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Encapsulating a crawl space is a common way to deal with moisture or flooding. It is also an easy way to quickly get control of the air quality in the home and lockout rodents and insects. When you’re thinking about “green-ovating” your home, or simply getting control of the moisture or humidity, when you have a crawl space, you must encapsulate.

Encapsulation does a great deal for the crawlspace and for the home above.

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What the process is and what it does

The practice of encapsulating or “sealing off” a crawlspace is done to lock out moisture and cut off the connection between moisture, water and the joists of a home. By running a vapor barrier down the walls of a crawl space to completely cover the floor, you essential separate the outside from the inside of the home.

This vapor barrier will be the flexible membrane between the walls and floor and the rest of the home. A properly designed vapor barrier will limit the transfer of moisture through it while regulating the speed at which air will naturally pass through. This helps to limit and control the amount of moisture that will find its way into the air space and completely segregate liquid water and direct it to a sump location.

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5 helpful tips when having a Vapor Barrier installed in your crawlspace:

1.) Not all vapor barriers are made for this task – careful. There are many products out in the world that claim to be able to fully encapsulate a crawl space. Make sure that your vapor barrier has a low “perm” rate and that it is at least 14mil thick. If you’re planning to use the space for storage make sure that a flexible sub-flooring product is also placed on top of the vapor barrier to protect it.

2.) Cover the walls too – all too often contractors forget to also encapsulate the walls of the crawl space when installing a vapor barrier. This can still allow water and moisture into the basement and therefore render the whole project useless. Take care to make sure it’s installed properly.

3.) Don’t use sprays. – Sealants and sprays aren’t designed to be applied on the interior of the basement. They are good in many circumstances as the “first line of defense” but as the last, they can’t hold the pressure and moisture trapped in a wall.

4.) Install a sump and a dehumidifier – to totally control the moisture level in the crawl space it’s imperative that you have a sump pump and a dehumidifier installed. Moisture will still exist, although not to dangerous levels, but a sump will remove any liquid water your encapsulation traps, and the dehumidifier will deal with any residual moisture that naturally collects in the space.

The Three Basic Types of Home Foundations

crawlspace mold

Crawl spaces are known for their aesthetic presence-- NOT! When you talk about a crawl space you probably touch upon the dirt floor, the mold buildup, the puddles, the stench, oh and you can't forget about the insulation falling from the ceiling or the dusty old vents.

Unfortunately, this environment can cause a whole lot more damage to the rest of your home than you may think.

The Moisture

Crawl spaces and basements have huge problems with moisture. The stack effect is the proper name for the well-known process of warm air rising, which absolutely has a lot to do with moisture.

When the hot and humid air from the outside enters into the crawl space, the air begins to cool and the warm air pushes and exits through the upper levels. When the hot air cools by even one degree, the relative humidity rises by 2.2 percent.

This is why you find condensation and water buildup on other surfaces! Once this moisture begins to build and the humidity rises in the space mold begins to grow. Mold will continue growing and prospering if it has moisture, organic material to eat and a comfortable temperature. You cannot remove mold by wiping it away, but you remove mold by eliminating the source of moisture.

In other words-- close the vents, seal the space and install a sump pump!

The Vents

As we just learned, air tends to rise within a home. So, when old-school thought encouraged people to install vents, it was unfortunately saying that air would come in through one vent and go out the other vent. This is not the case. Instead, the air comes in through both vents increasing moisture and humidity. In addition, as the crawl spaces conditions worsen due to the vents, the air quality in your home also lessens.

It's been estimated that a third to one half of the air on the first level actually comes from the crawl space, so whatever is growing and prospering beneath your home you can be sure to be breathing in throughout the rest of your home.

In addition, some spaces have fans as well. A fan will only blow the mess around and worsen the problem. Both of these "solutions" also heighten your energy bills and shorten the life of some of your homes heating and cooling appliances. Your air conditioning will be working a whole lot harder to cool and your heating system will be working very hard to keep your home warm. Unfortunately, the vents and fans in your crawl space are a big factor in your energy waste and increase in expenses.

The Solution

Since crawl spaces have problems with moisture control and mold growth the best solution will close-off air flow from the outside and prevent moisture from entering through the soil, cracks and vents. In addition, the solution must prevent mold growth and include a water drainage system for when leaks occur and water somehow makes its way into the space.

This solution is to install the CleanSpace Crawl Space Encapsulation System, which will enclose the entire crawl space with a vapor barrier that also separates the space from the soil foundation. In addition, you can close-off the vents and include a sump pump drainage system.

No more vents, no more fans equals better air quality and a cleaner environment.

How To Protect Your Health And Get Rid Of Awful Smells With Crawl Space Encapsulation

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The single best thing you can do to eliminate moisture and odors coming from the crawlspace is to apply a heavy sheet of plastic. Plastic wrap comes in clear or black and in different thicknesses. Purchase either color and with a thickness of at least 6 mil or better yet 10 mil.

