LEAKING CRAWLSPACE The CRAWLSPACE is often damp and cold. It can reduce the indoor air quality of the living areas above, cause MOISTURE related problems to the structure of the home and increase utility costs. DryMaster has a solution for finishing your home’s crawlspace.
CRAWLSPACES have functions. Your crawl space may have been constructed in place of a BASEMENT to save cost. It elevates the home off the ground which can be a necessity in damp or termite-prone locations. The CRAWLSPACE can also house the plumbing and ductwork of a home and allows access to service those systems.
A sick CRAWLSPACE can undermine the safety of your home and your family's health. Excessive moisture in a CRAWLSPACE provides an environment for mold to thrive. Mold that can eventually grow into the rest of the home. The moisture can also attract wood boring insects that destroy the wood substructure. The presence of insects may also draw rodents and other pests into the CRAWLSPACE. A leaky unfinished CRAWLSPACE might also be increasing your energy costs.Solving the crawl space moisture issue is a first priority in repairing a CRAWLSPACE. DryMaster has the solution to reduce the moisture issues and increase energy efficiency in your crawlspace.
The elimination of moisture and reduction of humidity in the CRAWLSPACE is crucial to a healthy home. This step will help control mold growth, wood rot and insect infestation, which can also alleviate any rodent issues. Reducing moisture can put an end to any mustiness or unsavory smells emanating from the area.
HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE forces water into the foundation blocks in a CRAWLSPACE just as it does in a basement. Those wet blocks cause damp and leaking crawlspaces and foster mold growth. To combat this, a vapor barrier or encapsulation system can be installed.To encapsulate a crawlspace a moisture barrier liner is installed up the walls of the CRAWLSPACE and over the earth floor. Proper installation methods of an encapsulation system often includes overlapping the liners of the wall and the floor, taping all the seams and fixing the barrier to the foundation walls with anchors. Moisture barriers differ in composition, thickness, strength or durability and color. Thickness can range anywhere between three to 20 millimeters. An encapsulated CRAWLSPACE that will be used for storage may require a thicker and more durable vapor barrier and an underlament. A white liner will also give the space a clean, finished look.
One of the most important features of the moisture barrier is the water vapor permeance or “perm” rating of the product. It measures the transmission of water vapor through the product. The lower the number, the better the product’s resistance to vapor transmission. Anything with a perm rating below .01 is considered a moisture barrier.
DryMaster recommends installing a drainage system along the perimeter of the CRAWLSPACE walls and a sump pump to keep the ground beneath the liner dry. Also Leveling the dirt floor is a necessity. A level CRAWLSPACE will decrease the chances of tearing a hole through the liner. DryMaster will make sure the end result is a clean, dry and healthy room in the home. see BASEMENT WATERPROOFING page.
Many CRAWLSPACE have built-in ventilation to allow airflow. The latest studies on crawl spaces indicate that ventilation is actually adding to moisture and humidity in the CRAWLSPACE. The difference in air temperature outside the home to the temperature in the CRAWLSPACE during the summer months causes moisture condensation inside the CRAWLSPACE. This condensation forms on pipes, floorjoists and just about every surface in the crawl space area, leading to mold growth and wood rot, which draws termites.
Also ventilation allows cold winter air to circulate under the home.It cools down the pipes and heating elements in the crawl space (furnaces, ductwork, etc.), which can increase utility costs. It can make the floor above an uncomfortably cold surface to walk on.
Most new construction now has the option of vented or unvented CRAWLSPACE, existing homes with vented CRAWLSPACE should close the vents. The CRAWLSPACE should be treated as any other room in the home. Start by sealing the vents. Sealing the CRAWLSPACE from outside air is as important a step for moisture mitigation as installing a moisture barrier. It may require removal of the vents and installing a new concrete block in its place. In some cases Styrofoam blocks and spray may be used on the interior of the CRAWLSPACE the vents stay in place but are rendered useless by the Styrofoam. DryMaster will be able to determine the best method.
It is important for you to check your local building code before blocking off CRAWLSPACE vents. In some situations vents are required. Flood states, for example, require flood vents in the CRAWLSPACE to prevent water pressure from destroying the foundation in the event of a flood. CRAWLSPACE that house a furnace or hot water heater may need make up air for combustion purposes. In a CRAWLSPACE that contains the ductwork for the home’s heating system, installing a register after encapsulating the crawl space will help keep it at the same temperature and humidity level as the rest of the rooms in the home. If there is no duct work presentIt may be necessary to install a dehumidifier in the CRAWLSPACE. Dehumidifiers vary from small portable units to CRAWLSPACE specific models that can be plumbed in to the home’s drainage system. The cost of a humidifier can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000. Units can be installed permanently and hard-piped to the home’s existing drainage or the CRAWLSPACE drainage. Dehumidifiers will be sized to treat a maximum square footage and have a minimum and maximum operating temperature. They are also rated by the number of pints of water per day the unit can remove from the humid air and the number of pints per kilowatt-hour (pints/kWh). DryMaster can help the homeowner determine if a dehumidifier is the best option. SEE DEHUMIDIFIER page.
Encapsulating the CRAWLSPACE can be a large undertaking depending on its current state. But leaving the CRAWLSPACE humid, musty and energy inefficientcan result in an unhealthy home, create foundation damage and bring high utility bills. Proper encapsulation, ventilation blocking and CRAWLSPACE conditioning will help green the home and keep the temperature, humidity and energy bills at a comfortable level year-round.