Aurora, IL – the second most populated city in Illinois has the nickname “City of Lights” and has an impressive collection of architecture from Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Miles van der Rohe, and many others. While the designs of the houses may vary, the existence of a basement or crawl space is very common, as they are present in a large number of homes throughout Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. If your home includes a crawl space, it is also common that it will emanate a musty smell, which can result from excess moisture, humidity and gases permeating your unsealed crawl space. Although this can be an issue throughout the year, the problem can be particularly noticeable when your house is closed up during the cold winter or hot summer months.
How Can My Crawl Space Affect My Family’s Health?
Having a wet, damp crawl space can lead to the development of mold. Aside from being an ugly fungus, mold can also cause a variety of health problems for you and your family, including: headaches, fatigue, skin irritation, breathing problems, asthma attacks, allergies, and many other unfortunate and completely unnecessary health issues.
What’s more, the mold will release spores into the air and up into your home. Studies have shown that up to 50% of the air you breathe in the main living space of your home can originate from the basement or crawl space. The EPA states that indoor pollution is among the top five environmental health risks.
What’s the Solution?
Many contractors claim that they can seal your crawl space by pumping a new concrete floor over the existing dirt. This is a BAD IDEA because it will introduce hundreds of gallons of water into the already high humidity area, which could lead to future structural and health issues. Plus, pumped concrete floors are very porous, chalky and dusty, so it will not help with any seepage or moisture and could introduce more chemicals into the air you’re breathing.
The permanent solution for a damp crawl space is to install a vapor barrier, such as a Perma-Seal Crawl Space Encapsulation System, that will help to keep moisture, insects and gases from entering your home. Depending on the situation, a complete encapsulation system will include products such as waterproof liners for the walls and floors, sump pumps and a drainage system if you’re experiencing excess water in that area. In addition to keeping the area permanently dry, insulation and professional SaniDry dehumidifiers can be added to help control the humidity and temperature in your crawl space and add to the overall comfort of your main living area.
What Benefits Can I Expect?
Along with protecting your family’s health, a crawl space encapsulation system can transform your damp, dark, musty space into bright, dry, useable and valuable storage space. In addition, you may notice that your floors feel warmer in winter; you may see a decrease in your energy bills; and your home’s resale value may be increased. When you hire a professional, certified contractor (link to schedule estimate page), your investment will be covered by a warranty to give you peace of mind.