Crawlspaces can be dark — and damp! — places. They can be incubators for mold and musty smells, and a damp climate can attract pests, causing further problems. How can you get a handle on crawlspace humidity? First determine whether excess moisture is an issue and then how to address it, such as with a crawlspace dehumidifier.
Signs of excess moisture
Examine your crawlspace for signs of a humidity problem. These could include:
- Collected water inside the space
- Pooling water outside the space
- Wood rot
- Mold or mildew
- Musty smells
- Thick or wet-feeling air
- Pests or signs of pests
- Sagging areas of the floor above
Because mold and mildew aggravate asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues, a sign of excess moisture in your crawlspace might even be indicated by health problems in the people who live or work in the building with the crawlspace. Even unexpectedly high energy costs can indicate an issue with humidity inside this isolated area of your home and indicate the potential need for a crawlspace dehumidifier.
Dealing with crawlspace humidity
If you find any of the warning signs that your crawlspace has an overload of moisture, there are different approaches to dealing with it. You can try venting the crawlspace to the exterior of your home — this is not an option in homes with high humidity. Another alternative is venting some air from your HVAC system to dry out the crawlspace area or exhaust air outdoors using fans.
Another option to consider is a crawlspace dehumidifier. This works in crawlspaces that are enclosed — you can't dehumidify the whole world outside, after all! So make sure your crawlspace is a contained area before deploying a commercial dehumidifier or a residential model to deal with your humidity problem.
What to buy
Some dehumidifiers are manufactured specifically for use in crawlspaces, such as this Ebac CD30 Crawlspace Dehumidifier. It's designed for either home or industrial use and sucks up 17 pints of water per day. It also has an adjustable humidistat that automatically switches on and off to keep humidity constant.
The Watchdog 550 Crawl Space Dehumidifier is another option — it removes up to 55 pints of water per day and also has an Energy Star rating. Talk to a contractor or an environmental systems professional about your needs.
In addition to installing a crawlspace dehumidifier, be sure to make any repairs needed to address ongoing problems, such as issues with drainage or plumbing.
For a free consultation on assessing whether you need a crawlspace dehumidifier, contact Pure n Natural.