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What Should You Do If Your Crawl Space Dehumidifier Runs Constantly?

Crawl Space Repair

04/30/2024

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A crawl space dehumidifier that runs constantly is an issue. However, your action to resolve it depends entirely on why this occurs. Generally, the answer is to add another dehumidifier or to address the excessive moisture in your crawl space. However, as you’ll see, there are several reasons and solutions for a constantly running dehumidifier.

What is the Role of a Dehumidifier?

Before we discuss what you should do if your dehumidifier runs constantly, it’s crucial to know its leading function. The purpose of a dehumidifier is to monitor and manage the moisture in a particular location. The dehumidifier maintains an ideal humidity level, preventing it from getting too high or too low.

Ideally, a dehumidifier should run occasionally in cases where air moisture gets too high. As this happens, the dehumidifier will collect water, which you should remove. An issue occurs when the dehumidifier runs continuously rather than in specific scenarios. When a dehumidifier doesn’t stop running, there are a few potential reasons why.

A crawl space dehumidifier that runs constantly is an issue. Read this article to learn why that is the case and what you should do to fix the problem.

Why a Crawl Space Dehumidifier Runs Constantly

  1. You need more dehumidifiers or a larger one: Sometimes, people place a dehumidifier in an area that is too large for it to manage. In such cases, the dehumidifier often runs without stopping. The ideal solution for this problem is to add another dehumidifier or install a larger dehumidifier to deal with the large area.
  2. Your crawl space continues to have a high level of relative moisture: Occasionally, the relative humidity in your crawl space is too high for your dehumidifier to handle. While adding a dehumidifier may help the issue, if this does not solve the problem, it is likely the result of excessive air moisture beyond what a standard set of dehumidifiers can handle. Excessive air moisture often indicates a failure in your crawl space encapsulation or another issue.
  3. There is an issue with your drainage system: When your drainage system fails, you can expect to find standing water or excessive air moisture. Both of these problems cause your dehumidifier to run without stopping. They also indicate that you’ll need to do more than install another dehumidifier to solve the issue.

Signs You Have a Significant Moisture Issue in Your Crawl Space

  1. Standing water: Any standing water in your crawl space should be concerning. This water indicates that you have a serious problem with your foundation. Any amount of dehumidification will not resolve this issue.
  2. Excessive air moisture: If you notice the relative humidity remains high in your crawl space, it may indicate that you have a crawl space problem. Unsealed vents, cracks, or openings that allow moist air in may be the cause.
  3. Mold and mildew: These substances grow when excessive moisture is present. Unfortunately, mold and mildew can cause structural damage and harm your health. Resolving the cause of mold and mildew is paramount.
  4. Foul odors: Excessive air moisture produces foul odors that can permeate your home. The presence of these odors is an excellent sign you have a moisture-related issue in your crawl space.
  5. Structural crawl space damage: Moisture in your crawl space leads to structural damage. While this damage can arise from other sources, it might be a sign of excessive moisture if it is present.

Signs of Significant Moisture Issues in Your Crawl Space

Resolving Crawl Space Moisture Through Encapsulation

One of the best ways to resolve a crawl space moisture problem is through crawl space encapsulation. This process is unfamiliar to many homeowners, which is why we described the steps below:

  1. Remove existing water: The first step in this process is to eliminate standing water or excessive moisture in your foundation area.
  2. Repair or replace damaged structures: Excessive moisture can lead to structural damage. Before sealing your crawl space, your specialist should repair damaged structures or replace them.
  3. Enhance drainage systems: Repairing or replacing a crawl space drainage system can help alleviate water problems. These systems can be clogged, broken, or completely non-existent.
  4. Seal crawl space vents: Some people assume that leaving a crawl space vent open is better. However, leaving the vent open invites moist air in from the outside. A better solution is to seal the vents entirely.
  5. Install a vapor barrier: A vapor barrier provides a complete seal between your crawl space and the outside world. This seal ensures your crawl space remains dry and pest-free.
  6. Set up a proper dehumidification system: The final step when encapsulating a crawl space is to install a dehumidification system. This system should match the overall size of your crawl space. If it is the correct size, you likely won’t need to worry about your dehumidifier running constantly.

Encapsulating a crawl space is not something you can do independently. Instead, it is a process that a professional team should complete. These professionals will understand the unique needs of your crawl space and provide you with the ideal service. They will also ensure that your dehumidifiers are perfect for your crawl space area.

Hire a Pro to Assess Your Crawl Space

A professional crawl space technician is the ideal person to assess your crawl space and address any dehumidification issues you have there. By hiring a professional, you can ensure your crawl space remains dry and intact.

For anyone in the Triangle, Triad, or Eastern North Carolina, the ideal team to choose is Regional Foundation & Crawl Space Repair. Our team has seen many crawl spaces, dehumidifiers, and more. Thanks to that experience, we are prepared to give you the foundation service you need.