odors and smell problems in your home’s living area.
Whether the water comes from an source external to the crawlspace or comes from internal crawlspace sources, the water increases the humidity levels of the crawlspace which in turn can result in a multitude of consequences, none of which are good.
Since water vapor can move through porous cement, moisture from the ground can move through it and into your North Carolina home.
Problems Prevented with Crawl Space Repair
Here are problems that lead people to sealing their crawl space:
- provide the ideal environment for mold and mildew growth in charlotte area crawl spaces
- grow wood rot fungi which devour your home’s wooden structural beams and posts
- soak your fiberglass insulation reducing the R-factor thus the insulating qualities of the fiberglass batts between floor rafters
- increase condensation on any air conditioning ducts or equipment
- Mildew/musty smells in basement or crawl space areas
- Contribute to Soft or spongy floors
- High cooling costs- increased electric bills
- provide an ideal breeding ground for insects like termites, carpenter ants, spiders, roaches which attract snakes and other pests
- sweating interior windows due to high interior relative humidity
- affect you family’s health due to poor air quality – mold spores, dust mites, off-gases from organic decomposition – all resulting in chronic health issues for your family – Allergy and asthma symptoms
- crawl space moisture vapor condensating on pipes
Crawl Space Moisture – Where Does It Come From?
The source of the crawlspace moisture in the Sherrils Ford area results in the increased crawl space humidity (moisture vapor) can be identified and eliminated by a professionally trained crawl space expert. For discussion purposes, lets divide the sources into two areas… External Water Sources and Internal Water Sources.
Crawl Space Moisture From External Sources
1. Poorly graded yard around the home’s foundation. It is critical that the slope of the ground around the foundation be away from the house extending 6-8 feet to prevent water from ponding adjacent to the foundation wall.
2. Rain gutters and downspouts should discharge water at least 4 feet from the foundation preferably into a catch basin or drainage system.
3. Clogged rain gutters during a heavy rain will dump gallons of water off your roof onto the ground next to your foundation. Be sure to clean the rain gutters annually if necessary. Also, be sure your rain gutters are sized correctly to handle downpours. If you notice water cascading off your roof during downpours you may need to upgrade your gutters to the next larger size.
4. Subterranean water could be a multitude of causes. Underground springs, a rise in the water table due to an unusual heavy rainy season or even a broken city water line.
If you are experiencing crawl space water problems, it’s best to do periodic investigations to determine if the problem is seasonal or just call a professional like CCSS to investigate the problem and provide you with a solution that fits your timetable and budget.
Landscaping problems allowing water to enter into the crawlspace. Slope ground so water runs away from the house. Check periodically to make sure during heavy rains water is directed away from the house
Raingutters should discharge at least 4 feet from the house with 6-8 feet ideal otherwise water will collect along the foundation wall entering the crawl space through cracks or hydrostatic pressure.
Leaves clogging your raingutters will force water over the tops of your raingutters flooding the area next to your foundation. Clean annually and confirm your gutters are sized correctly for your roof size.
Crawl Space Moisture From Internal Sources
If upon inspection you cannot find any external source of crawl space water in your Cramerton home then it’s time to do some investigation inside the crawlspace. Things to look for:
1. water dripping from uninsulated cold water pipes
2. uninsulated HVAC ducting with moisture from the air condensing on leaking or ductwork.
3. check for leaking water or drainage pipes
4. uncovered crawl space soil – the moisture contained in the soil is constantly evaporating
5. especially during the summer months, crawl space vents that are open
HVAC equipment in the crawlspace provides the opportunity to raise the humidity levels due to condensation on your cool HVAC ducts. Insulate ductwork and tape all joints and seams.
In the summer months, as the humidity in the crawlspace increases, fiberglass insulation holds moisture to the point when the dewpoint is reached, it will condense on the fiberglass.
A combination of mold and insect damage have attacked the headers, floor joists and posts of this home. Damage this severe must be removed to maintain the structural integrity of the house. We’re experts at this type of work.
Crawl space moisture repair now will help you avoid costly, unnecessary repairs later, create a healthier living space, and save money on your utility bills. Take care of your crawlspace moisture problems by calling CCSS and let the crawlspace experts identify your problems, provide you with your repair options and give you an estimate that will work with your timetable and budget.
Call us now at (704) 989-8219 , you can also fill out the form below for more information.