Moisture and Humidity

Without a Canary How Would You Know?

The only time even one drop of water or moisture in your crawlspace or basement is a problem is if an occupant of the house is a canary. Now what do I mean by that? You see I grew up in Pennsylvania, during the time when everyone in town worked in the coal mines. (I have a few years on me). When the miners went down into the mines what do you think they took with them? A canary, and why you might ask. As a pet, as something pretty to look at? No, they took it to check air quality. Canaries have a very sensitive respiratory system. When confronted with foul or unsafe air the canary would drop dead. When the canary died what did the miner do? That’s right, they got out of there. Now what is the point? Anyone in your home with respiratory problems is a canary. These problems could be things such as asthma, a weak immune system, allergies, chronic cold or sinus issues or any other host of issues that make this person susceptible to breathing issues.

Nearly 50% of the air in your home comes from below the house in the crawlspace or basement. This is due to the staking effect. As most of you know (and just in case you don’t) warm air rises. So air moves upward through your house and escapes through the attic. Well, where does new air come into your house? From the open vents in the foundation that’s where. So why does that matter. This is where we circle back to moisture under your home. Humidity and water vapor under your home is the problem not the water itself. At 50% relative humidity you have an environment conducive for mold to grow. The average relative humidity in your basement and crawlspace is around 70 to 80% all the time. What does this mean to you? It means that you very likely have tons of mold spores breeding under your home and traveling up into your living space.

Warm air rises through your house bringing the moisture with it
Warm air rises through your house bringing the moisture with it

 

Ok, if this is the situation why haven’t I been sick yet? Great question. Everyone has varying degrees of sensitivity to mold and other indoor allergens. Your tolerance may well be higher than others. This can change though. It is not uncommon for people to develop allergies or sensitivity later in life or after some type of large illness. Children are also more sensitive to indoor air pollutants, 100% of children under age nine are allergic to mold.

Are you sure that you have not seen any effects yet of mold exposure? Below is a list of common symptoms of mold exposure;

sinus congestion           nausea
sneezing runny nose
coughing skin rashes
fatigue flu-like symptoms
headaches restlessness
dizziness      irritation of the eyes, nose or throat

 

This is an abbreviated list of the few key symptoms of exposure as the full list is a few pages long. If you or someone in your family is experiencing any of these symptoms or others such as asthma or regular intestinal upset, you have a problem. So what is the solution? First you need to get rid of the water, and get rid of the moisture. Well how do I do that? You have a variety of options available.

You can excavate the exterior wall and water proof it, you can add a French drain on the exterior of your house, but these solutions have a limited warranty. We recommend an interior drainage solution and encapsulating your space. This allows for water control and protection from water. In addition when the drainage system is on the interior it will not clog up with sediment like an exterior system will. This enables us to carry a lifetime transferrable warranty. Our estimates are free and we can provide peace of mind and understanding of exactly what is going on below your living space. In addition we know how to solve your issues quickly and permanently.

This musty moldy insulation could be under your home
This musty moldy insulation could be under your home

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