Crawl space encapsulation and sealing is a process that building experts recommend for transforming a dirty, damp space with mold and mildew into a clean, dry space where mold and mildew cannot form.
An estimated 40 percent of the air in the first floor of your home comes from the crawl space or basement!
Air from below the house enters the the home, and warm air in the upper floors is released through the attic. That air is replaced by new air from the windows and doors, but unfortunately, much of it also comes from the crawl space or basement..
Pro Restoration specializes in crawl space issues of all kinds. We can inspect your crawl space and offer our recommendations to improve it’s condition, along with any resulting living area problems..
Signs of Crawl Space Problems
Many homes with a crawl space foundation suffer from moisture problems, which can negatively impact the environment in both the crawl space itself—and the living area above.
Following are several living area problems that can occur from a poor crawl space environment.
- Poor air quality and circulation
- Allergies or asthmatic symptoms
- Strong odors from mold and mildew
- Indoor drywall cracks
- Uneven, bouncy or cold floors
- Buckled hardwood floors
- High humidity
- High energy costs
And here are some very common crawl space problems, which cause these serious living area conditions above.
- Standing water and excessive moisture
- Water and mold damage
- Soggy or saggy insulation
- Insect and pest infestations
- Release of gasses (radon) from soil
- Rotted wood framing
- Sunken piers
Crawl Space Encapsulation and Conditioning
We recommend and use crawl space encapsulation to address the problems listed above.
Crawl space encapsulation is a process of using several techniques, such as waterproofing, insulation techniques, and vapor barriers to encapsulate and improve the overall condition of your crawl space. Then we properly ventilate and lower the humidity to create a healthy conditioned crawl space, resulting in a dramatically improved living environment above.
Here’s a brief overview of our step by step process…
During this process, it is extremely important to remove any water damage from the crawl space floor, which can lead to mold growth and unhealthy conditions that eventually makes it’s way to the living area.
The next step is to resolve any ongoing issues with standing water or seepage. To do this, we install drainage, sump pumps, and battery backed up sump pumps to eliminate water accumulation.
Lastly, we address the ventilation, humidity, and ongoing air quality problems in the crawl space to improve it’s condition.
Below you can learn more about some of the crawl space repair and encapsulation solutions we use to address the problems you may be having.
Vapor Barrier Installation
To eliminate the passage of air from the crawl space and basement to the first floor of the home, a vapor barrier can be used. This process also gives your crawl space a similar temperature to the living spaces above, resulting in warmer floors in the house and lower energy bills.
Another benefit of a vapor barrier is a reduction or stoppage of harmful gasses (like radon) from the soil. So a vapor barrier reduces radon in the home, which can be further reduced by a radon mitigation system (if radon levels are higher than acceptable levels).
Pro Restoration uses a thick, puncture and tear resistant liner for long term durability. This offers a much longer lifespan than typical 6 millimeter liners used by other companies.
Many problems can occur if the wrong type of insulation is used for a crawl space, such as energy inefficiency and uncomfortable, cold floors.
In the past builders used fiberglass to insulate crawl spaces, before newer, better developed types of insulation became available. Unfortunately, fiberglass is a poor form of insulation when placed between crawl space joists, and actually soaks up moisture, instead of the desired affect of repelling moisture.
We use a 2″ thick, high performance insulation with a radiant barrier to reflect heat back into the crawl space while insulating it.
Energy Efficient Dehumidifiers
Moisture problems in basements and crawl spaces can make the air in your home damp with a foul, musty smell, making allergies and asthma worse. The use of a dehumidifier can reduce allergy and sinus problems, while improving air quality and making your home more comfortable.
There are several features to look for when considering dehumidifiers, such as these listed below:
- ENERGY STAR certified for maximum energy efficiency
- Includes self-draining system for continual use with no need for emptying water
- Two stage air filtration to capture pollutants like mold, mildew and dust mites
- Designed for highly humid areas like crawl spaces and basements
- Humidity sensors that regulate usage and save energy
We can help you evaluate your crawl space or basement for the best moisture control system for your home. Some of the brands we use include Mega Dry, Aprilaire, or SantaFe line of dehumidifiers.
Structural problems in your crawl space creates a lack support for your entire home. Many crawl spaces are built with a weak support system with soil under the support posts, which eventually rot.
These construction defects can cause bouncing, saggy floors in the first floor over a crawl space foundation. Here are some common structural problems which can occur individually, or in combination:
- Undersized joists — When floor joists aren’t long enough for the distance they need to support, they can sag or become bouncy, without enough size and beefiness to support the weight of the first floor including people and furniture inside.
- Missing central beam — Sometimes the central beam needed to support the crawl space (in conjunction with the foundation walls) is missing, so the problem listed above becomes more pronounced.
- Damaged or sunken piers — Sometimes concrete piers sink and the wooden support posts can rot or move. This causes a sagging support beam and floor joists.
Pro Restoration solves these common structural problems with the use of highly adjustable, steel columns placed under the beams that support your crawl space joists. These state of the art crawl space jacks support loads over 60,000 lbs and are protected against rust with a thick, galvanized coating.
Request Your Crawl Space Inspection
No matter what kind of crawl space problem you have, Pro Restoration has the experience to provide you the best, long lasting solution. Whether you need insulation, a vapor barrier, dehumidifier, sump pump, or a combination of these—you can count on us to completely transform your crawl space into a clean, dry foundation that serves as an asset rather than a liability.
That’s right, a well insulated, dry crawl space actually increases your home value.
When you contact us, we’ll dispatch our friendly, knowledgable experts out to perform your crawl space inspection and consultation—and provide a no-obligation written project estimate.