EASY FREE ESTIMATE

Call Us: 814-456-5605

The “Stack Effect” Serving Erie, Crawford, Chautauqua, Warren & Ashtabula Areas

How Air Movement in Your Home Can Lead to Mold, Rot and Damage

stack-effect-thm

Crawl spaces and basements are well known for being damp, dank spaces. Even when your home has no groundwater flooding issues and has perfect plumbing, the spaces can be plagued by moisture issues. One major culprit for humidity in your home is a phenomenon called the “stack effect“.

The stack effect refers to the process in which hot air leaves the home through your attic and upper levels. As it does, a vacuum is created below, and new air is pulled upwards through the basement, crawl space, and lower levels.

For a free humidity control quote in Erie, Warren, Chautauqua, Crawford, Ashtabula, or nearby in Pennsylvania and New York, call or e-mail us today!

Relative Humidity & Your Home

We know that air enters the home through the lower levels, moves upwards through the home, and exits through the upper levels.

What happens if outside air is being pulled into the basement or crawl space through vents or other openings?

Basements and crawl spaces are naturally cooled by the earth around them which keeps a fairly constant temperature year-round. Any air that enters that space from outside will be cooled as well.

Imagine this: It’s an 80 °F (27 °C) day with 80% relative humidity.

The higher the relative humidity number is, the closer the air is to becoming “full” of water. Warm air holds the most water and as it cools and “shrinks”, it’s able to hold less water. The relative humidity number shows how much humidity is in the air, relative to how much it can hold. Air at 80% relative humidity is 80% “full” of water. When the humidity rises above 100% outside, it rains.

Picture that humid air moving into your crawl space or basement. This cool, underground space drops the temperature of the air to 68 °F (20 °C). Because of this, the air’s relative humidity goes up, even if no new water is added to the air. For every 1 °F the temperature drops, the relative humidity of the air will rise by 2.2%.

In this case, the relative humidity will rise by 26.4% (12 °F x 2.2%). Add the 80% humidity you already had, and you have 106.4% relative humidity. However, when the humidity reaches 100%, the air can hold no more water! So this extra humidity is dropped from the air as condensation, which is deposited on cool surfaces in the space, such as wood, metal or concrete.

Mold Spores & Your Home

Mold needs moisture to survive, and it draws this humidity from the air around it. As the relative humidity in your basement or crawl space rises to 60% or higher, mold will live, thrive, and survive in the space.

As mold reproduces, it releases millions of allergenic mold spores into the air. In fact, The Journal of Property Management’s research shows that a single square inch of drywall can contain as much as ten million spores!

Because of the stack effect, these mold spores will not be confined to your basement or crawl space. As air moves up from these spaces into your home, it will bring mold spores and humidity along with it. If you notice that you suffer from symptoms such as a runny nose, watery eyes, mild allergic reactions, a scratchy throat, fatigue, or headaches at home that seem to disappear once you leave the building, mold allergens may be the culprit.

Of course, mold and rot will also wreak havoc on your home. Damaged wood, structural issues, and ruined personal property are all consequences of mold, mildew, rot & humidity in a basement or crawl space.

Controlling Humidity & Mold in Pennsylvania and New York

Even when your home is protected from outside humidity, your home can still experience humidity when sources of standing water exist in your home.

Install a sump pump system to prevent groundwater flooding, and be sure to actively look for plumbing leaks— especially in your crawl space.

The key to controlling mold in your basement or crawl space is to eliminate the humidity that keeps it thriving.

At Klein Home Solutions we recommend starting by sealing off any vents, covering any exposed dirt and concrete, and installing airtight crawl space doors. Replacing drafty basement windows will also help hold back outside air.

Once this has been completed, it’s a great idea to install either an energy-efficient basement dehumidifier or crawl space dehumidifier. This will remove any existing humidity in the space and keep it dry in the future.

We offer free basement & crawl space humidity control estimates in Pennsylvania and New York, including Ashtabula, Erie, Chautauqua, Warren and many areas nearby. Contact us today to get started!

