Many of the humidity effects you may experience inside your home actually originate under the house. Water vapor is always on the move, migrating from one zone into another. When excess humidity from any source accumulates in the crawl space or basement of your house, it doesn’t stay there long. Humidity infiltrates the living spaces above through tiny structural cracks and gaps, making the house less comfortable as well as potentially triggering toxic mold growth.
Here are some ways to identify and reduce moisture sources beneath the house that cause humidity effects inside the home.
Check for plumbing leaks.
Water supply lines and drain lines are frequently routed through the crawl space or basement. Look for unseen ongoing drips and/or leaks that may keep the area chronically wet, yet without causing major flooding.
Inspect bathroom fixtures.
Hidden leakage from bathroom sources like a bathtub and/or shower stall can penetrate the sub-floor and soak the zone beneath the house. Humidity from evaporation will then rise up into the house.
Keep gutters clear.
Clogged overflowing gutters pound the soil around the perimeter of the house with water that penetrates deep into the ground during heavy rain. This excess soil moisture can invade the crawl space or seep through basement walls.
Ventilation with fresh outdoor air is important to prevent excess humidity from accumulating inside the crawl space or basement. Install vent grilles in the side of the house to provide passive air circulation into and out of the crawl space. Foundation grilles can be utilized to promote adequate ventilation into the basement. Where more continuous ventilation is required, powered vent fans may be installed.
Install a sump pump.
Where a chronically wet basement or crawl space is due to a naturally high water table in the ground below, a sump pump can collect infiltrating water and automatically pump it outdoors before it evaporates and raises indoor humidity levels.
For more info on reducing sources of humidity effects beneath your house, in the Coastal Bend contact CCAC.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your HVAC system, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.