Do bad smells overwhelm you as you walk in your front door? This could be because of a leaky, humid, moldy crawl space. Many people with a crawl space experience the same musty, humid, foul odor rising up from their crawl space.
Crawl space odors can do more than just smell bad, they can also be a health risk if the air in your crawl space is filled with allergenic mold spores. They can enter your home through the air vents and cause health issues for people with asthma and/ or mold allergies. Get rid of the source of the bad smells as quickly as possible.
What Is the Source of the Problem?
Foul smells can be caused by:
- Wet/ Damp Materials
- Leaky Foundation
- Animal Smells
- Sewage Pipe Leaks
You’ve heard it said that hot air rises. The air circulation within your home is caused by differing temperatures; hot air is less dense than cold air, so it moves to the top of your home. As warmer air rises, it creates a difference in pressure, which allows the colder air to move down to the lower levels of your home. As the air circulates, mold spores take a ride, moving up with the air and spreading throughout your home.
Air that is contaminated with mold spores and circulating through your house is cause for health concern. Mold spores can cause headaches, eye irritation, and respiratory problems. Other toxins may be present in the air as well. Prolonged exposure can lead to some major health concerns.
There is always a solution! In the case of a foul smelling crawl space, the primary thing to focus on is the source of the problem, humidity. By reducing humidity levels, moldy, musty smells have an uninhabitable environment and can be cleaned away. Dry crawl spaces are healthier and more able to support structural integrity. So, what steps should you take?
Clean and Repair the Crawl Space
Prior to any installation, the crawl space needs to be free of debris, including moldy insulation, stored items, mud, and damaged wood. Necessary items (insulation or wood) should be replaced.
Encapsulate Your Crawl Space
Encapsulate your crawl space with a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is installed and attached to the walls and floor of the crawl space. Encapsulation keeps the crawl space clean and dry, preventing mold. It also prevents pests and rodents from entering the crawl space, removing the risk of additional odors.
Vents allow air to flow, but the outside air is likely filled with moisture. Openings also allow pests and rodents access to your crawl space. Seal vents and install airtight doors to have better control.
Install a Drainage System
If water is able to enter and settle in your crawl space, you will continue to face a humid, moldy environment. A drainage system can be installed to remove water through a series of drains that pump the water away from the house, preventing damage and poor air quality from taking over.
Install a Sump Pump
A sump pump is a space where collected water can be pumped out and away from the house. It is a pit created in the lowest space so that water naturally flows toward it. The pit will have a pump in it with a floating switch. When the water level rises, the float raises and activates the pump, preventing the water from overflowing into the crawl space. A backup pump is sometimes installed for extra measure, such as a blackout.
Install a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is an appliance designed to remove moisture and humidity from the air itself. Mold thrives in damp places. Preventing moisture from settling in the air will prevent mold from growing in your crawl space. The water collects in the dehumidifier and can be emptied into the drainage system or sump pump or even released outside of the foundation through a drainage tube.
Taking action and installing protections for your crawl space will improve the air quality of your crawl space and, thus, your entire home. Good air quality is a part of healthy living. These steps will benefit everyone living in your home. These steps will also help to improve the integrity of your home.
Budget Basement Waterproofing proudly serves many areas in Maryland, like Fredrick County including Frederick, Mount Airy, Rosemont, Brunswick, Middletown, Emmitsburg, Thurmont as well as Montgomery County areas, including Bethesda, Colesville, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Germantown, Glen Echo, Somerset, Silver Spring, Friendship Heights, Brookeville, and beyond. We have more than 55 years’ worth of experience waterproofing homes.