Humidity Levels in Your Crawlspace Affect the Rest of Your Home
What’s the threshold humidity level for mold growth?
When the relative humidity of your crawl space is 70% or higher, mold can thrive.
“Relative” humidity is the humidity level expressed in a percentage of the amount of moisture in the air needed for “saturation” (i.e. the highest level of humidity – 100%). The amount of water the air can hold (humidity level) is dependent upon the temperature of the air itself. When the humidity level begins to creep up past 70% relative humidity, this provides the perfect environment for mold growth!
I’m seeing condensation. What does that mean?
Condensation is an indication that the air within your crawl space has reached 100%. The air can no longer hold the moisture and it’s condensing onto the surfaces, causing the organic materials that make up your crawl space to become damp, which will result in mold growth. Being able to track the changes in both of these conditions in your crawl space will allow you to see trends and anticipate necessary changes.
For instance, if the weather is hot during the day but the temperature plummets at night, this can cause problems for your crawl space’s humidity levels. The daytime temperature is higher, which allows the air to hold more moisture. As night approaches and the air cools, the amount of moisture the air can hold also decreases – causing the relative humidity level to rise. A crawl space that was at a permissible humidity level during the day can run into problems when night falls.
Having unconditioned air below your living spaces makes the whole house harder to heat and cool as well as provide the perfect damp setting for mold spores to breed. In the past, we were told that crawlspaces needed to be ventilated. Now, however, we are learning that crawlspaces need to be treated almost as if they were living spaces. In other words, areas that are in contact with your living space affect your living space. So if you have a crawlspace, what solution is available?
SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz can help you dry out the dampest crawlspaces and turn them into drier, healthier foundations for your home that aren’t breeding grounds for mold spores.