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February 11, 2019
Few places in the home are more mysterious than the crawl space. Thanks to issues like excess moisture, mold, and musty odors, the crawl space is an area of the home that many Maryland homeowners would prefer to avoid. But what if with a little knowledge, you could transform your crawl space into a clean and dry area that makes the rest of your home healthier?
Local homeowners ask us a lot of questions about their crawl spaces. In this blog post, get answers to some of our most frequently asked questions and learn more about repairing your crawl space for better home health and indoor air quality (IAQ).
Should I Seal My Crawl Space Vents?
Our answer: yes. Many homes along Maryland’s Eastern Shore were built with vented crawl spaces. While builders once believed crawl space vents allowed air and moisture to move freely out of the crawl space, they actually invite more moisture in. This can lead to issues like condensation, damaged insulation, mold growth, and rotting building materials.
Here in Maryland’s humid climate, it’s best to seal any crawl space vents and treat the crawl space like the rest of the living spaces in your home.
Do I Need a Dehumidifier in My Crawl Space?
We do recommend installing a dehumidifier in the crawl space — but only after having all crawl space vents sealed. Otherwise, you’ll have a dehumidifier that’s trying to dehumidify the outdoors!
We typically install a dehumidifier at the end of a crawl space encapsulation project. Crawl space encapsulation involves 1) removing any standing water or mold, 2) air sealing and applying spray foam insulation, 3) installing a vapor barrier along the floor and walls, and 4) installing a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels under control.
Do I Need Crawl Space Insulation?
Again, our answer is yes. It’s best to treat the crawl space like the other living spaces in your home if you want optimum indoor air quality, efficiency, and comfort. Spray foam insulation is an excellent solution for crawl spaces because it offers not only temperature control but also air sealing and moisture resistance.
Why Do I Have Standing Water in My Crawl Space?
In the winter and spring, standing water is usually weather and drainage related. Over the last two years, for example, heavy rain has caused excess water to accumulate in several Eastern Shore area crawl spaces. In the summer, on the other hand, standing water may be a result of excess humidity.
If you notice standing water in your crawl space, we recommend crawl space encapsulation to take control of those moisture issues once and for all.