Moisture/Mold Avoidance in Vacation Home
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Moisture/Mold Avoidance in Vacation Home Expand / Collapse
Posted 12/16/2003 4:46:05 PM Post #780
I've recently bought a vacation home in the Pocono Mountains of PA. The crawl space has plastic sheets on the ground, blown insulation on the walls and the insulation between the floor and crawl space was removed. The temperature seems to be constant at around 50 degrees. Since it is a vacation house it is closed up except for one or two weekends a month, and several weeks during the summer. During the cooler months when we are not there, we keep the temperature about 50-55. The heat is electric baseboard and there are no ducts. The size is less than 2000 feet. I am concerned about structural damage in the crawl space due to high humidity (this seems to be common in the area) and mold growth in the living parts of the house (this has also been reported in the area). I have several questions. Do you recommend separate dehumidifiers in the crawl space and in the house? If not, would a unit like the Santa Fe Rx have any affect on the humidity in the crawl space? The winter temperature in the house while it is unattended is about 50 - 55 degrees. Will the dehumidifier work at this range or would it be necessary to keep the heat higher? Finally, we usually keep the bedrooms closed and the heat off. Would the dehumidifier have any affect on these rooms or would they continue to be susceptible to mold growth? Thank you. This web site is great with a lot of helpful information.
Posted 1/2/2007 5:40:41 PM Post #781
The crawlspace is protected from moisture in the earth by the plastic on the earth. If the floor has wood or other moisture permeable material, the moisture will move from the crawlspace to the main floor or vice versa. Locating a Santa Fe in the living area will control the main floor when the temperature is 55^F or warmer. Moisture in crawlspace will move through the floor to the dry area. The level of dryness in the crawlspace is determined by the perm rate of the floor and the amount of moisture in the crawlspace. This maybe adequate. A more aggressive method is to duct a small amount of the Santa Fe’s dry air to the crawlspace. Using a tee on the discharge of the unit and routing a 4” duct to crawlspace would be adequate. If the temperature goes below 55^F occasionally, the unit automatically waits for the temperature to rise to 55^F and then continuous to operate. When are using the home and the windows are open, turn the dehumidifier off. The unit will not have much affect on rooms with doors closed. I suggest open doors if you are concerned. Thanks Ken
Posted 1/3/2007 8:03:12 AM Post #792

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I assume that along with plastic on the earth, the outside vents are closed.  With a wood floor between the crawlspace and the main floor, moisture migrates between the crawlspace and the home.  Therefore, maintaining 50%RH on the main floor usually keep the crawl dry enough to avoid mold. 

I suggest a dehumidifier on the main floor and monitor the crawl %RH.  Should not exceed 60%RH.  Wal-Mart has a remote %RH meter for $30-$40 with high/low memory.  Dehumidification is not required during cold weather because the outside dew points are very low(<55^F).  Any of the Santa Fe will do the job.  Using a Santa Fe Advance is the best value. Also a duct kit can be added in the Advance if the crawl requires some ducted dry to be kept dry. Keep us posted. Ken 

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