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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.

Save Money By Using Crawl Space DIY Kits

mold in crawl space under house

I recently came across a Consumer Reports article that served as a good reminder to homeowners about some of the home's maintenance issues that are just too important to put off. With today's economy, it is easier to justify holding off on repairing a leaking basement wall crack because it seemingly does not pose an immediate threat, outside of a little inconvenience, of course.

Problems related to the foundation's structural stability or the indoor air quality of the home requires more immediate action; such issues are essentially putting the health and overall safety of the family at risk: not tomorrow, or a year from now, but at this moment.

While bad news for the homeowner, such problems are good for basement waterproofing and foundation repair contractors - the need for their services will always exist. The Consumer Reports article lists a couple of problem issues that the homeowner should be concerned about - the growth of mold and mildew and the formation of cracks in poured foundations. As a business owner who works with the basement waterproofing industry, these are two areas of concern that I am well familiar with.

The growth of mold and mildew can occur inside a home for endless reasons. The most prominent areas are basements and crawl spaces, where excess moisture is a sure bet unless the necessary measures are taken. Concrete walls are prone to the seepage of water vapor - leaking water from cracks in the foundation or the floor adds to the problem. The basement and crawl space provides the ideal environment for trapped moisture to eventually grow into mold spores and mildew.

Concrete cracks in poured foundation walls usually occur as a result of shrinkage or settling around the foundation. Cracks forming as a result of shrinkage in the concrete typically do not pose a structural threat, yet they may cause headaches for the homeowner the second they begin to leak water.

Whether such foundation cracks are structural or not, it is best not to leave them exposed for long, as it relates to the concern of the home's indoor air quality. These cracks, as well as in concrete floors, may provide an opening for soil gases. The infiltration of soil gases, in addition to the growth of mold and mildew can be enough to create an indoor air quality nightmare. The bad air circulating inside the basement and crawl space affects the entire home - 50% of the air circulating throughout the home originates from the home's lowest level.

Concrete cracking is unavoidable. Properly addressing them early on will minimize further problems down the road. Further indoor air quality concerns may also be addressed by implementing the proper waterproofing and sealing techniques throughout the basement and crawl space. There are plenty of qualified contractors throughout the United States and Canada available to service such jobs.

It's reassuring to know that our message is backed up by an objective source such as the Consumer Reports. You view the article at the provided link, http://shopping.yahoo.com/articles/yshoppingarticles/418/5-home-repairs-not-to-ignore/.

You can't put a price on the long-term stability of the home and health of the family.

What to Do About Basement Waterproofing Before It's Too Late

crawlspace mold

There are advantages and disadvantages in having a crawl space under your home. Advantages, perhaps, a slightly elevated home may be more attractive than a home on a slab. Plus, you can make repairs and modifications to plumbing, heating, and electrical services.

Disadvantages, a crawl space is an area that is never cleaned. Under the vapor barrier the humidity is always 100% so mold and bacteria are always present. Termiticides, other chemicals, even rodent droppings may be present, and odors and gases that emanate will migrate into the home's living space unless proper ventilation is installed. Whether on a slab or elevated, if radon is present, good ventilation is required.

There are several technologies on the market in regard to moisture control. One is encapsulation, sealing the crawlspace. Though this might lower humidity, it's costly and there is no dilution or replacement of stagnant, poor quality air. Again, if radon is present, ventilation is required.

Another technology is to install a dehumidifier in the crawl space. This can lower humidity, but again will not dilute or replace the stagnant air. Another point to think about is that the dehumidifier will be costly to operate. More importantly, using a dehumidifier requires you to close tightly the crawl space. Thus, the home's living space air quality is going to be lowered because the crawl space air is not diluted and replaced with fresh outdoor air.

Some systems use a dehumidifier control (dehumidistat) to operate a crawl space vent fan. This sounds like it's going in the right direction. However, the technology isn't quite right. Here's why. Suppose the outdoor air is getting worse (wetter). Though the dehumidistat control is in the crawl space, it will quickly recognize this wetter air condition and begin ventilation, even though ventilating is going to make crawl space wetter. Another problem with a dehumidistat control is that most of them are not made for the difficult environment of a crawl space, so their warranties are short, 30 days to 1 year maximum for the dehumidistat.

There is another system that uses special technology different from all the others mentioned above. This special technology makes a comparison of the actual moisture content of both the air inside the crawlspace and the outdoor air. The result is that it pauses and does not ventilate when bringing in outdoor air is going to make the space wetter. Then, as the outdoor air is getting drier and is able to improve the moisture and air quality in the crawlspace, then this ventilator moves a lot of air which dilutes and replaces stagnant air, ultimately improving your home's living space air quality.

This system, called the Smartvent, is made in the USA, is used from Florida to Alaska... San Diego to Nova Scotia.

This system is a proven system, and it is the only system to have undergone a year long test where crawl space humidity averaged 46%. Besides the unique technology this system employs, it also has the longest warranty of all ventilators, five years.


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

crawl space insulation Nashville, Tennessee

crawl space insulation 

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.