Musty Home: It Could Be Your Crawlspace

August 29, 2022

If you have lived in North Carolina, you are probably familiar with the hot and humid summers that come every year. In fact, North Carolina can sport a humidity of as high as 76%. Humid air in the home can feel sticky and muggy, making the day feel a lot more uncomfortable than it should be. While you could turn on your air conditioning to cool off, it might not fix everything. Have you ever noticed your home having a strange, musty smell? Even with your air conditioning on, there seems to be an earthy smell circulating through your home’s every room. Even if you are feeling cool and dry in your living room, that problematic smell can mean the humidity problem is still there — possibly right below your feet, in your crawlspace.

Why Would Your Crawlspace Make A Home Musty?

While your living space may be kept cool and dry with air conditioning, your vented crawlspace may not have the same kind of protection against a North Carolina summer. As humid air flows into the crawlspace, that humidity and moisture tend to stick around. That moisture then begins to build until it begins affecting what is within the crawlspace. While there are various problems that can begin in a damp crawlspace, the cause of the musty smell that you may be experiencing is due to mold.

A Damp Crawlspace Is Heaven For Mold

Mold spores are virtually everywhere. They float in the air and eventually come to rest on many surfaces both in nature and in the house. But those mold spores cannot do anything without enough moisture and a food source. Unfortunately, the wooden support structures in your crawlspace provide the perfect source of organic material to feed mold — it is why damp, fallen logs and plant matter rot away in nature.

As moisture builds up within the crawlspace, those mold spores will become active and grow, beginning that cycle of organic breakdown as it spreads. More mold spores are produced and released into the air as the mold spreads and colonizes. When there is enough mold spores in the air, an earthy smell will become noticeable.

As warm air rises from your crawlspace and into your living spaces, those mold spores are carried along. That is how that musty smell can reach the rest of your home.

Keep Your Crawlspace Mold-Free

While you cannot keep mold spores out of your home 100%, you can at least take away its means of growing and spreading. As described above, mold requires moisture in order to grow and survive. Without it, the spores will remain dormant. The best way to keep moisture out of the crawlspace is to have it encapsulated. But if your crawlspace is also having groundwater seep into it through the soil, it is likely that you will require both crawlspace encapsulation and crawlspace waterproofing.

With the help of a vapor barrier liner, moisture can be kept at bay, and you can create a dry space within your crawlspace. This can make also make your crawlspace into a useable area, such as for storage.

Protect Your Crawlspace With An Expert

From mold and wood rot to termites and increased humidity in the house, moisture in the crawlspace can lead to problems that can extend to other parts of your home. The longer it takes before those problems are addressed, the greater the risk of higher repair costs and further damage to your home. Fortunately, there are contractors that offer expert services in crawlspace encapsulation and waterproofing. But be sure to do your research and find one that has at least these qualities:

  • Strong warranty
  • Decades of experience
  • Many positive online reviews

For a crawl space encapsulation company in charlotte nc company that fits these requirements, give ’58 Foundations a call to protect your crawlspace from moisture and humidity!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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