Crawlspace Air Flow
Excessive moisture in a crawlspace can cause a lot of problems. NorthBay Environmental, Inc. was called to Marin County to advise the owner about a big moisture problem in the crawlspace and inside the home. What we found was standing water underneath the house. When that occurs, it often increases the humidity inside and can lead to mold growth. A healthy crawlspace will have at least 4 complete air exchanges each day, and no standing water or debris. Proper ventilation is the key and that means air needs to constantly circulate under a house. If you detect a musty odor, cupping hardwood floors, and mold growth, this may be the case. The video below shows an addition to a home with standing water and no ventilation.
The issue in this home addition was that it had no vents, no moisture barrier, and not even any access to the new crawlspace area. The space under this home essentially became an inaccessible mud-pit during the winter. The associated problem inside the home was mold growth and water damage everywhere. Mold was growing on windows, drapes, walls and the flooring. This was caused by the excessively high humidity levels caused by the standing water in the crawlspace.
As in any mold abatement project, the first step is to identify the source of the moisture and correct that problem. In this case, we installed a new access point to the crawlspace, crawlspace vents, a vapor barrier, and drainage improvements which effectively prevents this from ever happening again. After, we dehumidified the interior, removed all the mold, cleaned, and then moved to the restoration phase. The end result was a clean, safe environment with very healthy indoor air quality.