What Happens Under Your House When it Rains During periods of heavy rains, the soil…
Humidity and Odors in Your Raleigh Crawl Space & Basement
The History of Problem Crawl SpacesCrawl spaces in general do not make sense. We have made attempts over the years to try to address the unique issues inherent to a crawl space. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, homes were built on stone or brick piers, with no exterior walls. This method allowed a lot of air to move under and up into the house. This caused the house to be drafty and cold in the winter months. It also allowed animals easy access under the house, which caused obvious problems. We then started to build walls around the bottom of the house to stop the cold drafts and animals and the traditional crawl space was born. Once the walls were built, this created another problem. The air under the house became stagnant, and odors started to build. The solution was to add foundation vents to relieve the stagnant air and also to cross-ventilate the space. Soon after, we started to add vapor barriers as a form of crawl space waterproofing to try and stop the moisture from coming up through the soil. Some agreed that the vapor barrier should cover all the soil in the crawl space, while others said that some moisture is needed and that we should cover only 80% of the ground. Powered foundation vents were also introduced. These fans were installed to pull humidity from the crawl space and expel it to the exterior.
Where the Problems Have LeadAs time passed and additional studies have been done, we now know there are several problems with foundation vents and passive ventilation in general. The first major problem is that in the South, we are trying to use very hot, humid air to cross-ventilate the cool, damp crawl space. This can cause several problems in the crawl space such as:
- Heavy condensation
- Wet insulation
- Sweating duct work
- A damp environment that attracts bugs and insects