When moisture builds up in a crawl space, it is absorbed into the wood and foundation of the home. Fungal spores begin to grow and thrive when there is high humidity, and when spores of wood-decay fungi are activated by excessive moisture, they grow root-like structures called hyphae, which grow into the wood and break down the fibers that give wood its strength. Termite infestations are also more likely in moist, unventilated areas. Foundation moisture, wood-decay fungi, and termites and other wood destroying insects can all cause extensive damage to your home within just a few years.
Wood Decay Fungi
Several different types of wood-decay fungi cause damage. There are those that cause brown rot, water-conducting fungi/dry rot, and white rot. With brown rot, the wood becomes brownish, and upon drying, the wood shrinks into small cubical pieces that are easily crushed into powder. Dry rot produces papery, yellowish-white fans of hyphae and whitish to black root-like structures, which also make the wood brittle. White rot gives wood a bleached appearance, and the wood becomes stringy and spongy, not brittle.
Signs of a Moisture Problem
- Mildew and musty odors
- Peeling paint and wallpaper
- Sticking doors and windows
- Wood rot or sagging floors
- Foundation damage
We have a moisture control program that includes several components to assist you in providing effective protection from excessive moisture in your home. Your treatment may include:
- Atmox—Using sensors, the Atmox System measures the dew point inside and outside your crawl space to determine when fans should run. The fans allow for natural air circulation into the crawl space, bringing fresh dry air into the crawl space and ultimately your home.
- Barriers—A protective polyethylene barrier is placed over crawl space soil to prevent naturally occurring water vapors from rising up into your home.
- Borates—An odorless liquid treatment of Borate is applied to all exposed wood in the crawl space, in and around areas where there is wood-decay fungi. Borates assist in the prevention of future wood-decay fungal growth when moisture levels increase.
- Ventilation—One of the ways to tackle a moisture control problem is to increase air circulation in the crawl space and allow existing moisture to escape.