Crawl Space Moisture in Slidell, Louisiana Homes
Featuring case study by LSU Agricultural Center
Louisiana homeowners know that insulating crawl spaces and subfloors can be a challenge. This is due to our infamous subtropical climate – our moisture laden climate is conducive to having moisture problems underneath our homes. Some types of insulation can add to crawl space moisture problems. To avoid excessive moisture under your home, are a few steps that can offer a solution and yield added benefits.
According to the Federal Government, found in this document, closed cell spray foam insulation will aid in the reduction of moisture in your crawl space of your raised home.
Type of Crawl Spaces on Raised Homes
- Open Crawl Space with a Pier Foundation
- Wall-Vented Crawl Space
- Closed Crawl Space
It is logical to think that an open crawl space would get enough air circulation not to have moisture problems and the same thought process can be applied to wall-vented crawl spaces. Homes with closed crawl spaces should be the only type of crawl space that needs to be concerned with moisture problems. Unfortunately, all types of crawl spaces can encounter moisture problems.
With ground moisture levels being high and our climate being muggy, these are the two factors that can cause deterioration of our subfloor, joists, and even extend into our interior floors causing cupping.
Safe Moisture Level in our Crawl Space
- High Moisture Levels – 35% Mold plus Wood Rot
- Mid Moisture Levels – 20% Mold plus susceptibility to wood damage
- Low Moisture Levels – 17% Slight Mold susceptibility with no wood damage
According to the Department of Energy, crawl spaces should have 20% or less moisture content in a home’s crawl space. In fact, above 20% moisture can result in mold and mildew growth and wood damage.
Recommend Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation
In a recent study by LSU Agricultural Center, closed cell spray foam insulation deterred moisture intake of sub floors and joists in hot humid climates. In fact, Fema recommends closed cell spray foam as a flood resistant acceptable material. Spray foam insulation has the highest rating in Fema’s classification material list.
Crawl Space Moisture management Southern Louisiana
Moisture management will save Louisiana residents a bundle of money in repairs of sub floor wood rot, mold and mildew, and prevention of termites who love damp spongy wood. Unfortunately, the crawl space moisture doesn’t always stay below your home. Cracks between floorboards and subfloor allow the passage of moisture to your interior floors. Crawl spaces insulation even with a slight moisture content can cause a musty smell in the home and in worst case moldy interior floors. Moisture is forced into our homes through convection or vapor drives from the differing temperatures from outside to inside your home.
How Vapor Drive Affects Moisture Levels
In a hot humid climate, we have a tendency to turn up our air conditioners. The temperature differences is like having a cold drink sitting out in the hot tropical air. The outside of the glass sweats. The same principle occurs when our interior air condition home air meets the hot humid exterior air of southern Louisiana. Homes have cracks and spaces and convection or vapor drive pulls in the hot humid air through our subfloor and interior floors which causes mold and mildew growth.
Protecting Subfloors with Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation
Seals out Moisture
Seals from Air Drafts
To be effective in preventing moisture from seeping into your subfloors, the insulation must be a sealant. Closed cell spray foam insulation cures into a hard finished product that does not allow moisture or air to penetrate into your home. It adheres to your floor joists and subfloor and does not allow air or moisture to penetrate into your home. It also prevents termites and insects that cause damage in our moist damp crawl spaces.
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Sunlight Contractors of New Orleans, an energy solutions provider, will give you a free home energy audit and give you the best choices on how to protect your home while lowering your home utility bills. Sunlight Contractors has a team of certified insulation experts are here to help.