Richmond, VA, has to deal with plenty of ocean-based humidity on a yearly basis. Rising humidity outside of your home is one thing, though. Rising humidity inside your home is another beast entirely. As your barometer ticks upward, you can start to endure more than unexpected discomfort in your home. High levels of humidity in your crawl space, in particular, can lead to significant damage both in that space and throughout the rest of your home.
The good news is that you can take steps to control the degree of humidity in your crawl space—and the rest of your home—has to deal with. You can reach out to area professionals at any time to schedule a crawl space inspection or discuss the other reasons you may be enduring an unusual amount of internal humidity in your home.
The Dangers of High Humidity
High levels of humidity in your home are more than just uncomfortable. They can also be a sign of structural damage in your crawl space. Similarly, humidity causes a litany of problems on its own. Some of the most common dangers affiliated with high levels of crawl space humidity include but are not limited to:
- Mold and wood rot
- Damaged crawl space supports
- Sagging door and window frames
- Bowing walls
- Cracking concrete
- Leaking concrete
- A sinking foundation or slab
Sources of Unwanted Humidity
The humidity in your crawl space can start to rise for several reasons. The most common include:
As water builds up outside of your crawl space, the materials used to set the space apart from the rest of your home come under what is known as hydrostatic pressure. This force causes your structural supports to change in size and temperature on a structural level. While these changes are not a bad thing when they occur infrequently, they’re often too much for your supports to bear en masse. If your concrete or wooden supports start to show signs of wear, moisture can wriggle its way into your crawl space, where it can cause all sorts of damage while further disrupting the structural integrity of your home’s essential structures.
Hydrostatic pressure doesn’t just build up outside of your home. If the pipes in your crawl space start to leak, you may find yourself contending with internal hydrostatic pressure—which can allow moisture inside more easily.
Leaking pipes add moisture to the air in your crawl space on their own, too. If you don’t take care of a leak quickly, that moisture can build up in your crawl space to the point where you start to see mold, wood rot, and other types of damage.
Lowering the Humidity in Your Home
The contractors in Richmond, VA, can recommend several different methods for you to use if you want to lower the humidity in your crawl space. Some of these involve repairing invisible damage that’s been done to your home. Others involve waterproofing your space before the incoming moisture can build on itself.
Some of the most common means of crawl space protection and repair in the face of high humidity include:
- Vapor Barriers
- Crawl Space Encapsulation
You do not want to install crawl space waterproofing measures without first repairing any damage that’s already been done to your crawl space. If you try to install any of the aforementioned measures without investing in crawl space repairs, those waterproofing measures will fail much more quickly than they would have otherwise.
The good news is that high levels of humidity without puddles on the ground tend to indicate minor damage throughout your crawl space. You can work with an area professional to assess the overall damage in your home and then arrange for any necessary repairs.
Connect With a Crawl Space Expert in Your Area
High levels of humidity in your home are more than just uncomfortable. Humidity can pose a long-term threat to the structural integrity of your crawl space and, subsequently, the rest of your home. If you’ve noticed your barometer ticking upward but haven’t seen any standing water in your home, don’t assume that you’re safe.
Instead, reach out to the professional contractors serving Richmond, VA. You can schedule a crawl space inspection at your leisure. If there is something wrong with your crawl space or any other relevant part of your home, the contractors who inspect your property can provide you with a free quote on potential repairs. You can also invest in crawl space waterproofing measures to limit the amount of moisture that makes its way into the rest of your home.
Despite its smaller size, your crawl space is the beating heart of your home. If you make a point to take care of it, the whole of your home will benefit.