Asthma and Your Wet Crawl Space

Image of Water in Crawl Space

There are a great variety of triggers for asthma, some preventable and others less so. But the number one cause of asthma is generally known to be poor indoor air quality -- mostly due to dust mite poop, pet dander and mold spores. So, what does this have to do with your crawl space?

I Had Asthma As a Kid

Growing up I had asthma for what seemed like forever and then suddenly, I “outgrew” it with no explanation as to why from the medical community. As an adult I think I figured out that the many homes we lived in which were typically rental properties were not maintained well and therefore high in humidity, high in dust and probably high in mold. Mix that with the fact that my parents both smoked in the home as well as in the cars we drove in and it's no wonder I had asthma and other respiratory problems growing up.

Because of my upbringing and because of how difficult I know it is to deal with asthma, I'm very passionate about trying to help people understand what may cause asthma and some of the solutions that may help those with asthma. Believe it or not Crawl Space Ninja came into an existence because I was looking for a way to prevent my children from getting asthma and it seemed like the crawl space was one of those places in the home that was constantly overlooked as a potential air pollution source. It also seemed no one understood how to properly correct the crawl space therefore correcting the potential indoor air quality problem.

It really bothers me when I see children locked in vehicles while their parents are smoking. In fact, the state of Tennessee recently tried to pass a law that makes it illegal to smoke in a car with children present but it has not passed. This of course does not protect the children at home but keep in mind that cigarette smoke is a major cause of some people’s asthma but may not be the only cause.

Crawl Space Encapsulation Affects Indoor Air Quality

So how can crawl space encapsulation improve your indoor air quality? And how does that relate to asthma? Well many doctors and drug companies treat symptoms for asthma but very rarely talk about the root cause which for most people may be indoor air quality. Some statistics say that indoor air pollution is the #1 environmental health concern in America today. Indoor air quality can be 5 to 100 times worse than the air outside. So, what if we took a step back and corrected those places inside our home that had indoor air quality problems and see if it helped alleviate some of the symptoms from asthma and allergies?

The crawl space is typically wet not only from standing water but also high humidity. High humidity when absorbed by wood is a great at growing mold. Mold gives off spores that makes its way up into the home typically through penetrations in the sub-floor or if your heating and air ducts are running through your crawl space the duct work is picking up mold spores and pushing them directly out of the registers into every room in the house.

Are Dry Crawl Spaces Needed?

So, what if you created a crawl space that was dry clean and efficient? The mold is properly addressed, the humidity is under control and the standing water is redirected from the crawl space. The crawl space should not grow mold because you took care of many of the causes that leads to mold growth.

If you or a friend or your children suffer from asthma or allergies and your home sits on a crawl space, we encourage you to have a professional do a crawl space assessment. Have them make sure that there's no moisture and or potential mold growth that could be causing an indoor air quality problem. Thank you so much for reading this we hope you will share it below. Also click here if you would like a free assessment of your crawl space.

About Michael Church

Michael Church has been involved with indoor air quality since 2005 and feels the unhealthy crawl space is one of the major problems causing poor indoor air quality.