Crawl Spaces: Effects on the Home
Though it’s an area of the home that’s essentially never used, your home’s crawl space may still require attention. Considering the amount of precipitation here in Michigan, as well as the general humidity, your home’s crawl space can have quite the negative effect on your home, including increased energy bills, poor air quality, and even structural issues. So, while it may seem negligible, ensuring your home’s crawl space isn’t affecting the rest of the house is key.
Here at Applegate Home Comfort, we specialize in all things HVAC. However, we’re also keen on home comfort—it’s in our name. Seeing as your crawl space can affect the comfort of your home and even present health and physical dangers, it’s important to know the potential issues that can arise. Take a look below to learn more.
Potential Effects of a Crawl Space
Like we said above, your home’s crawl space can pose a variety of issues for the entire house, as well as those inside. For the most part, these issues arise from air leaks and moisture entry within the crawl space, which can present both health risks and structural problems. We’ve broken down the main causes for concern below.
Not only is this a common result of crawl space issues, but increased energy bills are also a tell-tale sign of air leaks and moisture problems within the home. If your crawl space is allowing air and moisture in, your AC or furnace (depending on the season) will have to work harder to keep the home comfortable. This will add to the unit’s general wear and tear, but will also cause a spike in energy usage (and bills).
As the outside air and moisture make their way into your home through the crawl space, the air quality in your home will suffer. The main concern here is mold growth. Crawl spaces are already dark, and some dampness is all mold needs to grow. Once it does, spores can spread through the vents and ducts of your home and raise the risk of health issues, like respiratory illnesses. Plus, mold is quite difficult to remove.
Rodents & Pests
Not only does mold prefer damp and dark areas, but pests do as well. As for rodents, well, they just like any secluded area they can get into. While a rodent problem is pretty self-explanatory, it’s the pests like termites and carpenter ants that can really do damage. Since moisture will affect the wooden support beams in the crawl space (covered below), these little pests will begin to feed on the rotting wood and affect the structure of your home.
Lastly, you have the potential physical damages to the structure of your home. As mentioned above, any moisture that makes its way in will begin to rot the wooden support beams in the crawl space. As you can imagine, this presents some serious dangers in the home. In severe cases, homes are likely to collapse.
Preventing Crawl Space Issues
While the above-mentioned issues are certainly concerning, they can always be prevented. In most cases, ensuring the crawl space is properly sealed is a good preventive measure. However, your home may also require a dehumidifier or further insulation to keep moisture at bay. Here at Applegate, we carry quality dehumidifiers from Aprilaire® to help homeowners keep moisture levels down.
While we can help with some preventive action, you may need to call a waterproofer if issues have already taken hold of your home’s crawl space. In many instances, a vapor barrier may be necessary.
Fight Crawl Space Effects with Applegate
If you’d like to ensure your home is safe from the issues mentioned above, give the professionals at Applegate Home Comfort a call today. Whether you need a dehumidifier or some help sealing air leaks, we’ll be happy to help. Contact us today or give us a call at 517-337-7700.