Wood-Rot in Crawl Space
With high levels of moisture comes wood-rot. Expect a crawl space that holds a moisture level of 19% or higher to produce wood decay and damage. If neglected, this could produce extensive damage to your sub-floor, beams and floor joist. It is important to know that moisture levels can very depending on time of year and humidity levels outside. A home that is inspected in January can have a moisture level of 0, but that same home in July could read 22% or higher. It is common for a termite/moisture company to recommend a fungi treatment when wood decay is present. This alone will not solve the problem, only address a symptom. A combination of having a encapsulation system installed as well as installing a dehumidifier may better suit the underlying issue. We offer a full structural repair service. We have literally repaired thousands of floor joist and beams with damage due to termites, a dirty crawl space and wood decay.
Wood Decay or Not Wood Decay?
Just because you hear “Decay” doesn’t mean there is a significant moisture issue. Most decay evidence is simply a surface fungi that will not and can not cause structural damage. The moisture level under a home can tell the story. A non-decay or “surface fungi” needs a low level of moisture where a Wood Decay will need a high level of constant moisture to survive. Make sure a moisture meter is used when determining if you home has a fungi or wood decay problem. Schedule an inspection Here
Surface mold fungi will cause cosmetic discoloration only, and it will not significantly damage the structural strength of the wood. This mold can simply be cleaned off the surface.
Decay fungi will darken and shrink the wood, leading to severe structural damage of the wood and the eventual crumbling and decomposition of the wood overall. Wood with decay fungi looks soggy and spongy. This cannot simply be cleaned off, and replacement of damaged wood may be necessary.
Repairing wood damage in crawl spaces caused by rot, mold, and termites can seem like an overwhelming and expensive project. However, if you can catch the problem before it becomes too severe, it can be quickly and affordably remedied by a professional crawl space contractor.
At Universal Pest & Termite, we specialize in repairing crawl space issues of all types, including damaged wood. For a free quote, call or e-mail us today! 757-502-0200
Are wood-decaying fungi dangerous?
Wood rot is dangerous because of how quickly it can consume the bones of a building once it has come into contact with them, destroying the strength of lumber and in turn causing cracks, leaks, and overall structural damage. The moisture that comes with wood rot is also a big draw for pest animals or insects that can move in, making your single problem into multiple problems.
Condensation Under Your Home
Open vents in your foundation create moisture issues that lead to musty odors, mold growth, and damage to insulation in the crawl space. When you turn on your air conditioner in the summertime, it changes the air pressure under your home. Warm humid air enters your crawl space through the foundation vents. This humid air starts to condensate on HVAC ducts and trunk lines under your home. The warm air evaporates this moisture and it collects in your insulation and in your floor joists. You do not realize the problem under insulation starts stringing down and mold starts growing on all the wood members under the home. Best practice, as recommended by building scientists is to close your crawl space vents year round.
Basements and crawl spaces are below-grade areas where high humidity levels can cause numerous problems. Moisture that saturates “fluffy” insulation like cellulose or fiberglass batts will dramatically diminish the insulation’s R-value and adversely affect energy efficiency. Moisture also helps to promote the growth of mold on organic materials like wood, paper, and even some types of paint. Mold spreads by means of airborne spores. These microscopic organisms pose a serious health hazard. Musty odors and mold stains are telltale signs of excess moisture that is promoting mold growth.
How to prevent condensation in your crawl space
Encapsulation: Crawl Space encapsulation is becoming a very popular home improvement method used to solve crawl space problems. Encapsulation services in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and surrounding cities can run as much as $30,000.This is where Universal Pest & Termite comes in. We offer our exclusive Uni-Guard Encapsulation System. This program can save you thousands versus our competition. Our program comes with a full termite treatment and warranty. This is very important as your foundation will be covered and limited inspections can be made after install. People have paid thousands to have an encapsulation system removed due to a termite treatment. Our program comes with a full termite warranty as well as a full warranty on the Uni-Guard Encapsulation System.
Schedule FREE INSPECTION here.
Dehumidifier: Crawl Space Dehumidifiers for Pest Control: Crawl Space Dehumidifiers are not just for moisture control. A rise in the pest population means that you need to be more careful about pests’ intrusions. If your home has a high level of moisture in the crawlspace, it could cause termite problems that presents further damage. Excess moisture inside your home, especially if left unattended, becomes quite attractive to moisture loving pests like termites. Keep in mind that moisture may be hidden in areas like the crawl space, attic, or basement. If there is moisture, try to take care of it as soon as possible. This will help prevent pests, as well as mold, and fungi.
Crawl Space Dehumidifiers for Moisture Control: Another area of your home that can be a massive cause of moisture problems is your crawl space. If left unattended, your crawl space may be home to issues such as standing water, pests, or mold. If you do notice signs of high humidity and moisture, it’s important to take steps to control the humidity in the area. For instance, enclosing your crawl space and installing a dehumidifier will allow you to maintain a consistent humidity level and prevent many future issues.