Crawl Space Wood Rot
March 30 2017
The most overlooked and neglected part of a home is the crawl space. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is not a good philosophy to live by when it comes to your home, and could lead to crawl space wood rot. Most people are willing to spend money upgrading their homes on things such as cabinetry, granite, and hardwood floors, and all too often neglect the “bones” of the house. The “bones” or structural wood members are what supports your home, and should never be overlooked.
It is often only after a homeowner puts their home up for sale and the home inspection complete, that it is discovered that their flooring system is rotting, and the repairs are both extensive and expensive. Many times, potentials buyers will exercise their option to nullify a contract, and will walk away from purchasing a home with these problems.
Crawl space moisture, which leads to mold and wood rot, is an epidemic in the humid Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Crawl spaces in our region tend to have elevated levels of humidity for extended periods of time, which is the perfect breeding ground for mold. In this environment, mold will colonize and spread very quickly, and begin to consume the wood and organic material in your crawlspace. Wood destroying insects are drawn to the crawl space because of the damp environment, and the moisture content of the wood. Controlling moisture in your crawlspace will prevent these problems.
Most people think that simply laying down a thin plastic vapor retarder will protect their home; or even worse, they install fans in the foundation vents thinking it will dry out the space, when it just introduces additional hot humid air, raises the relative humidity, and accelerates the wood decay in the crawl space. DO NOT INSTALL FANS IN THE FOUNDATION VENTS OF YOUR CRAWLSPACE! Talk to a professional before wasting money on solutions that do not work.
DO NOT INSTALL FANS IN THE FOUNDATION VENTS OF YOUR CRAWLSPACE!
Potential warning signs:
- Floors are bouncy or sagging
- Floors are spongy
- Musty odors coming from crawl space
- High humidity inside your home
If you suspect you may have a problem, or if you just want to be proactive, please schedule your free, no obligation inspection of your home. There are professional grade solutions that will protect the structural integrity of your home, and give you peace of mind.