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Damages from high humidity

Monday, June 17th, 2013 by Brad Wazlavek


When I think of humidity, I immediately think of summer and the “thick” air. I was raised on the east coast and its no secret that the humidity is just awful around here. Besides the way it makes me feel, it can also be doing a lot of damage to the homes on Delmarva.

 

Damaged ducts…

Humidity is the moisture content in the air. This means that the higher the relative humidity, the more moisture that is in the air. Normally a nice summer breeze will make this feel a little better, but there isn’t a breeze in the crawlspace. When a crawlspace is unconditioned it is just nasty in the hotter months. The moisture seeps up through the ground and sits in the air causing mold to grow and wood to rot. I’ve attached a few pictures of the types of things to look for when looking for damage due to high humidity. Even in the cool winter months, these signs will be left over. Please don’t make the mistake of only looking in the crawlspace during the fall or winter. You may think everything is alright because the humidity tends to drop in that time of year.Damage to the HVAC ducts In the first photo you can see the under side of an HVAC duct. All the little white spots are basically water damage. Cool air passes through the ducts in the summer, but the ducts are sitting in a wet and humid crawlspace. Ever take a soda out of the fridge and put it outside on a hot day? You will notice that water droplets start to bead up on the can, this is called condensation. The exact same thing happens to your ducts in the summer. The best solution is to remove as much of the humidity from the crawlspace air as possible. If there is less water in the air, then there will be less water to get drawn to the cool ducts. This will save you money in energy costs and duct repair as well.

 

Hanging insulation…

Hanging crawlspace insulationThe second picture is of hanging crawlspace insulation. This is one of the most common things I see in the thousands of photos DryZone inspectors take every month. The fiberglass insulation is very light to start with, and it won’t take much moisture to make it sag and get stringy. The best way I can think of to describe this situation is by thinking of a sponge. The next time you are in the kitchen, look at the dry dish sponge. It is all shriveled up and smaller than it was while in use. It soaks up every little bit of water until it is full. But what happens once it has reached capacity? It is heavy and no longer rigid. Now imagine the sponge is the only thing keeping your floors warm in winter, and the only thing that holds that sponge in place is a small metal stick. That sponger probably wouldn’t stay in place you long under those conditions. That is exactly what happens to crawlspace insulation when it gets wet from high humidity.

 

Check it often…

So, to sum up, be sure to check your crawlspace often and call DryZone for a free crawlspace inspection. These problems can be fixed and future problems can be avoided.

 

 

About the author

Brad Wazlavek, Sales Manager

Brad has been with DryZone since early 2011. Currently he manages both of DryZone's websites in order to spread the DryZone message. Brad grew up in a military family so he moved around the country as a child. He settled in Delaware in 2006 and currently lives in Seaford.

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