What is the best way to fix your vented crawlspace and why?
Before vs After Cleanspace
What is INCLUDED in B7-2 Crawlspace Encapsulation? How do we install it?
There are several parts to the crawlspace encapsulation system. The foundation of the system is B7-2. This is the 20-mil polyethylene stranded vapor barrier. The white liner is blue on the underside and has an UltraFresh antimicrobial coating. The liner goes on the dirt floor of your crawlspace, and 2 inches up the skirting walls. The liner seams are bonded together.
Then at the skirting wall, we install Icynene Closed Cell Spray Foam to create a complete seal of the crawlspace, eliminating outside air from leaking in. Some Dr Energy Saver / Basement System Dealers use SilverGlo on the walls, when they don’t own a $100k foam rig. But since we have a high pressure spray foam rig, we use spray foam. The closed cell spray foam is also sprayed to seal up around the other penetrations including piers, plumbing, and any other area where the needed.
B1-1 – Rim Joist Insulation
When we install Icynene closed cell spray foam on the walls, we also fix the Rim Joist leakage by spraying closed cell there as well. Now you have a complete seal from the ground, all the way up to your bottom plate and floor decking. Rim Joist insulation is included. Learn more here.
What happens to the vents in my crawlspace?
We have two options for sealing up the vents to encapsulate the crawlspace.
1. INCOGNITO – We can cover the vents (from inside the crawlspace) with a material, and then spray closed cell foam over the material. This eliminates the vents, without changing the aesthetics of the vents from the outside. So the vents still appear to be there, but are no longer functional. This is the standard, included option.
2. COVERS – [PHOTO ABOVE] We can install gray vent covers on the outside of the crawlspace that can be removed. They are gasket seal insulated. This upgrade is a nice way to eliminate the look of the vents. This option adds $30 – $50 per vent, depending on size and obstructions. This option is always a separate line item.
What happens if I have a plumbing leak or need work done down there?
First, if you ever need work done down there, your technician will LOVE YOU for having the CleanSpace installed. It makes their job incredibly better, easier, and faster. They have a bright clean area where they can see what is going on and problem solve.
The second advantage of the encapsulated crawlspace verses insulation on the underside of the floor decking is that it provides clean visual and open access to all plumbing and electrical coming through the floor. But if you had batts secured between the joists, or closed cell foam, then it would get ruined with repairs or leaks. However, with CleanSpace, nothing is ruined.
What if I need to have my piers adjusted or foundation work done?
This is easy. If the liner needs to be cut, it can easily be repaired and seamed back together with a new section of Cleanspace. Second, we also have some foundation support options like the SmartJack here.
How messy is the process?
The installation process is a lot less messy than your current crawlspace situation. Overall the process is very clean, when we install the closed cell foam on the skirting and rim joist, that produces some vapor. Also the foam can have overspray, but that is unlikely.
Can I stay in the house during the install?
For most of the process, there is zero concern about staying in the house. There may be an odor in the house if we use MoldX or Shockwave Sanitation. And there may be an odor in the house when spraying foam on the skirting/rim joist. There is no odor when installing the CleanSpace liner on the dirt floor.
It is always best to be out of the house when we are spraying the MoldX, Shockwave, or foam. But we also realize leaving is not always an option. We do ventilate the crawlspace with fans to suck out vapors. And of course the house is a separate space from the crawlspace. So we suggest you have a plan of where to go if needed to get out for a few hours or a night. But most people stay in the house and simply turn the fans on and open the windows to help air it out.
B7-4 – Sanidry Crawlspace Dehumidifier
The SaniDry is recommended in every Austin area crawlspace to help manage humidity not only in the crawlspace, but in the home above as well. SaniDry is specifically engineered for cooler temperatures found in crawlspaces (which helps prevent it from freezing over).
The Sanidry can remove 100 pints of water per day while only requiring 5.9 amps of electricity. Plus it is turnkey, automatically draining to the outside. In some cases we will drain it to the sump, if the grading is right we can drain naturally outside, or we can also install a condensate pump.
Sanidry has a powerful 310 cfm blower to circulate the dry air completely around the dry crawlspace, piers, beams and floor decking. With Sanidry, mold doesn’t stand a chance. It is easy to set the dehumidifier to 55% relative humidity and forget it. SaniDry is always a separate line item. Learn more and get photos here.
B7-12 – Everlast Crawlspace Door
It was acceptable to have loose fitting crawlspace access doors on old vented crawlspaces. But since we are sealing up the crawlspace to keep the outside air out, we need a air tight door.
The Everlast door is 1/2 thick solid, durable polyethylene. This is the same stuff car bumpers are made out of, super strong, and will never warp or rot.
Each door is custom cut to size on site and installed with a U track on the bottom with special threaded knobs for securing the door, or opening it. The knob anchors are installed into the foundation wall to hold the door tight against the weather stripping. The result is an air tight door that lasts forever. Everlast is always a separate line item. See more details and photos here.
B7-10 Smart Sump Pump
If ground water leaks into your crawlspace, we want to get it out. With the SmartSump designed for crawlspaces, we can manage the water. The sump is designed to fit in tight crawls with the CleanSpace liner on the floor. It has a 1/3 hp cast iron Zoeller pump with an auto float switch, pump stand, and air tight lid that keeps moisture from evaporating out of the sump hole.
What makes it smart? Well it has an alarm that sounds in the event of a pump failure OR a plumbing leak. There is a discharge line that safely pumps the water outside, away from the crawl. SmartSump is always a separate line item. Learn more here.
B7-15 – Removal of Insulation or Debris
Having a cleaned out area to install the liner is important. If there is existing insulation to remove, or a bunch of junk/debris that needs to be cleaned out of the crawlspace, that is always a separate line item.