We live in a fairly new home and had an excellent builder. Our crawlspace was leveled, clean, and has a well installed vapor barrier. The windows don’t leak and our roof sheds water like a duck’s back. We noticed after a couple years, our hardwoods on the main floor had some cupping and weren’t as smooth as they once were. I investigated our crawlspace and found several pockets of mold growth on the joists.
That means the relative humidity in our crawl space is staying up around 60% or higher allowing mold to grow. Some of that humidity is getting transferred up through the subfloor and into our hardwoods causing swelling and loosening the staples that hold the boards in place.
Now, after 5 years in our home we have some cupping and a ton of popping, cracking and just plain noisy floors. How do you protect your investment? It’s simple; control humidity. Most of us don’t have a climate controlled crawlspace and in most situations that’s not really a great solution. What we really need is humidity control more than temperature control.
What we’ve found is that the best solution available today is a sealed crawlspace with dehumidification. We recommend it to almost anyone living in NC who has a crawlspace. The exception are those customers with combustion appliances in the crawlspace. Sometimes those are best left open.
When humidity is controlled you don’t have issues with microbial growth, mold and even most insects will be much less interested in occupying a dry space. You may also find that you have fewer allergy like symptoms as those are often related to molds that are common in crawlspaces.
If you’d like to learn more about how to control humidity in your home give us a call. We’ll set up a time to check your home for humidity and moisture related issues.
Written by Ben McDonald, Winston-Salem, NC