Have you recently been in the crawl space to bring out the summer furniture and garden equipment only to find everything damp, covered with mildew and exhibiting a strong musty odour?
Crawl spaces were never designed to be a storage or living space, but rather a service area for electrical, plumbing and heating. I don't want to leave the impression that you shouldn't store goods in the crawl space but there are some features you should build in before you do so.
First, if you have a home with a dirt floor in the crawl space, cover the floor area with 6 mil polyethylene and seal around the footings and pier pads with acoustical adhesive. Newer homes may have a rough troweled concrete skin coat over the polyethylene giving a firm hard surface to crawl around on. In either case, before any storage is put in place, you need to lay strips of lumber down on the surface.
Pile your items on top of the lumber allowing air to move around the stored items eliminating any direct contact with the floor surface. Musty odours and white powder substance showing up on the concrete surface indicates high levels of moisture. Crawl space vents should be open in summer and closed in winter.
Moisture can be vented out and control the humidity level in your crawl space by installing a Humidex System. Call 1-800-416-9111 for more information.