How to Deal with Poor Subfloor Ventilation?
Every homeowner makes adequate ventilation arrangements of their living space. However, proper ventilation is equally important for the area just under our homes. These subfloor spaces are often to prone to moisture build up that leads to numerous structural issues as well as health hazards for people residing in the house.
While many homes are built with poor subfloor ventilation systems, there are homes that never had any under floor ventilation systems installed. Installation of quality ventilation systems is critical for these houses to protect the building structure and ensure a healthy lifestyle for its residents.
Danger of poor subfloor ventilation: In houses without any under floor ventilation or with inadequate ventilation systems, the negative effects of poor air flow will be experienced throughout the house. The foremost impact of poor ventilation is that it traps the humidity within the subfloor area, which can easily travel throughout the home.
The build-up of moisture in the sub-floor creates the ideal environment for mold growth. In addition to damaging the building’s structure, mold growth is clinically proven to cause many different types of infections and allergic reactions that require immediate medical attention. Moreover, the terrible appearance and odor of molds can easily spoil the indoor environment of any home.
If your subfloor remains damp for a considerable period of time, it can lead to expansion of the building’s timber components. This results in warping, bending, and eventually complete destruction of timber floors. In addition to expensive repairs, this makes a building extremely vulnerable to termite infestations.
Causes of poor subfloor ventilation: Abnormal moisture levels are created in the sub-floor area because of many different reasons. Some of the most common culprits are inadequate drainage, plumbing leaks, improper water proofing, and vents fully or partly covered by concrete, pavers, and vegetation.
With adequate subfloor ventilation, water from the soil tends to evaporate and condense on the floor’s cooler surfaces. However, if the ventilation is poor, condensation builds up and the flooring timbers get adversely affected by this excess moisture. This ultimately leads to wood decay and the growth of mold as well as fungi.
The most important causes of poor subfloor ventilation are
- Inadequate cross flow of air
- Obstruction of air flow via vents by vegetation coverings.
- Blocking of air vents by newly constructed patio flooring or concrete paths.
- Breakdown or absence of damp-proof courses in masonry
- Obstructed cavity wall vents
Poor subfloor ventilation can be identified by the flowing signs.
- Growth of grass and other vegetation and soil build-up inside the wall is a clear indication of subfloor ventilation problems.
- A musty odour throughout the building.
- Growth of fungi and mold on the walls
- Lifting and splitting of floor boards
Dealing with inadequate subfloor ventilation: Fortunately, there are a number of preventive measures you can implement to get rid of your subfloor dampness issues.
- Ensure proper water drainage away from the building: Make sure that the area surrounding your home is levelled in a way that directs all the water away from the base of the building. Proper drainage will not allow water and moisture to develop anywhere near the structure.
- Proper maintenance of all vents: All the vents must remain unblocked and clean at all times. Thoroughly examine if there are any vents covered by other structures and take adequate measures to eliminate them.
- Fixing the plumbing system: Take adequate measures to ensure there are no leaking pipes or plumbing parts throughout the building.
- Prevention of water logging in the roof by maintaining the gutters. All water coming from the gutters must be redirected away from the building.
- Ensure that there are no storage points within the subfloor to prevent undesirable build-up of water.
- While building the home, make sure that the subfloor has adequate space. This will improve ventilation and make the space easily accessible for future repair work.
- Finally, avoid using your subfloor space for purposes such as drying clothes or keeping flower pots because these activities will result in moisture build-up.
If you are really troubled by your subfloor issues and looking to solve it for once and all, please contact Extract Air. We have more than fifteen years of experience in installing sub-floor ventilation systems that have solved the subfloor dampness problems for numerous residential as well as commercial buildings. Contact our consultants today for your no-obligation, free quote.