Part of the reason that dirt crawlspaces with open vents are a nightmare is because our humidity here in Leitchfield. Our crawlspaces suck in the moist outside air and that air is drawn up through our crawlspaces and out our attics. This means that all that dirt, mold, and yuck is carried in the air throughout our house. It also means that our air conditioners have to work much harder and that costs us more money!
Dirt crawlspaces are subject to water intrusion. Water seeps up from the ground or flows in from the foundation walls and when we don't have an engineered film isolating the crawlspace from the dirt, we end up with standing water. That increases the risk for mold and fungus growth, attracts critters, and lowers our indoor air quality.
When a dirt crawlspace is left at the mercy of groundwater intrusion, there are all sorts of consequences. Once moisture enters support pillars, it can cause them to deteriorate. The ground around the posts will be too waterlogged to support them fully and the posts can sink and shift until the main level floors are warped and uneven.
In some cases, temporary shoring or wooden supports can be put in place to support the wooden subfloor, but with consistent moisture intrusion, those supports will also begin to lean and warp over time. The only solution is to stop the water intrusion and seal off the crawlspace from outside air and water.
This Leitchfield crawlspace is experiencing mold and fungus problems because it is not sealed off from the outside air. In order to repair the problem, the homeowners will need to contact Healthy Spaces to have a certified mold remediation completed, then the homeowners will want to seal off the crawlspace by having CleanSpace vapor barrier installed.
Here, you can see that the wooden subfloor has warped and sagged. The floor needs additional supports and mold remediation in order to return it to level condition. The homeowners will be happy when their floors aren't spongy anymore!
Vented dirt crawlspaces are hosts to a myriad of different problems. Everything from water intrusion to pest problems and mold to foundation problems can crop up inside.
Take a look at this photo tour of a vented dirt crawlspace and the problems that have arisen.