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Humid Crawl Spaces in Dry Colorado

Despite the ongoing drought in Colorado, relative humidity is still at work in your crawl space. Find out how this works and how it can affect you.

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Though Colorado is typically home to dry weather or drought, your crawl space is still vulnerable to excessive humidity. If you’re noticing pests, high energy bills, musty smells, or other issues, a humid crawl space could be the cause. Learn more about how a dry Colorado home can have a humid crawl space, and what you can do to regulate it.

What is Relative Humidity?

To learn what causes humidity in a Colorado crawl space, we’ll need to start with the basics: relative humidity. Relative humidity is the percentage of water vapor (humidity) in the air. Relative humidity is dependent upon the temperature of the atmosphere. In hot temperatures, the air typically has a higher threshold for humidity, where water can remain in the gaseous form of vapor. In cold temperatures, air has a lower threshold for humidity, and water will turn back to liquid, or condensation.

What Does Relative Humidity Look Like in My Crawl Space?

Having humidity in the crawl space is necessary, but it must be kept at a manageable level. The range for this is typically going to be 30-60 percent range. Ideally, you’ll want it to be at 55 percent–but when warm weather comes around and humidity isn’t being actively regulated, you may run into issues.  

During the summertime, your crawl space, like the rest of your home, is cooler than the outdoors. When warm air from the outside finds its way into your cool crawl space, the relative humidity is thrown out of balance. The air can no longer hold the same amount of moisture it could warmer temperatures outside, so water condensates and puddles. Regardless of any dry weather or drought, the atmosphere still carries a certain amount of vapor, which is always set off balance during a drastic temperature change.

What Makes Relative Humidity Worse in the Crawl Space?

Crawl Space Doors or Vents

From the 1960s through the 1990s, it was a widely accepted belief that crawl spaces needed ventilation. During this period, many homes were built with vents or doors to allow the cave-like space to aerate. However, this thought process turned out to be wrong—even more so, the source of many crawl space-related issues. Any opening into your crawl space creates an opportunity for humidity to sneak in and become trapped.

Dirt Crawl Space

With a dirt crawl space, high humidity will always be a concern because of the moisture stored within the soil. Dirt crawl spaces are typically constructed to cut costs on the

No Moisture Control Solutions

Not having any moisture control for your crawl space is unfortunately leaving it to fend for itself. Solutions like crawl space doors or vent covers, dehumidifiers, or vapor barriers work around the clock to regulate the vapor and humidity levels entering your crawl space.

The Risks of Humidity

High Energy Bills

When warm air travels into your crawl space, one way that it cools off is to rise and disseminate throughout the living area of your home. This is called the stack effect. You may subtly feel this in your living space, but your wallet is where this problem sign will hurt the most. By encapsulating your crawl space, you can prevent warm air and humidity from invading your crawl space and home.

Pests

Especially during periods of drought, bugs and pests take shelter in your vulnerable crawl space in search of darkness and moisture. In Colorado, some of the most common crawl space pests are spiders, termites, roaches, carpenter ants, camel crickets, and even rodents.

Mold & Musty Smells

When there’s any amount of condensation left to fester in your crawl space, it creates a dark, wet environment ripe for mold growth. Mold growing on your insulation, floor joists, and even walls can create a nasty, toxic smell in your crawl space that carries into your living space. When dealing with this issue, you may also run into heightened allergies or asthma symptoms as well.

FAQs

A dehumidifier not only improves the excessive humidity and moisture levels in your crawl space, but it can also improve the air quality of your home. With a crawl space dehumidifier, you may notice less allergy symptoms or asthma flare ups, and even lower electricity bills.

If you’re dealing with a wet, nasty crawl space, you’ll want to call in crawl space professionals who can first clean it out safely. If you’re dealing with mold or pest infestation, call in mold a remediation company or an exterminator. Then, opt for a crawl space vapor barrier, crawl space vent cover, and crawl space dehumidifier. All these elements of crawl space encapsulation will work together over time to regulate the humidity and moisture levels in your crawl space to ensure it’s nice and dry over time.

What goes on in your crawl space will always have an impact on your living space. If your crawl space is humid, hot, moldy, and smelly, then your home will feel the residual effects of that. Due to a phenomenon called the stack effect, the warmth from your crawl space will rise into your living area and bring all the toxins brewing in your crawl space with it.

Call Peak Structural for A Free Crawl Space Inspection 

When you’re dealing with crawl space humidity in the sweltering Colorado summer, look no further than Peak Structural to take care of your home’s needs. It’s common in Colorado to have concrete or foundation issues, but when you’re dealing with high crawl space humidity, you want help from experts who know what they’re doing. Call Peak Structural for crawl space revival—we’re proudly serving homeowners free inspections in or near Denver, Pikes Peak, and Colorado Springs. Our professionals will do a comprehensive inspection of your home and pinpoint the exact source of your crawl space’s humidity. We’ll then offer you a free, no-pressure quote for repairs with us. Learn more today.

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