Your home is the place where you spend a large portion of your time and where you seek sanctuary, and not the place where you want to feel under siege. But, if you have an older home, or live in a humid climate, then your air quality could be susceptible to pollutants and placing your health at risk.
The air you breath has a direct impact on you and your family’s health. Children are especially prone to health problems from poor air. Asthma and allergies can all be attributed to poor air, so don’t leave it to chance and take steps to purify the air in your home.
Why is the Air in My Home Polluted?
You might be asking, “How do I know if the air in my home is polluted?” or “Why is my air polluted?”
Well, the answer is simple, and it has nothing to do with manufacturing or carbon based pollution. It has to do with naturally occurring dust, moisture, mold and other airborne allergens coming from your home’s crawl space or unfinished basement!
If your home doesn’t have a basement, then the first and only barrier of defense under the floor boards on the first floor is a thin layer of sub-flooring or insulation. A lot of homes do not even have his layer of insulation below the flooring. This allows dust particles, mold and unconditioned air to pass through, into the home while letting the good air escape.
Typical Crawl Space Conditions
A crawl space is naturally damp, and cool under the right conditions. Let Summer heat and humidity add to the mix and you have a breeding ground for mold and mildew which causes the musty, dirt smell that can linger in these spaces. Include some heavy rains and water can make its way under the foundation through permeation or even flooding.
These conditions wreck havoc on the underneath of homes, leading to a variety of problems.
In Central North Carolina, humidity levels in mid summer can soar up to the upper 90% ranges without any rainfall. Leaving humidity alone for the long term can lead to bigger problems in a crawl space. Bugs and other pests make their nests in these areas which can lead to diseases entering the home. Mold and other allergens flourish in humid conditions and can be sucked into seams of the HVAC duct work.
Insulation in the Crawl Space
Most homes that have insulation in the crawl space have the fiberglass rolls of insulation. This is a cheaper, easier method to insulate a home, but the product can break down over time and does not completely seal the home.
The Problem with Fiberglass Insulation
In areas like crawl spaces or unfinished basements, changing conditions cause the paper backing to deteriorate. Often, this insulation can be seen looking raggedy, hanging in sections, laden with dust and mold. Animals that find their way into the crawl space can make nests with this material. In cold months, rodents and other small animals can really do some damage to crawl space insulation.
Ways to Improve Crawl Space Conditions
Remove old, dirty, falling insulation is the first step. Completely cleaning the area to rid the space of cobwebs, mold, dust and other debris is essential. This is not a simple process and should not be completed as a do it yourself project. Mold remediation is a serious task and the cramped working conditions of a crawl space can make thorough cleaning difficult. A licensed mold remediation specialist should be contacted to properly treat the area.
Seal the Crawl Space
Sealing the crawl space is the best way to improve your home’s air quality. This prevents new allergens and pollutants from entering the home. Prior to sealing, your crawl space would be cleaned and prepped to remove existing problems like pests or mold.
Foam Insulation is the Superior Choice
Adding foam insulation will help seal the space completely, filling the cracks and voids. This provides additional structural integrity and eliminates areas that air can seep through. Your energy consumption will be significantly reduced especially during extreme weather where the new insulation excels.
A Few Easy Tips to Reduce Home Pollution for Better Air Quality
Air quality testing is a great start to make sure your home is free of pathogens and things that contribute to poor health. However, there are a few simple tips that can be used to help improve your air quality instantly.
Follow this tips to improve your home’s air quality:
- Filter changes
- -a minimum of every 60 days with pets
- -minimum of every 90 days without pets
- Make sure the home has proper ventilation
- Keep home clean – dust/vacuum regularly
- Clean mold and mildew from windows
- Quit smoking in the home
- Install an air purifier
- Schedule regular duct cleaning and maintenance
Schedule a Consultation with a Mold and Crawl Space Specialist in Raleigh
Your home’s air quality can easily be improved with mold remediation, basement and crawl space waterproofing, and crawl space sealing and encapsulation. Our certified microbial specialists are available to discuss treatment for your home and set up a time to view your conditions. Give our Raleigh crawl space encapsulation team a call at 919-847-7072 or complete the online contact form.