Most crawl spaces here in Roswell, Georgia, have a reputation for feeling damp and dank, but that doesn’t mean your crawl space should be that way. In fact, if your crawl space has a distinct musty smell, you should probably be concerned about your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ).
Musty crawl spaces tend to have a variety of moisture issues, including mold and mildew growth. Without you knowing, these issues can affect the air throughout your home. For healthier overall indoor air, make sure you’re doing what you can to improve the air quality in your crawl space.
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality has a larger influence on your own physical health than you may think. If the air in your home contains high levels of dust, pollen, mold, or other allergens, for example, you’re likely to experience heightened respiratory symptoms.
Harmful invisible gases like radon and carbon monoxide represent another health concern. Radon has been linked to increased lung cancer risk after prolonged exposure to high concentrations. Carbon monoxide, meanwhile, can be lethal at high concentrations.
For greater health and peace of mind at home, make sure the air you’re breathing is clean and free of airborne contaminants.
How Your Crawl Space Can Affect Indoor Air Quality
The crawl space is often a primary source of poor indoor air quality in the home. This is because it lies at the foundation of the home, where moisture issues and mold growth are most likely to occur. Radon can also enter the home through the crawl space via cracks in the foundation. If pests enter the crawl space, they may cause IAQ problems as well.
IAQ problems in the crawl space could ultimately affect an entire house. Contaminated air and moisture, for example, can travel upward through holes and cracks leading to upper living spaces. In addition, if your HVAC equipment is in the crawl space, contaminated crawl space air can easily enter your home via your heating and cooling systems.
Improve the Air Quality in Your Crawl Space
Fortunately, there are effective measures you can take for a healthier home and crawl space. The best way to improve air quality in the crawl space is with crawl space encapsulation. This involves installing a heavy-duty vapor barrier along the floor and foundation walls, and then sealing the barrier in place with spray foam. The result is reduced moisture, as well as a lower risk of mold growth and structural damage. You’ll also experience fewer drafts and a more comfortable living area above the crawl space.
Another solution is to replace old and ineffective fiberglass insulation with spray foam insulation. Spray foam has powerful insulating properties and can act as both an air barrier and heat barrier.