Crawl spaces, although they offer many advantages for homeowners, can present plenty of problems. Since individuals do not enter their crawl spaces as frequently as people enter their basements, common issues with crawl spaces, such as leaks, may not be recognized as fast as if they were occurring in a basement.
One such problem lies in how the living environments in your home interact with a normal process known as the stack effect. To read more about the problems an afflicted crawl space might pose for the rest of your home, continue reading below:
The Stack Effect
By way of the stack effect, an exchange of air enters and leaves the house in a cyclical fashion. This airflow produces a vacuum that draws outside air into the home’s crawl room or basement, replacing the air that is leaving up and out of the home.
Warm air rises throughout the house and leaves through open windows, attic openings, ceiling cracks, recessed lighting, and ventilation apertures. Cold air then enters the house through open windows, doors, or other openings due to the upward-moving air reducing the pressure at the bottom of the house. When it is cold outside in the rainy season or winter, the stack effect causes heat to go up jointly with the warm air.
An equivalent volume of cold air rushes in to replace each cubic of warm air that rises and escapes. The number of air leaks will depend on the temperature difference between the lower and upper areas of the house.
What Are The Problems Caused By The Stack Effect?
Stack effects, when drawing air from infected crawl spaces, can cause several health issues for those living inside. If you want to ensure your home is full of healthy and comfortable air, you will have to first ensure your crawl space is in order. If not, the following problems can occur:
- Stack effects can spread some infectious germs. When mold growth is present in the crawl space, tiny mold spores are carried up into your house. These microbes are so tiny that they can float in the air. This implies that they will travel throughout your house and even cling to damp walls, where they will quickly multiply. Bacteria will also flourish in extremely humid environments.
- One main worry is that the stack effect will introduce allergens, animal waste, and dust (which can also trigger allergic reactions), when they enter your home. It is really a serious issue. The symptoms can vary from minor indicators like a runny nose and cough to serious breathing issues.
- It may lead to high utility costs. Your energy bills can increase by 15–25% if your crawl space is open. Uncontrolled airflow will result in fluctuating temperatures and moisture buildup, necessitating your HVAC system or dehumidifier to kick into high gear to try to correct the situation. You might even notice that your house has become colder than usual winter temperatures!
- Making unneeded repairs can become exasperating when there seems to be no effect. Managing these unwanted costs within your budget is also challenging. Open vents in crawl spaces are more than just an eyesore. They permit the entry of wet air that leads to wood rot, which may result in structural issues that jeopardize the security of your property.
In conclusion, the stack effect can not only have a negative impact on your house, but this negative impact may also be bad for your family’s health. Fortunately, an expert in crawl space repair and encapsulation can assist you in resolving this problem. Here at PIERMAN, our team of professionals can evaluate your property and remediate any issues occurring with it.
Simply give us a call today at (580) 453-0330 for more information or to schedule your evaluation to move toward a solution.