April Showers Bring… May Mold Issues?
Its early spring here in Nashville, which means summer is on its way! But for now, early spring has many homeowners, looking at the grey skies and saying “April showers bring May flowers!” with a hopeful longing that the rain will make way for sunshine sooner rather than later.
But the truth is, March, April and May all bring plenty of precipitation to Tennessee compared to the rest of the year, and all that moisture can lead to dangerous mold growth in your home if it is allowed to infiltrate your crawlspace, attic and living space. E3 INNOVATE has spent the last decade crawling under the floors and climbing into the attics of Nashville homes to improve the health, overall comfort, and energy efficiency of the houses in our community. Here’s what you should know about all this southern moisture and how to mitigate your risk of mold.
Controlling the moisture in your home is like Goldilocks finding her perfect bowl of porridge. Too much moisture (over 60% relative humidity) can lead to mold growth. Too little (less than 30% relative humidity) can dry out materials, leading to cracked hardwood floors and wooden instruments, as well as dry sinuses, skin, and eyes. The “just right” level of humidity is between 30% and 50% when it comes to the health of your home.
In Nashville, the average year round relative humidity is around 70% — and that is why controlling the humidity is so important for homeowners in this climate. When you can control the moisture, you can control the mold growth. Often, this involves more than just one measure of mitigation for your home. At E3 INNOVATE, we start by encapsulating the crawlspace as a way to clean up and prevent mold growth.
Preventing Moisture Infiltration in the Crawlspace
As the Nashville skies bring spring rain, a significant amount of moisture accumulates in the air and in the ground. This moisture will infiltrate your home through tiny holes and cracks in your walls and floor. And the first place E3 INNOVATE looks for signs of moisture is in the crawlspace. This commonly untouched area of your home can be the forgotten culprit to many of your home comfort and health issues. We will seal your crawlspace by first finding the air leaks and then sealing them up using an expanding spray foam insulation. We will then cover the floor of the crawlspace with a think vinyl vapor barrier, remove any old and deteriorated fiberglass insulation and, if necessary, treat the sub-floor (the underside of the floors of your home) with a mold resistant product to prevent any future mold growth.
Dehumidification and Ventilation
Controlling moisture infiltration in the crawlspace will have a significant impact on the moisture in your home, but it can’t stop everything. Open windows, open doors, and other air leaks present in your living space can lead to excess moisture as well. Dehumidifying your living space is done with a proper air seal, whole house dehumidification systems, and proper ventilation. These systems ensure that your home is properly ventilated with fresh air by removing moisture and contaminants that cannot be caught with the air filters of your heating and cooling equipment.
Proper ventilation and dehumidification are integral to increasing your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ), which can greatly reduce the symptoms you experience at home, such as:
Dry & itchy eyes
We can also install a radon mitigation system in the crawlspace, which runs underneath the vapor barrier to suck out this dangerous gas (a common problem here in Tennessee) before it has the chance to enter your living space.
Trust E3 INNOVATE with Your “Whole Home”
E3 INNOVATE has the knowledge and experience to know that we cannot just look at one area when we are trying to increase the health, comfort, and energy efficiency of a home here in Nashville. When you trust the whole home experts at E3 INNOVATE, we will look at your whole home as a system to provide you and your family with lasting results. Controlling the moisture in your home provides many benefits throughout the year, not just during the spring time — including:
A cooler home in the summer
A warmer home in the winter
Reduced energy costs
Increased IAQ for reduced allergy symptoms
Reduced wear & tear on heating & cooling equipment
So take control of the moisture in your home, and trust the highest educated and trained home-performance team in the Mid-South at E3 INNOVATE!