Roll out the plastic so that all of the crawlspace floor is completely covered with plastic. When you have to cut the plastic to go around something, be sure to cover the cut with additional plastic or lap the original layer over the cut out. It's OK to use duck tape on the plastic vapor barrier as well. Just be sure to not have any voids in the plastic where moisture and odors can still get through.

The walls of the crawlspace should be covered as well to better eliminate moisture concerns as they can harbor condensation, a major source of moisture issues. Just roll out extra length of plastic so that you can run it up the crawlspace wall and using the stapler, tack along the ledger board located just above the concrete block or poured wall.

If you eliminate odors, moisture from the crawlspace and other undesirable elements coming from the ground beneath your home, your family will be living in a much healthier environment.

Although this task can be accomplished by yourself, it will be much easier if you can get a buddy or helper to go into your crawlspace and aid in the rolling out of the plastic barrier.

6 mil plastic is fine, however, if you can find thicker plastic (greater than 6 mil) then it will be much harder to rip or tear as you move along the crawlspace.


Crawl Space Repair In Yorkville TN

Crawl Space Waterproofing & Mold Remediation

There is a very good reason as to why companies like Crawl Space Repair in Yorkville TN exist – not everyone is comfortable with the idea of making his or her way through a crawl space in order to troubleshoot problems in a home or a building. With humidity levels being consistently high regardless of the seasons in Knoxville, TN, you can be sure that mold growth, as well as dampness in a building, is going to be a constant menace that needs to be remedied. Crawl Space Masters is a reliable name when it comes to basement waterproofing and crawl space repair in Knoxville, TN.

Some of the services offered by Crawl Space Masters include crawl space humidity, crawl space insulation, crawl space mold removal, and removing the presence of water in crawl space.

Crawl Space Humidity

Crawl space humidity is an issue when humidity levels hit the 55% figure or more. Too much crawl space humidity will normally result in mold, wood rot fungus, the nasty and unwanted presence of insects and dust mites, as well as utility bills which will shock you at the end of the month. Too much crawl space humidity will affect even hardwood flooring and different kinds of floor coverings. Solutions offered include the use of French drains or curtain drains, in addition to making use of an interior drain system and sump pump to minimize humidity levels.

Crawl Space Insulation

The importance of hiring an experienced crawl space repair company in Yorkville TN for crawl space insulation cannot be understated – it will not only ensure a high level of energy efficiency in your home, ensuring that you remain nice and warm during winter and cold in the summer. Even after crawl space encapsulation, crawl space insulation is still an essential part of any building as evident in the requirements of local and national building codes. Depending on the property that is being looked at, foam board insulation, as well as closed cell spray foam would be used.

Crawl Space Mold Removal

As mold loves the dark and damp places to grow, the crawl space is one of the perfect places to facilitate the growth of mold. Inadvertently, this will lead to poor indoor air quality for everyone living at home. Hence, make sure that you get in touch with the right company to perform crawl space repair in Yorkville TN, when it comes to upgrading to a closed crawl space so that there is a moisture barrier on the floor and liners which will extend all the way up to the walls. This is also good for your monthly utility bills as heating and cooling costs will be reduced along the way.

Signs You Need Crawl Space Repairs

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Professional contractors have the experience and knowledge to determine the cause of the problem and offer the right solution. But when do you know it is time to bring in a professional crawl space repair contractor? Here are some signs you should look out for:

1. Presence of water

If there is water in your crawl space, most likely there is a major problem. You have to fix the problem before it causes further damage to your house. Letting it sit for a long time can also lead to other issues like weakened foundation, molds and mildew. Make sure to install a vapor barrier right away.

2. Insect infestation

Dark and damp areas like a crawl space are breeding grounds for insects. If you notice the appearance of insects like spiders or roaches in your house, this is a sure sign that your space is having problems. It’s true that insect infestation can be remedied by using insecticides or calling pest control, but the problem will just return unless you have your crawl space fixed.

3. Damp and heavy air

If there is moisture below the house the air becomes damp and heavy. This is not just limited to the affected area as air travels upwards to every part of the house. You need to have your space repaired immediately to avoid more severe problems in the future. It can also help avoid the health hazards that accompany moist air.

4. Higher electricity bills

There are several reasons why your electricity bills are skyrocketing like poor insulation or improper use of appliances. But crawl space problems can also be a factor. If it is properly insulated, it helps better air circulation in your house. This means that there is little need for an a/c; thereby, lowering your electrical consumption.

5. Sloping Floors

Another sign that you need a repair is when the floors and walls in your house slope or sag. Slopping floors and walls are an indication of a weakened foundation due to water damage. Moisture and water will cause the beams to rot. If you notice this in your home, make sure to call professional repair company right away.

Understanding the signs of damage helps prevent bigger problems in the future. When you see any of the signs given above, don’t hesitate to call a crawl space repair contractor immediately. Set an appointment with a local company for an assessment. Professional contractors can tell you what the problem is and the methods to fix it. But before you agree to anything, make sure that you compare different contractors first. This will help you make an informed decision regarding your problem.

If you are experiencing any of these crawl space symptoms it’s time to call in the professionals. Crawl Space Masters provide a wide range of services to help solve any crawl space problems that are affecting your home.