Home Mold in PA, DE, MD and NJ, including Wilmington, Philadelphia & Newark.

The "Stack Effect" And Your Home

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

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 Newark, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, NJ, Philadelphia, PA and or nearby in Pennsylvania, Delaware & Maryland, call or e-mail us today!

Relative Humidity & Your Home

condensation collecting on an HVAC vent in a humid Swarthmore 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 Villanova

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! Just imagine how many spores you my be breathing in!

Time Magazine reports that there can be hundreds of thousands of mold spores in a single cubic meter of air, and a person inhales 10-12 cubic meters of air each day.

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 PA, DE, & MD

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

At Basement Systems USA 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, Delaware & Maryland. Contact us today to get started!

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

Serving PA, DE, MD and NJ including the Greater Philadelphia area
Cities in Kent County, DE
Smyrna

Cities in New Castle County, DE
Bear
Claymont
Delaware City
Hockessin
Middletown
New Castle
Newark
Townsend
Wilmington
Yorklyn

Cities in Anne Arundel County, MD
Curtis Bay
Linthicum Heights

Cities in Baltimore County, MD
Baldwin
Baltimore
Boring
Brooklandville
Butler
Catonsville
Chase
Cockeysville
Dundalk
Essex
Fork
Fort Howard
Freeland
Glen Arm
Glyndon
Gwynn Oak
Halethorpe
Hunt Valley
Hydes
Kingsville
Long Green
Lutherville Timonium
Maryland Line
Middle River
Monkton
Nottingham
Owings Mills
Parkton
Parkville
Perry Hall
Phoenix
Pikesville
Randallstown
Reisterstown
Riderwood
Rosedale
Sparks Glencoe
Sparrows Point
Stevenson
Towson
Upper Falls
Upperco
White Marsh
Windsor Mill
Overlea
Carney

Cities in Baltimore City County, MD
Baltimore
Brooklyn

Cities in Carroll County, MD
Finksburg
Hampstead
Marriottsville

Cities in Cecil County, MD
Cecilton
Charlestown
Chesapeake City
Childs
Colora
Conowingo
Earleville
Elk Mills
Elkton
Georgetown
North East
Perry Point
Perryville
Port Deposit
Rising Sun
Warwick

Cities in Harford County, MD
Aberdeen
Aberdeen Proving Ground
Abingdon
Bel Air
Belcamp
Benson
Churchville
Darlington
Edgewood
Fallston
Forest Hill
Gunpowder
Havre De Grace
Jarrettsville
Joppa
Perryman
Pylesville
Street
White Hall
Whiteford

Cities in Howard County, MD
Elkridge
Ellicott City
Woodstock

Cities in Kent County, MD
Betterton
Chestertown
Galena
Kennedyville
Massey
Millington
Rock Hall
Still Pond
Worton

Cities in Queen Annes County, MD
Church Hill
Crumpton

Cities in Burlington County, NJ
Beverly
Birmingham
Bordentown
Browns Mills
Burlington
Chatsworth
Chesterfield
Columbus
Cookstown
Delanco
Delran
Florence
Fort Dix
Hainesport
Jobstown
Juliustown
Lumberton
Maple Shade
Marlton
Medford
Moorestown
Mount Holly
Mount Laurel
New Gretna
New Lisbon
Palmyra
Pemberton
Rancocas
Riverside
Riverton
Roebling
Shamong
Southampton
Tabernacle
Trenton
Vincentown
Willingboro
Wrightstown

Cities in Camden County, NJ
Audubon
Bellmawr
Camden
Cherry Hill
Collingswood
Gloucester City
Haddon Heights
Haddon Township
Haddonfield
Merchantville
Mount Ephraim
Oaklyn
Pennsauken
Atco
Barrington
Berlin
Blackwood
Cedar Brook
Clementon
Gibbsboro
Glendora
Lawnside
Magnolia
Runnemede
Sicklerville
Somerdale
Stratford
Voorhees
Waterford Works
West Berlin
Winslow

Cities in Gloucester County, NJ
Bridgeport
Clarksboro
Deptford
Gibbstown
Mickleton
Mount Royal
National Park
Paulsboro
Swedesboro
Thorofare
Westville
Woodbury
Clayton
Ewan
Franklinville
Glassboro
Grenloch
Harrisonville
Malaga
Mantua
Mullica Hill
Newfield
Pitman
Richwood
Sewell
South Harrison Township
Wenonah
Williamstown
Woodbury Heights

Cities in Salem County, NJ
Pedricktown
Penns Grove
Alloway
Deepwater
Elmer
Hancocks Bridge
Monroeville
Norma
Pennsville
Quinton
Salem
Woodstown

Cities in Berks County, PA
Mohnton
Morgantown

Cities in Chester County, PA
Atglen
Avondale
Berwyn
Chester Springs
Coatesville
Cochranville
Devon
Downingtown
Elverson
Exton
Glenmoore
Honey Brook
Kennett Square
Landenberg
Lincoln University
Malvern
Nottingham
Oxford
Paoli
Parkesburg
Phoenixville
Pottstown
Spring City
Thorndale
Toughkenamon
West Chester
West Grove

Cities in Delaware County, PA
Aston
Brookhaven
Broomall
Bryn Mawr
Chadds Ford
Chester
Cheyney
Clifton Heights
Crum Lynne
Darby
Drexel Hill
Essington
Folcroft
Folsom
Garnet Valley
Glen Mills
Glenolden
Havertown
Holmes
Lansdowne
Marcus Hook
Media
Morton
Newtown Square
Norwood
Philadelphia
Prospect Park
Ridley Park
Sharon Hill
Springfield
Swarthmore
Thornton
Upper Darby
Villanova
Wallingford
Wayne
Woodlyn

Cities in Lancaster County, PA
Adamstown
Akron
Bird In Hand
Christiana
Conestoga
Denver
Drumore
East Earl
Ephrata
Gap
Gordonville
Holtwood
Kinzers
Kirkwood
Lancaster
Leola
Lititz
Millersville
Narvon
New Holland
New Providence
Paradise
Peach Bottom
Pequea
Quarryville
Reinholds
Ronks
Smoketown
Stevens
Strasburg
Terre Hill
Willow Street
Bainbridge
Bart
Bausman
Blue Ball
Bowmansville
Brownstown
Columbia
East Petersburg
Elizabethtown
Elm
Goodville
Hopeland
Intercourse
Lampeter
Landisville
Manheim
Marietta
Martindale
Maytown
Mount Joy
Mountville
Penryn
Reamstown
Refton
Rheems
Silver Spring
Talmage
Washington Boro
West Willow
Witmer

Cities in Montgomery County, PA
Ardmore
Haverford
Mont Clare
Oaks
Wynnewood

Cities in Philadelphia County, PA
Philadelphia

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Basement Systems USA Earns Three Awards at 2013 Basement Systems Convention

Basement Systems USA received awards for their basement waterproofing, foundation repair, and basement finishing services at the 2013 Team Basement Systems Convention.
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