Crawl Space Drying >> Water Removal

Most of our building codes require the use of crawlspace vents to help in removing moisture from the ME. But, many home construction professionals are now realizing that an unvented crawlspace or a closed crawlspace vents only after the crawlspace has had a chance to dry out after the initial construction is the best solution in homes that are using proper moisture control and coupled with exterior drainage techniques for two reasons.

  1. First, ventilation in the winter time is undesirable in order to keep our crawlspaces warmer. Second, the warm, moist outdoor air is brought into your crawlspace through the exterior foundation vents in the summer time is often unable to remove the moisture from a Water Removal and, in fact, could lead to increased moisture levels and resulting in mold in the crawlspace. For instance, a crawlspace that is kept cool by the ground in the summer time might have a temperature of 65°F with about 90% relative humidity and the dew point temperature of the air should be about 62°F.
  2. The estimated dew point of the outdoor air at 90°F and 60% RH is approximately 74°F. Therefore, the outdoor air that's brought into your crawlspace will actually increase the amount of moisture until the water condenses out on the cool Water Removal surface like your sub floor joists, the exterior foundation walls, and air-conditioning/heating ducts. As your framing stays damp, mold will begin to grow and dry rot in your wood framing develops. Radon is a highly radioactive gas that happens in some soils in every part of the country. It could enter a home through your crawlspace foundation and your floor system.
  3. If it happens in significant amounts, it could pose a severe health risk to you and your family. To protect yourself against any radon problems you should install a sealed, continuous layer of 6-mil polyethylene plastic over your Water Removal floor. Install a plastic tee just below the sheet of polyethylene plastic that will protrude through the polyethylene. Install a vertical 3-inch plastic piece of pipe from the crawlspace exterior foundation wall to the roof through an interior wall. Connect the plastic tee to the vertical 3-inch plastic pipe for a passive radon mitigation.
  4. Have a licensed electrician stub-in a junction box in your attic. Test the bottom Water Removal conditioned room for radon gas with an EPA approved radon test kit, or hire a qualified radon testing technician. If the house has an extremely high radon gas concentration, install an active radon removal system by attaching a small electric blower to the same plastic pipe that's in your attic to release the gases to the outside. If the radon gas levels are even higher like over 25 picocuries per liter, then consult with your local radon mitigation and Water Removal experts.

 

Insulate all ductwork in the crawlspace.
7. Insulate all hot and cold water lines in the crawlspace unless
they are located within the insulation.
8. Close crawlspace vents after making sure the crawlspace is dry
and all construction materials have dried out.

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