Reviews

Great experience with Klein. Have used them twice now. Latest was installation of high grade dehumidifier. Working...
5.00 Average rating
Klein worked around our schedule as we were selling our house. Friendly,professionals that do good work and were $15...
5.00 Average rating
they installed the sump pump in our basement years ago and it's been perfect. we have it checked yearly and have had ...
5.00 Average rating
Klein came and fixed our severe water problem in our basement. They did the best work we've ever seen. They were very...
5.00 Average rating
I had a basement leak and called Kleins for assistance. Doug Klein and his staff provided friendly, very professional...
5.00 Average rating
Klein Home Solutions was professional from the first contact to the finished work. They responded promptly and sched...
5.00 Average rating
Jim & Brad from Klein did excellent work replacing our shower pan with stone to match the existing tile work. The...
5.00 Average rating
Klein Home Solutions did a great job on my basement waterproofing project. Zach and the guys were awesome - so profe...
5.00 Average rating
Klein's recently completed work in my crawl space. I couldn't be more pleased with how professional and knowledgeable...
5.00 Average rating
Absolutely stellar work and customer service! Klein just finished my basement and the workers were meticulous! Carefu...
5.00 Average rating
Another outstanding job from Klein Home systems! My wife and i couldn't be more pleased. After installing our basemen...
5.00 Average rating
Thank you for work we are extremely pleased with.
5.00 Average rating
Thank you for work we are extremely pleased with.
5.00 Average rating
5.00 Average rating
Absolutely stellar work and customer service! Klein just finished my basement and the workers were meticulous! Carefu...
5.00 Average rating
Klein Home Solutions is the best option when it comes to basement waterproofing in Erie, PA. Their contractors are we...
5.00 Average rating
Totally pleased with Klein Solutions. From Brian the rep who made a house call to give us an estimate for a walk-in s...
5.00 Average rating
When you have water in your basement it's never a good thing, but from start to finish Klein's team was exceptional. ...
5.00 Average rating
Klein painted and remodeled my basement. What was an old, ugly outdated area is now a finished rec room and the unfin...
5.00 Average rating
My wife and I wanted to address an ongoing water situation in our basement. We normally get a few quotes before we co...
5.00 Average rating
Jim did an excellent job reglazing tub, putting up surround around the tub, window and heating vent. He was very prof...
5.00 Average rating
Jim did an excellent job reglazing tub, putting up surround around the tub, window and heating vent. He was very pro...
5.00 Average rating
My contractor recommended Klein and I felt comfortable with them right away. The consultation/estimate with Brian was...
5.00 Average rating
Personable, knowledgeable and helpful.
5.00 Average rating
Very professional job from estimate on through final touches. Superior craftmanship, easy to work with, very knowledg...
5.00 Average rating
There works are very professional. I had my wet backyard. They installed french pipes all over my backyard. Now there...
5.00 Average rating
What an outstanding experience. I contacted Klein Home Solutions at the Builders Association Home Expo about dampness...
5.00 Average rating
Klein has done multiple jobs for me. I always call Klein when I have a bath or basement problem that needs taken care...
5.00 Average rating
Klein Bath and Basement completely transformed our 1970s-style master bathroom. They devised a creative solution to h...
5.00 Average rating
We recently had Kleins waterproof our wet basement. Soon after we had 2 inches of rain on top of saturated ground fro...
5.00 Average rating
Call Klein first! We had work done by another company that used scare tactics to sell us a water management system th...
5.00 Average rating
We recently had our master bathroom remodeled by Klein's. To say we are pleased is an understatement. Brian Miletello...
5.00 Average rating
5.00 Average rating
Klien came in and did an amazing job fixing my basement. Brian the account manager came over at a time that was conve...
5.00 Average rating
Klein did a great job on our basement, which was flooding and had bowed walls. We can finally use the basement for ou...
5.00 Average rating
Fantastic work, great crew, hard working in keeping worksite clean, not tracking debris. Well organized from start to...
5.00 Average rating
We use Klein to fix some water problems. And after many heavy rains we have had zero problems.
5.00 Average rating
Wonderful service! Responsive at every turn! We called with questions about a 12 year old basement waterproofing j...
5.00 Average rating

FREE CONSULTATION

Send us your information and we will get in touch with you shortly.
Call Now ButtonCall Now