Hi all, I'm a bit inexperienced in home knowledge so am hoping for some help
from people who have had this problem.
We bought a 4 level split, with a cement crawlspace under the family room.
It's sealed except for a little wooden door which is always closed. It's
very musty smelling and the hygrometer I put in there says the humidity
level is 92%. The rest of the basement is about 70% without a dehumidifier
I have a few questions.
(1) If I put a dehumidifier right in the crawlspace, will that help lower
the humidity in the rest of the basement, in addition to lowering it in the
(2) Is there another way to deal with the crawlspace humidity other than
with a dehumidifier?
(3) Is there a good way to get rid of the musty smell in there?
Thanks for any tips!
I think the dehumidifier is like mopping the floor instead of fixing the
leak. You need to find out how the moisture is getting into the crawlspace.
If the floor of the crawlspace is concrete (cement is one of several parts
that make up concrete) then the water is either getting in through the
joints between the floor and walls or else directly through the walls since
concrete is porous. If the floor is not concrete then you need to get some
heavy plastic and tape and seal the floor.
First thing I would do is to seal up all the joints with caulk and paint all
the walls and floor with something like DryLok. Then you can use the
dehumidifier to control the amount of moisture in the air. Once the
humidity is down the musty smell should go away unless you have obvious mold
growth on the wood.
Here's a web site that will help.
Yes, but it is likely to lower the humidity in the rest of the basement
only a little
Same answer to both 2&3: First, if the crawlspace does not already have
a vapor barrier in place, then add heavy plastic from the sill at that top
of the walls all the way across the floor to the sill on the other side.
Overlap and tape seams. Next, ventilate. You need an air flow in and out
of there. Either heated open to the existing basement, or un-heated with
the floor above insulated and vented to the outside. Last make sure there
is nothing outside contributing to the problem. All gutters in good shape
and all water from the roof and hard surfaces like drives and patios is
directed away from your home and all dirt is graded away from your home for
at least 10 feet.
After that then you may consider dehumidifying equipment. That 70%
humidity may not be bad, especially if the tool you are using to measure it
is reading a little high. a 10% or greater error is not at all unusual and
60% humidity is considered fine for most situations.
Hello, there is usually another problem associated with your problem if
the sealing is the problem, which it probably is, and you may not have
lived in the home long enough to know a winter, but it's likely the
floor and the family room will be hard to keep warm.
Since it doesn't seem like a broken or leaky water pipe, or anything
like that, then closed cell foam would be more likely to solve ALL the
problems. Drylok is good for sealing the water out and plastic is good
for keeping ground moisture out of the space, etc., but it doesn't
insulate at all. If I were going to do something there, in the cramped
crawlspace, I'd only want to do it once.
A Froth Pak or Tiger Foam Kit would take care of all the problems.
Seal, insulate and caulk in one application, basically. These kits are
easy to use, just make sure you get closed cell and not open cell foam.
I just have a feeling that is a hard room to heat and cool. I have a
similar floorplan and had a problem with moisture, but mine turned out
to be the outside faucet leaking in the cinderblock. (just something I
didn't consider and was surprised at when I discovered it because I
couldn't see the pipe in the crawlspace as it was behind a cross board)
I hope this helps somewhat.
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