Mold and Allergy Season is Upon Us, Asheville!

By May 7, 2011allergies, mold

Here we go again, Asheville, it’s allergy season in the mountains of Western North Carolina!  Somehow, the “healing air” of the Southern Appalachians seems to have turned on many of us.

Not only is it allergy season, but it’s time for the molds and fungi to start popping up in our crawl spaces.  If you have a sealed crawl space, you don’t have much to worry about.  If, like most of us, you’re still over a skanky old dirt crawl space, you might need to think about what it could be doing to your health.

Mold and Moisture in Crawl Space - Crawlspace Encapsulation - Asheville, NC - Conservation ProsMold is a massive problem in Asheville and much of it can be traced to moisture in our crawl spaces.  There are three things mold needs to survive and thrive, the right temperature, the right level of humidity and, of course, food.  The temperature in your crawl space is perfect for molds, the humidity is spiking as you read this, and the food is the very thing your home is made of; wood.

If you have mold in your crawl space, it’s not going away without some major effort on your part.  Since you can’t very well get rid of the food, and controlling temperature in your crawl can be a pricey proposition, you need to address the humidity.  One way or another, you need to keep that level in check, below 60%, ideally around 50%.

With a traditional, vented crawl space, that can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.  First, you need to be sure your vapor barrier is intact and complete.  Next, you need some sort of dehumidification.  Ideally, you’d use a ducted de-humidifier because the stand-alone type tend to dehumidify the air around themselves and not touch the stuff back in the corners.

You should also use a separate humidity meter, known as a hygrometer.  The ones in the dehumidification units tend to be unreliable.  They can be had for a few dollars in any number of places.

Better still is to have your crawl space completely sealed, encapsulated and unvented.  The North Carolina building code has recently been changed to include this option, as have the Asheville City and Buncombe County codes.

If you’re unsure about the humidity in your crawlspace, go ahead and get yourself one of those hygrometers and check it regularly.  If you have humidity above 60% in your crawl in the Asheville area, you can bet there’ll be mold as well.

To learn more about sealed crawlspaces in Asheville, click here:  sealed-crawlspaces

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