The crawl space might be a convenient way to access pipes and substructures – but it can also be a trap. Without proper crawl space insulation and conditioning, you could end up having moisture, structural damage, and air quality problems. Also, pest/rodent infiltration is more likely with poor crawl space maintenance. Let’s take a look at how to prevent or resolve crawl space problems.
Restore your damp crawl space now. Call 877-748-2780 or contact us to get a free estimate today.
Basic Water Filtration Issues
A lack of simple home maintenance can do a lot of harm. That’s what we discovered upon inspecting this crawl space in Lake Harmony, PA.
First of all, we noticed that the gutters were clogged. This alone caused significant water seepage into the crawl space at the footer. We also inspected the sump pump function. In many cases, a sump pump is not needed if water filtration issues are properly addressed. For example, reverse grades and depressions can send water cascading down into your crawl space.
Crawl spaces typically have a ground cover that encapsulates the top of the footer. If this vapor barrier is not installed properly, water accumulates on top of the plastic. This brings added moisture into the crawl space – the exact opposite of what the vapor barrier is supposed to achieve.
This can lead to what we found in Lake Harmony. The dampness made the ceiling insulation wet and moldy. It was literally falling down. Plus, the crawl space was littered with rodent droppings.
Getting Back on Track
First of all, the owner had the gutters cleaned out. Then a proper 6 mil poly plastic vapor barrier was installed on the floor. The plastic was brought up over the footer and continued onto the wall. Then we sealed it all with spray foam insulation. This process ensures that any moisture remains beneath the vapor barrier and outside of the crawl space.
The entire reason for crawl space conditioning is to keep the area dry. So we also sealed the crawl space vents to eliminate moisture infiltration during humid weather.
Next, closed cell spray foam insulation was applied to the perimeter walls and band joist to provide a semi-conditioned space which serves as insulation for the floor. This also protects pipes and any mechanicals in the area from extreme temperature variations.
Finally, the crawl space door was insulated to ensure the entire area enjoyed moisture free encapsulation.
Once the space has been properly conditioned, dehumidifiers are a great idea. A dehumidifier alone cannot correct significant dampness such as from clogged gutters. Also, dehumidifiers function best when they work intermittently, not 24/7.
Crawl space conditioning maintains the best structural integrity of any building or home. Proper insulation helps keep a comfortable temperature and reduces energy costs.
Consider these final tips when renovating your crawl space:
- Insulate crawl space walls with spray foam to protect pipes from freezing
- Install mechanical ventilation when necessary to provide proper whole house ventilation
- Consider a sump pump to control ground water levels when applicable
- Use closed cell spray foam on walls and band joist for insulation value and moisture barrier
Dry up your damaged crawl space. Call 877-748-2780 or contact us to get a free estimate today.