Got a dirty stinky nasty crawlspace and not sure if crawlspace encapsulation is right for your Austin TX area home?
Crawlspace Problems & Repair Solutions
Got cold floors? We fix them!
If you are in the Austin metro area and you have a typical crawlspace, then most likely it is vented. There are vents on the plumbing, air ducts, dirt floor, on the sides, and all over the place – and it is at least as humid in the crawlspace as it is outside.
There are 4 different reasons why this is a problem:
- Moldy conditions can be created by humid conditions. When high relative humidity and stagnant air are combined it can lead very quickly to mold growing on the floor joists. When mold starts to grow in a crawlspace, it can be very difficult to get rid of it -especially since once it gets humid it grows back each year!
- Musty air from a crawlspace can get inside your house. Duct leakage can result in your HVAC system pulling in mold-laden, musty air from your home’s crawlspace. This dirty air gets into your living space as well through cracks and gaps in your flooring (ductwork, electrical, and plumbing penetrations).
- Moisture can cause fiberglass insulation to sag and fall over. Have you ever wondered why the fiberglass batts underneath your floor seem to always fall down. It is true that sometimes gravity causes it. Unless the batts are secured well between the floor joists (which they often are not), then they will end up falling down. However, humidity can also cause them to fall. Moisture within the air saturates the batts which results in them collapsing underneath their own weight. So much for having insulated floors!
- Insects really like moist, warm environments. So if you like camel crickets, spiders, and roaches, check out your crawlspace in the springtime. You may see several of these. Moist wood inside of crawlspaces is very hospital to termites.
So many problems are caused by crawlspaces. It makes you wonder why so many houses were built with one in the first place. Basically, they are dirt-floor, uninsulated basements that have open windows.
They really start to get nasty in the spring
So what can be done about your crawlspace?
That’s a great question. There are many methods and products that are available that can help to improve a humid crawlspace as well as help to mitigate the issues that excess moisture causes. Some of them are more effective compared to others.
Some people simply place a vapor barrier over the crawlspace floor. This prevents humidity from moving from the wet ground into the crawlspace. This probably does help. However, it doesn’t do anything with the humid air that comes into the vents. How can that be dealt with?
Other people lay down a vapor barrier, and then seal up the ven and add a dehumidifier. This is an improvement. However, it still doesn’t address the air leakage coming from the concrete walls or joist bays. The walls have a tendency to soak moisture up from the surrounding ground all year long.
This particular “solution” also can cause your dehumidifier to have to work overtime and cause your energy bills to increase.
Crawlspace encapsulation is the best solution for Austin metro
Encapsulation is the only foolproof way of fixing all of your crawlspace issues. This process basically transforms your crawlspace into an insulated, dry insulated.
The following are some of the steps that are involved with a proper crawlspace encapsulation:
- Eliminate the water from the crawlspace. And then keep it out permanently! Before you make any major changes to your home, first you need to get rid of any standing water and deal with any drainage problems. SmartSump is our sump pump for crawlspace drainage.
- Remediate the mold. Removing old from the floor joists and cleaning any air ducts that may have mold on them is a good first step to take. Otherwise, you might seal mold up inside of your crawlspace. We have a proprietary Mold-X that we use. It kills and neutralizes mold and prevents it from being able to release spores.
- Install a vapor barrier. Your best option is using our 20 mils CleanSpace vapor barrier and installing it over the crawlspace support piers, walls, and floors. It is then sealed on the edges in order to prevent humidity from being able to creep up over the side.
- Seal up the crawlspace vents. You need to make it as if they were never there to begin with. That way, humid air will not be able to easily circulate. We have Everlast vent covers that we use that do not crack, rot, or warp.
- Insulate the joist bays and walls. That is an effective way to regulate fluctuations in temperature inside the crawlspace and to save on your energy bills. The walls are insulated, so you can take the old fiberglass batts out of the floor cavities as well.
- Seal up all floor penetrations. Now that the fiberglass batts are gone, you can easily find all of the places where the pipes, wires, and ductwork penetrate the floor. The gaps can then be sealed using our ZypFoam product.
- Dehumidify the crawlspace. How can your crawlspace be kept dry after you do all of this work? We have a SaniDry Sedona dehumidifier that we use. The energy-efficient units will maint our crawlspace at 50% to 60% RH all year long This way, it will be nearly impossible for any mold to grow there.
What is the result? No musty, smelly air. The indoor air quality is greatly improved. Fewer problems with allergies. The HVAC is more efficient. Energy bills are lower. Not as many gigantic cockroaches.
It is true, your crawlspace actually can be dry and clean.
Encapsulation really does it. It helps to keep the air from the crawlspace from your house and mitigates the negative impacts that humidity under your house can have. Encapsulation is also able to extend the lifespan of your home’s HVAC system by reducing the growth of microbes on the indoor coil and improving efficiency.
It could even increase your home’s value. Numerous homebuyers love the thought of having a dry, clean crawlspace that is free of problems -especially if they have had a bad one before.
If you are completely grossed out by what is occurring right now in your crawlspace or you wonder why your allergies appear to be so bad even when you are inside – then the answer to your problems could be crawlspace encapsulation.
Would you rather not go down there to see if there is a problem? Don’t worry. We can handle it for you.