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Crawl Space Mold and Condensation

Crawl Space Mold by designade

What Does It Mean to Lower Crawl Space Moisture and Humidity?

Here is a definition of dew point from Weather Questions.com What is dew point temperature?:  “The dew point temperature is the temperature at which the air can no longer “hold” all of the water vapor which is mixed with it, and some of the water vapor must condense into liquid water. The dew point is always lower than (or equal to) the air temperature.” http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_is_dewpoint_temperature.htm Explanation of what does it mean to lower crawl space moisture and humidity comes from “Crawl Space Condensation”.  Relative Humidity explained is a byproduct of 2 factors in atmosphere:  temperature and dew point.(point that air loses water vapor) High humidity in crawl spaces is a normal occurrence,especially in dirt crawl spaces.  There is a difference in relative humidity (RH) in crawl spaces vs. rest of the house. This causes condensation which feeds crawl space mold if not corrected. Change the amount of moisture in in the crawl space by setting control of crawl space dehumidifier to 49-50°. Control Relative humidity by changing dew point (use crawl space dehumidifier) or temperature. “Dew point is the absolute measurement of water in the air.” (Crawl Space Science) Dew point is always less than air temperature. When dew point temperature is close to the air temperature, relative humidity will approach 100%. Look at it this way: if  dew point temperature is 70° and  air temperature is 70°, relative humidity will be 100%. Watch relative humidity especially on hot, humid days to make sure humidity in home and crawl space is less than 50%. Prevent Crawl Space Mold : Understanding Relative Humidity and Dew Point Here is An Example of How Relative Humidity Affects an Encapsulated Crawl Space: (Encapsulated means the walls and floor are covered with a vapor barrier. Having a vapor barrier helps to lower amount of moisture getting through walls and floor.)

To calculate the dew point you use a dew point calculator.

 Tweaking  Air Temperature and Dew Point Temperatures Can Prevent Crawl Space Mold

Note that there is an 12% difference in the relative humidity between the home area(48%) and the crawl space(60%). Differences in air temperature occur in both places. Raise the air temperature in  crawl space to be same as home living space.  You will also have the same relative humidity 48%.  Adjust  crawl space dehumidifier to 49- 51%, it will try to lower the dew point temperature and achieve a lower relative humidity preventing crawl space mold. To lower the dew point in the crawl space it must lower the dew point in the entire house.  Consider moisture from cooking, showers, wood moisture, and even perspiration from people, it’s a big job.  Moisture in the air can be constantly added and vary causing the crawl space dehumidifier some work. It will cause a crawlspace dehumidifier on average to run five minutes per hour. Preventing crawl space mold is a matter of keeping dew points under 50% at a certain temperature throughout the house.

 Crawl Space Mold Growth Does Not Always Occur at Humidity of 50%

In a crawlspace with the temperature below 70° there will be no mold growth until the relative humidity goes beyond 67%. Therefore, keeping an encapsulated crawlspace as an air temperature of 67° and relative humidity of between 58 and 60%, there will be no wood rot, odor, mildew and mold growth and  a lower electric bill caused by an efficient crawlspace dehumidifier. Crawlspace inspections twice a year or strongly recommended.

Are Crawl Space Dehumidifiers Worth Buying?

Although crawl space dehumidifiers are expensive, look at what they accomplish.

  1. Prevent crawlspace mold growth/bacterial growth
  2. Lower heating bills because air rising is warm.
  3. Prevent deterioration of wood structure
  4. Stop wood boring insects:  termites, powder post beetle form attacking wood
  5. Prevent water from occurring and freezing causing wood to split

Source: “Crawl Space Moisture Solved” http://crawlspacescience.com/

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