Ask the energy advisor

Are you afraid of the dark?

Posted on Jul 07 2020 in Noble REMC
Brian Hawk
Energy Advisor

Is the Loch Ness monster real? 

It has often been talked about, rarely seen and can be quite scary to witness. You may have one under your home and not even know it! 

What I’m really talking about here is a crawl space. 

With spring’s slow transition into summer and the rains turning into 90-degree days, your crawl space has great potential to turn into a dark, wet space that scary creatures thrive in. 

I touched on some of the issues commonly found in crawl spaces in my last article, but I would like to dig a little deeper this month. 

Let’s start at the beginning of creating a healthy crawl space. 

While inspecting a wet or damp crawl space, you need to identify the source of the moisture. The most common source of wet crawl spaces is a lack of downspouts or downspouts that are not properly connected to tiles running the water away from the foundation. 

The next step is to contain the moisture in the crawl space. Install a 10-mil or heavier vapor barrier over the crawl space floor, overlapping the seams 12 inches and running the plastic 12 inches up the crawl space walls. Finally, tape the seams on the floor and seal the plastic to the walls with silicone sealant. 

Ideally, this should be followed by closing any crawl space vents and spray-foaming the crawl space walls up into the floor joists. This will give you the opportunity to turn your crawl space into a mini basement, a.k.a. a conditioned space. 

Once these steps have been completed, you will need to control any moisture that may find its way into this space. This can be done with a crawl space ventilator, existing supply/return ductwork in the space or an Energy Star®-rated dehumidifier. It will also be important to install a decent, remote hygrometer — an instrument to measure water vapor — to monitor the humidity in the crawl space. 

The health of your crawl space directly affects the health of your home. If you have any questions on keeping your crawl space Nessie free, please call me.