The Stack Effect: The Science Behind a Damp and Dank Basement

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The Stack Effect

The Stack Effect

Following the laws of physics and chemistry, “the stack effect” is caused by hot air tending to rise and cold air tending to sink. As warmer air exits the home at the higher levels, a vacuum is created in the basement or crawlspace. This natural vacuum pulls the cold, wet air out of the soil and into the lowest part of the home.

Even if your home is free of standing water and has a flawless plumbing system, moisture brought in by this effect can still wreak havoc on a basement or crawl space. It is a process that is impossible to prevent, but there are many steps that can be taken to protect your home from any effects “the stack effect” can have on your home.

Ways to Protect Your Home

For a Crawlspace:

Crawl Seal Encapsulation System

Contrary to popular belief, venting a crawlspace does more harm than good. You can start the process of protecting your home’s health by sealing up your vents permanently and encapsulating the area. A vapor barrier covering the floor, walls and wrapping around the piers will prevent any moist air from entering the crawlspace. Along with sealing the area, dehumidifying a crawlspace is always a great idea. This will ensure that any air that does make its way inside is filtered to remove any moisture or allergens. It will also prevent mold from growing on the wood joists the hold up your home.

Tar Heel Basement Systems’ complete CrawlSeal Crawlspace Encapsulation System will cover all of these services and more. Since most of the air you breathe on your main floors comes directly from your crawlspace, it is always a smart decision to take steps to keep that air clean and moisture free.

For a Basement:

family sitting in their finished basement

When a basement is not suffering from leaks or pooling water, a dehumidifier is always a great way to rid the area of unwanted moisture and allergens. Installing flooring with a temperature barrier, insulated wall paneling and ceiling tiles will also make a big difference. These are great ways to cut down on outdoor air flow in the basement and prevent moist air from entering the space. This humid air could facilitate mold growth and rise into the main floors.

Tar Heel Basement Systems’ Total Basement Finishing products are all top-of-the-line and designed to keep your basement comfortable, healthy and beautiful. Our ThermalDry flooring system, numerous wall paneling systems and ceiling tile systems will leave you with the finished basement of your dreams and an air quality that cannot be beaten.