September 01, 2005
Crawlspace Conundrum In his column,“Crawlspace Conundrum” (May/June ’05, p. 8), Brad Turk gave a solution for an arid climate but not a green-grass climate. Exhausting air from the crawlspace will load the home and the crawlspace with humid outside air. The most important measure is placing a plastic cover on the earth. Next, seal the outside vents to prevent humid outdoor air from entering the crawlspace. Dehumidify, if necessary, to maintain relative humidity at less than 60% throughout the summer. Ken GehringMadison,Wisconsin Author Brad Turk replies:It seems that the author of the comments and I both agree that outdoor air in crawlspaces is not desirable. My basicrecommendations for controlling moisture in crawlspaces apply to most climates and include creating a conditioned crawlspace by sealing air leaks between the crawlspace and outdoors (including closing vents), sealing the soil surface, fixing plumbing leaks and drainage problems, and using a small fan to exhaust crawlspace air to the outside while pulling conditioned replacement air from upstairs. If these measures aren’t effective or practical, then a dehumidifier may be appropriate—keeping in mind that (1) the dehumidifier should be sized properly, (2) the dehumidifier willneed to be checked regularly, (3) ...
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