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There are different types of subfloors that are found in different types of buildings. Plywood is a common material used to make the sheeting on the under floor. The plywood is fixed on top of the floor joists and another floor is then placed above the sub floor. This is the top floor that is visible in your home. The top floor can be made from a variety of materials including different kinds of hardwood.
The use of a sub floor in your home is beneficial as it makes sure that any shifts in the ground do not affect the top floor. You should, therefore, ensure that you have sufficient sub floor ventilation so that your floor can serve you for a long time to come.
Types Of Sub Floors
The state of your under floor plays a big role in ensuring that your home is safe for habitation. You should ensure that your under the floor is clear of any rubble so that air flow in that space is not hindered in any way. The under floor should also be dry through out since any wetness will bring about decay.
A decayed under the floor will attract termites and rodents such as rats. You will also have to deal with cockroaches and mould which is known to bring about respiratory problems. Your home will also have an unpleasant musty smell due to the dampness of the under floor. An under the floor that is not in good condition will reduce the value of your home. You will then have to make repairs due to the decayed timber which can be very costly.
Importance Of Ventilation
It is important to have the right subfloor ventilation to ensure that you’re under the floor is properly aerated. This will keep the space free from moisture as stale air is extracted while fresh air comes in. If you suspect that you’re underfloor may be damp, it is a good idea to contact a ventilation expert. The expert will first assess your under floor to find out the reason for the dampness.
Sometimes a damp under floor could be as a result of a drainage problem where water collects outside the building when it rains. This water then slowly shifts to the under floor. If the dampness is due to poor aeration, then he can calculate how much ventilation will be required in order to keep the under floor dry. He can then recommend a system that will be effective in keeping the space well ventilated.
Finding The Right Expert
A good place to start when you want to find a qualified ventilation expert is by asking friends and relatives who have previously contracted one. They can recommend you to the person who fixed a ventilation system in their homes that work well. You can also contact a trade organisation in your area to give you names of qualified experts. Once you have a list of potential contractors, you can get some basic information from them over the phone. You need to know how many years of experience they have in installing sub-floor ventilation systems. You should ask whether they are licensed and whether they have the necessary insurance.
When your home environment is safe, you not only get to enjoy clean fresh air but your health is also safeguarded. You may have installed a home ventilation system without seriously considering the under floor. It may only occur to you that there is a problem with the under floor when you get a musty smell in the home and discover the presence of mould. As soon as you realize the under floor may be having an issue, you should call in a sub floor ventilation expert. He will assess you’re under floor and recommend a ventilation system that will keep the space drier and fresh.
Requirements For Your Under Floor
A sub floor that is not properly ventilated is an attraction for termites which can destroy the timber supports of your home. This will cause the value of your home to go down. The presence of mould will cause you to develop respiratory problems and you are likely to have sinuses and symptoms of allergies. The area between the floor and the ground should, therefore, be ventilated properly.
Your under floor should not have any vegetation or rubble and should have vents that are spaced evenly. The vents should be strategically located to ensure that there is cross ventilation. This means that clean air should come in from one side and should be expelled from the opposite side. The ventilation that will be needed for your under floor will depend on the location of your home and the type of weather experienced in the area.
Causes Of Dampness In The Under Floor
During the rainy season, flood water may fail to drain properly and may pool against the wall of your home. This water will then gradually soak into your under ground causing it to be damp. You may also have a garden that is right next to your wall and whenever you water the garden, the water will end up finding its way to your under floor. You could also have a pipe that is cracked underground which is causing water to seep into your under floor. If you are living in an old home, there is a possibility that the level of the ground around your home has changed and has interfered with the sub floor ventilation.
Damage To Timber
If your floor is made from timber and your under the floor is damp, the floor boards will absorb the moisture and will expand. Since they are tightly packed on the floor, the boards will begin to rise up as they will find no space to expand. This means that your floor will be uneven. The floor boards can also expand so much that they end up pushing out the frame of your wall. When the timber in your sub floor begins to decay, termites can find a nest there and will feed on the timber thus destroying the structure of your home.
Ventilating The Sub Floor
Depending on the ventilation requirements of your under a floor, you can either use natural or mechanical sub floor ventilation. Natural ventilation is where natural flow of air is allowed to move in and out of the sub floor through vents. Fans can also be used to bring in air from one side and expel damp air from the opposite side.