Fixing your high indoor humidity isn’t a choice; it’s a necessity. However, a startling number of homeowners don’t realize the importance of fixing their high indoor humidity problems. These are a few of the things you need to think about with high indoor humidity.
The stack effect occurs whenever you have an air entry point at the bottom of a home and an exit point at the top. Attics typically have plenty of spaces for air to leave the home, which means all that’s missing is an entry point below, and that happens if you have poor crawl space encapsulation. The stack effect happens because as air enters the home, it warms up, and because warm air rises, it rises to the top of the home.
This rising nature is a problem because air isn’t the only thing that’s rising. The air brings along with it anything that can become airborne, including moisture droplets, mold spores, dirt, and sometimes even insect and pest droppings. That’s why it’s so important to encapsulate your crawl space completely, so you can avoid the stack effect.
Mold is by far one of the most well-known impacts of high indoor humidity. Most people know that if they have high levels of indoor humidity, they’re bound to end up with mold in one area or another. However, you might not know that mold doesn’t need levels in the range of 90% or higher; mold can typically thrive in as low as 60% relative humidity.
This means that even mildly elevated levels of moisture can be a real problem in your home. Even if you don’t feel like it’s extremely moist in your home, you should still make crawl space encapsulation a priority. You never know whether there might be a warm corner of your home that’s becoming a real hotspot for mold.
Although mold typically doesn’t cause a lot of damage until it’s been left alone for a very long time, wood rot can cause a staggering amount of damage in a very short amount of time. Although it’s typically a fungus much like mold, its impacts are almost nothing like that of mold; it spreads more quickly and more easily than most molds and can be seriously dangerous.
One of the biggest problems with wood rot is that it basically disintegrates your crawl space structure. Most of the time, you’ll use wood floor joists to keep the home standing up above the crawl space. With wood rot, those floor joists can become dangerously unstable. It’s just one reason you need to maintain your crawl space structure.
High Electric Bills
When your home has high indoor humidity, warmth is going to feel much warmer. That means you’re going to want to make the air in your home much cooler than you would have to if you were dealing with a lower level of humidity. Additionally, humid air requires more energy to condition than dry air, making it more difficult to run the air conditioner in the first place.
These two things combine to create a home that typically will use 15-25% more energy with a humid crawl space than it would with a dry crawl space. In fact, if you’re able to fix your high crawl space humidity, you may save money in the long run, even when you incorporate the cost of the crawl space encapsulation process.