While it is snowing AGAIN today in parts of the Northeast, many folks are hoping the ice-damming season is over. (Smart folks who recognized the problem are looking ahead to prepare for next year, though. Remember, ice damming is only one symptom of a year-round problem.)
Meanwhile, crawlspaces in the Southeast are already ramping up to reach their full stinky potential. I’ve been in some that literally made me sick. And many people live in houses that are well connected to that wet, smelly, allergen producing mold farms.
Let me state the obvious. Moldy, stinky crawlspaces aren’t good. But as with ice damming, the smell is a symptom. The problem is poor moisture control and energy detailing. Some of it stems from older building codes that got it exactly wrong and required counterproductive “ventilation”. And a lot stems from unwise material choices and poor attention to installation. (As Jason hinted at a couple of weeks ago, they’re building homes faster than we can fix them!)
Mold and mildew in the crawlspace are signs that you could be in for more trouble, including rotting wood framing that can put your whole house in jeopardy, and critters including rodents and snakes, and high utility bills. Much of this is driven by designs and construction practices that don’t control moisture.
Fortunately, there are good solutions, and the right folks to deliver them. For example, the team at Energy Efficient Solutions, a GreenHomes America location in Yorktown, Virginia sees this all the time—they live in stinky crawlspace country. But they’ve been doing an excellent job transforming people’s homes from the ground up.
A good crawlspace encapsulation, controlling water and moisture, using a strong vapor barrier on the ground, and sealing and insulating the crawlspace walls, make the crawlspace the foundation of a well-performing home as it should be, rather than a nightmare below the floorboards the plagues your home constantly. The benefits are amazing. You can virtually eliminate mold and mildew and the smells and the rot that accompany them, make the space less interesting for rodents, increase the comfort and livability of your home, and save money by reducing your utility bills.
If you’ve got a stinky crawlspace, cold floors in the winter, high utility bills, or musty odors in your home, you do NOT have to live with it. Start with a good assessment of your home and let us fix the problems!