Friday, May 29, 2009

Rust on Ducts, Pipes, & Beams in Crawlspace

Humid and wet crawlspace environments results in rust on ducts, pipes, post jacks, and beams made of metal. The moisture in the wet crawlspace will evaporate in to the atmosphere causing the relative humidity to increase. This humidity increase will rust the ducts and pipes over a period of time. Ironically, even a dry crawlspace floor can have potential problems with rust as well. Most crawlspace are vented through the foundation to allow air in and through the crawlspace. Crawlspace Vents bring in hot humid air in the summer. Most cooler surfaces such as sheet metal ductwork, copper pipes, steel beams, metal post jacks, and even insulation will condensate due to the ventilation in the crawlspace. The "sweating" of the ducts and metal surfaces will cause rust over time. Have you ever seen your air ducts on a hot and muggy day? They are sweating just like you are outside.

Wet or Corroded HVAC Ducts are also a health concern. The main components of house dust, which will collect in a duct system, include fabric fibers, skin cells, starch fragments and other organic debris. The combination of organic debris within a duct system with moisture (indicated by rusty ducts or duct registers) indicates a possible risk of mold or bacterial hazards within the air conditioning or heating system. Since blowing air through the system can pick up and distribute these hazards to occupants of the home, wet or previously-wet duct work is a potential health hazard to the homeowners.

Many homeowners will wrap their ducts with fiberglass insulation in an effort to stop the condensation. While this may work in stopping some of the crawl space condensation, it does not address the real problem. Plus, the moisture in the insulation will possibly harbor mold colonies. These mold spores are then transferred to the upper levels through the seams and holes in the duct work. The only sure method to prevent rust on duct systems, pipes, beams, and jacks is to dry the crawlspace permanently.

No one has more expertise in drying crawl spaces permanently than American Basement Solutions. Give us a call @ 1-877-409-2837 for a FREE ESTIMATE or visit our website @

Thanks for reading the rambling thoughts of a crawlspace inspector,
Larry Ralph Jr.

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