Home Mold in CO, including Aspen, Vail & Steamboat Springs.

The "Stack Effect" And Your Northern Colorado Home

a diagram of air movement from the basement to the attic in a home, with information about the air temperature shown in blue and red

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 Vail , Aspen , Breckenridge, or nearby in Colorado, call or e-mail us today!

Relative Humidity & Your Home

condensation collecting on an HVAC vent in a humid Glenwood Springs basement

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

a humid basement overgrown with mold and rot in Buena Vista

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 Colorado

Flood Warning

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 crawl space is to eliminate the humidity that keeps it thriving.

At Colorado Crawl Space we recommend starting by sealing off any vents, covering any exposed dirt and concrete, and installing airtight crawl space doors

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

We offer free crawl space humidity control estimates in Colorado, including Vail , Breckenridge, Aspen and many areas nearby. Contact us today to get started!

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

Serving CO including the Greater Vail area
Cities in Chaffee County, CO
Buena Vista
Nathrop
Salida

Cities in Clear Creek County, CO
Georgetown
Idaho Springs
Silver Plume

Cities in Eagle County, CO
Avon
Basalt
Bond
Burns
Eagle
Edwards
Gypsum
Mc Coy
Minturn
Red Cliff
Vail
Wolcott

Cities in Garfield County, CO
Carbondale
Glenwood Springs
New Castle
Parachute
Rifle
Silt

Cities in Grand County, CO
Grand Lake
Winter Park

Cities in Lake County, CO
Leadville
Twin Lakes

Cities in Moffat County, CO
Craig
Dinosaur

Cities in Park County, CO
Hartsel

Cities in Pitkin County, CO
Aspen
Meredith
Woody Creek

Cities in Rio Blanco County, CO
Meeker
Rangely

Cities in Routt County, CO
Clark
Hayden
Phippsburg
Steamboat Springs
Toponas
Yampa

Cities in Summit County, CO
Breckenridge
Dillon
Frisco
Silverthorne

Our Locations:

Colorado Crawl Space
1901 S. Main Street
Minturn, CO 81645
1-970-827-4210
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