What Causes Crawl Space Moisture?
Building homes with open crawl space vents has been a longtime building practice, with the intent of drying the air under the house. But it has been found that this does more harm than good. Warm, moisture-filled air from the outside enters through open vents and mixes with the cooler air in the crawl space. As that air is heated it increases the relative humidity level. Molds and wood-rotting fungus thrive in 50% +RH (relative humidity). The nasty, heated air rises through your house and ends up being part of what your family breathes in the living area!
Why Do I Need A Crawl Space Dehumidifier?
You and your family could be inhaling a variety of unpleasant, harmful toxins in your home. Mold, dust mites, rodent waste and decay, and radon gas are all things that could be in your home and making you sick.
More than 50% of the air you breathe indoors comes from the crawl space underneath the house. Because of the stack effect – air being drawn upwards through your home from bottom to top – whatever is in your crawl space also is in the air circulating throughout the rest of your home. If you have a vented dirt crawl space with any kind of water, moisture, and humidity, you also have the perfect conditions for mold and wood-rotting fungus growth, insect and rodent infestation, and damaged structural supports.
The presence of mold can contribute to problems with asthma and allergies, as well as attract bugs that feast on the mold growth and destroy wooden supports. These rotting wood beams and floor joists threaten the stability of your home. Any wet, moldy, insect-ridden insulation is not effective, and this lack of proper insulation can raise heating and cooling costs.
You don’t have to live with these conditions. JES has the right solutions you need to improve the health, stability, and function of your home’s crawl space. Combined with our other crawl space repair and encapsulation solutions, our crawl space dehumidifier is an innovative system that eliminates moisture in your crawl space.
Read on to learn more about the JES crawl space dehumidification system and if it is the right solution for your crawl space. Schedule a free inspection with one of our professional consultants today!
Why Choose a JES Crawl Space Dehumidifier?
- ENHANCED PROTECTION
The JES Crawl Space Dehumidifier works to clean and filter the air, control moisture and humidity, remove odors, and prevent mold and mildew growth. The overall air quality throughout the rest of your home also will be improved.
- LONG-LASTING DURABILITY
This dehumidification unit is designed for long-life operation in damp crawl space or basement conditions. Like all the solutions we install, the unit comes complete with a warranty and its operation and maintenance can be ensured by regular check-ups from our service technicians.
- BETTER ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND SAVINGS
- CONVENIENT AND QUIET OPERATION
The JES dehumidifier is self-draining and can be directed to drain into the crawl space waterproofing or sump pump system, or a condensate pump can be installed. That means there are no buckets or reservoirs of water that you need to empty. The unit also has an internal fan that is insulated to significantly reduce operational noise.
BE SURE TO KEEP A DRY & HEALTHY HOME!
How Does a Dehumidifier Factor into Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Once the crawl space has been sealed, it’s important to condition the air. Dubbed the “the cherry on top” by industry professionals, a crawl space dehumidifier completes your crawl space encapsulation needs. With all things considered, dehumidifying your crawl space is the fourth and final step to crawl space encapsulation.
Used in conjunction with the JES CrawlSeal™ Encapsulation System, the JES Dehumidifier works by removing and eliminating air moisture in your crawl space, draining the excess water to your sump pump system or outside. This discourages insects and rodents and makes your home a healthier place to live. Its other benefits include that it also protects the structural integrity of your home and can reduce energy costs from 15 – 25%!
The truly unique aspect of a crawl space encapsulation dehumidifier is the fact that you never have to empty a bucket of water from your crawl space again. You don’t have to worry about controlling the water on your own because the dehumidifier releases the water through its own release mechanisms, whether it’s your sump pump or a condensate pump.
How Can I Keep My Home Dry and Healthy?
If you have been experiencing crawl space problem signs such as wet crawl space insulation or high indoor humidity, it’s important to properly address these issues with the right solutions.
For excessive moisture and water, we waterproof the crawl space by placing the CrawlDrain™ perimeter drainage system in the crawl space floor to catch seeping water. This water is then directed to drain to a sump pump system, and it is then pumped out of the crawl space and away from your home’s foundation.
It’s also important to seal the crawl space. Airtight vent covers are placed on the home’s exterior to conceal the vents, and then the crawl space is encapsulated. We use the JES CrawlSeal™ Encapsulation System. This durable 20-mil liner is placed on the crawl space walls and floor to completely isolate the area from the earth. CrawlSeal™ serves as a moisture and vapor barrier, and it helps insulate the crawl space. Rigid ExTremeBloc™ insulation panels also can be placed on the walls for the best protection.
Frequently Asked Questions About Crawl Space Dehumidifiers
Crawl space dehumidification is an important part of a healthy crawl space. Could a crawl space dehumidifier be the answer to your worries?
When it comes to protecting your crawl space from unwanted damage, there are a few different solutions available to you. If you have standing water in your crawl space, for example, you may want to invest in a heavier-duty waterproofing measure—but then again, only after you’ve worked with a contractor to patch up the leak or crack allowing moisture into your home. Some of the best home waterproofing measures include:
- Sump pumps
- Interior drains
- Full encapsulation with a vapor barrier
- Waterproof insulation
When Can Dehumidifiers Help Your Home?
In some situations, however, a dehumidifier can help you better control the level of moisture entering your home. If you’re dealing with high levels of humidity, or if you want to get ahead of the kind of damage that can compromise your home’s structural integrity, then you can install a dehumidifier in your crawl space.
Provided that you’ve fitted your dehumidifier to your crawl space, this unit can pull pints of water out of the air on a daily basis, preventing the growth of mold and the development of wood rot all the while.
Covering All the Bases
Note that dehumidifiers on their own may not always serve as perfect waterproofing solutions. You may also want to pair your dehumidifier with a vapor barrier and interior drainage if you want it to work more effectively. When paired with other home waterproofing measures, dehumidifiers live longer and tend to protect your sensitive crawl space more effectively.
