Crawl Space Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers work by extracting moisture from the air around them. They do this by pulling in air, forcing it over extremely cold coils, extracting the resulting moisture, and then pushing the drier air back out into the environment. In your crawl space, a dehumidifier can significantly lower humidity levels. Once you set a target humidity level, the dehumidifier will circulate until it reaches that level.
When more moisture enters the air, it will activate once more to reduce humidity levels and keep them at the target. Most people feel comfortable indoors when the humidity is between 30% and 50%. You should try to keep your crawl space at 55% humidity or lower since most species of fungi cannot grow unless the relative humidity exceeds 60%.
The Benefits of Installing a Dehumidifier Under Your Home
- Dehumidifiers can Reduce Mold Growth
- These Can Reduce Allergy Symptoms
- Can Reduce Pest Infestations
- Also, used to Prevent Wood Decay Fungi
Crawl Space Dehumidifier Service: Each dehumidifier unit needs to be serviced yearly. Every unit installed by Universal comes standard with a one-year warranty. Starting the second year, Universal Pest & Termite will offer an optional yearly maintenance plan. This includes cleaning the coil, cleaning or replacing the filter (s), inspecting the unit, including drain lines, and ensuring the settings are correct.
What is Wood Decay?
1. White Rot attacks primarily hardwoods and causes a white or yellow discoloration by attacking the cellulose and lignin in the wood. Eventually, the wood will develop a spongy touch and stringy appearance.
2. Brown Rot attacks primarily softwoods and causes the wood to turn dark brown. Brown rot is often called “brown cubical rot” because of the way the wood can split across the grain, giving a checkerboard appearance or breaking off in cubes. This can weaken wood quickly, causing the wood to be very dry and powdery, hence the misleading nickname “dry rot.”
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Common Crawl Space Problems
Crawl spaces are highly susceptible to several problems that cause damage to both the inside and outside of the home. Installing a dehumidifier or encapsulating your crawl space is both a quick and straightforward way to deal with and prevent many of these issues. A damp crawl space with condensation provides the ideal environment for:
- Wood rot
- High humidity levels
- Water damage
- Increased energy costs
Steps to preparing your crawl space prior to installing a dehumidifier
First, you will need clean out any debris that may be cluttering up the crawl space. This will allow for a clear inspection of the ground in the crawl space. It will also ensure that the vapor barrier can be installed properly.
Next will be an inspection of the sub-floor insulation. This is to determine if any insulation needs to be replaced or pinned back up.
An inspection of the wooden members of the sub-floor should be done next. This will tell you if any structural repairs will need to be made. Universal Pest offers repairs to floor-joist and support beams.
Next will be the installation of a poly ground cover. Typically this is a 6 to 12 mil thick polyethylene. The ground cover should be anchored down with proper staples or ties.
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