Of course, dehumidifiers and other crawl space waterproofing measures are only effective when you’ve properly attended to the damage that’s allowing moisture into your home. When in doubt, reach out to a professional contractor in your area to determine whether your home requires additional repairs before you install your dehumidifier.
While high levels of humidity in your crawl space can lead to damage, humidity isn’t always bad. You need to maintain a consistent level of humidity throughout your crawl space if you want to create a healthy environment throughout the rest of your home.
Maintaining a Healthy Level of Humidity
Don’t try to suck all the moisture out of your crawl space, though. While limiting the amount of moisture that makes its way into your crawl space is a good thing, eliminating it entirely can cause your unprotected wooden supports and exposed concrete to become brittle.
Instead, set your dehumidifier to 40-50 percent humidity. This level of humidity will keep the materials in your crawl space hydrated without providing wood rot or mold the dampness they need to start growing.
Adjusting Your Humidity as Necessary
You’ll know something is wrong in your crawl space when you can’t maintain a consistent level of internal humidity, even with a dehumidifier. If you notice your humidity levels starting to rise, then you may have a crack or leak somewhere in your crawl space.
Identifying this damage takes a bit of time, especially if you don’t have professional experience backing you up. Some leaks can send moisture into your home from your foundation, while other times the pipes in your crawl space may be the source of your damage. If you notice the levels of humidity in your crawl space rising, reach out to the professional contractors in your area for guidance. With a little bit of work, you should be able to lower your humidity back into a safe range, near 50 percent.
You do not want to use a typical home dehumidifier to protect your crawl space from moisture
damage. These types of dehumidifiers are not powerful enough to remove incessant moisture from your crawl space, nor are they designed for standard crawl space conditions. Instead, if you are interested in installing a dehumidifier, talk to area professionals about the dehumidifiers that may better serve your home.
Taking on Damage Before Installing a Dehumidifier
Commercial dehumidifiers are rarely strong enough to protect your crawl space from unwanted moisture. Our teams do not recommend using these types of dehumidifiers even as temporary waterproofing measures due both to their ineffective nature and due to the damage they can take on trying to clear out your crawl space.
If you want to try and protect your crawl space from additional damage before installing a non-commercial dehumidifier, you have a few options available to you. Ideally, you’ll want to work with the professionals in your area to repair any cracks or leaks that you’ve found in the space. If you try to implement any waterproofing measures before investing in these types of repairs, you can damage those measures and limit their lifespans.
Pairing Your Dehumidifier with Other Waterproofing Solutions
As mentioned, typical home dehumidifiers cannot help you entirely control the moisture in your crawl space. If you do install a non-commercial dehumidifier in your crawl space, though, you may still want to pair it with additional home waterproofing measures like a moisture barrier or encapsulation. These measures limit how the humidity is getting into the crawl space.
Some of the best waterproofing measures to pair with a non-commercial dehumidifier include:
- Vapor barriers – thick, plastic-like material placed over the walls and floor in your crawl space to keep water, moisture, and most gases out of your home.
- Interior drains – drains that intercept leaking water before it reaches the rest of your crawl space will help keep it dry and free of damage. These work best when paired with a sump pump.
- Sump pumps – these appliances are essential in preventing leaking and flooding in your crawl space. Any water intercepted by the interior drainage system will be directed to drain into the sump pump system so it can be properly removed from the crawl space and away from the home.
When you start looking for a dehumidifier to place in your crawl space, you’ll want to know that you’ve invested in a system that can not only pull moisture from the air but that can work with any other waterproofing measures you have in place to reduce the risk of mold and structural damage throughout your home.
Size Does Matter
You’ll also want to take this time to determine how powerful you want your dehumidifier to be. The options provided by JES Foundation Repair work well in smaller crawl spaces. If you live in an area that sees a significant amount of rain over the course of a month, however, that you may need heavier waterproofing measures to ensure your crawl space doesn’t get so humid in the first place.
Function is Important
Typical dehumidifiers have buckets or reservoirs of the collected moisture that need to be emptied regularly. If you rarely go into your crawl space, this can be problematic. That’s why it’s important to have a unit that you can essentially “set and forget.” The dehumidifiers installed by JES Foundation
Repair are self-draining and can be directed to drain into a sump pump or condensate pump.
If you’re not sure where to start when shopping for a dehumidifier, you can collaborate with a professional contractor working in your area. Together, you can inspect your crawl space for signs of damage and determine how powerful (and with how many other solutions) you need a dehumidifier to be.
Other Dehumidifier Considerations
It’s important to realize all air dehumidifiers are NOT the same. Many homeowners think they can place a typical household dehumidifier in their crawl space and call it a day. However, there is one major reason why household dehumidifiers do not compare to crawl space encapsulation dehumidifiers…THEY ARE TOO SMALL!
Due to the location of your crawl space and relative humidity, moisture accumulates at a much faster rate than the upper portions of your home. Meaning, household dehumidifiers are not equipped to handle such an intensive job. All the necessary components needed to make a dehumidifier effective i.e. the cold coil and fan, are not large enough to rid your crawl space of moisture. Plus, you’d have to constantly be in your crawl space to empty the reservoir of collected water or risk an overflow or flood.
When it comes to a crawl space dehumidifier, there really is no comparison to the comprehensive benefits of the JES dehumidifier, especially when you look at all the benefits of crawl space encapsulation.
JES Can Help You With Your Crawl Space Repairs!
Are you ready to improve the health of your home by tackling your crawl space moisture? Contact JES today to schedule a free inspection and estimate with our expert team! We’re here to help you find the perfect solution for your crawl space, and find out the source of your moisture issues.