Crawl Space Solutions
Most crawl space areas were built with with a dirt floor and vents that allow the outdoor elements to come into the area. In recent years, experts have learned that by sealing or encapsulating a crawl space, you can eliminate moisture, odors, gases, and an opening that allows animals to nest in this space. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is among the top five health risks for individuals breathing the air that permeates from the crawl space into their living area. Knowing that up to 50% of the air in your home can come from below grade, it is important to ensure this area is dry and safe.
A Perma-Seal crawl space encapsulation system not only transforms your crawl space into a safe, clean and bright environment, but it also can help to reduce your energy bills, control humidity and moisture content, and it will add resale value to your home.
Continue reading below to find the different crawl space issues we can repair that happen to homes in our area or scroll down further to see the two main types of crawl space solutions we provide.
Crawl Space Problems
Most people with crawl spaces experience very similar problems. If you know what problems to be looking for, you can make informed decisions about what needs to be done to repair them. Please look at the following list of potential crawl space problems that you could have and you can view more information about the issue or you can contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our experts.
Damp, Musty Odors
If your crawl space has a damp, musty smell, that is a common sign that there is too much moisture in that area. This problem needs to be addressed because, not only do those odors, soil gases and excess moisture travel directly to your living areas, but also can lead to major problems. The soil gases and odors cause health issues and the moisture can cause your wooden floor joists to rot out and affect the support of your entire home.
Why Are Crawl Spaces Damp?
Homes are vented through the roof to allow warm air to escape. The warm air inside of your home rises and slowly escapes through the roof. At the same time, air is sucked into your home from the crawl space below. This process, known as the stack effect, brings moisture from the earth into your home. Damp and vented crawl spaces can produce condensation, mildew, fungi, musty odors, and most of all, an unhealthy environment. Crawl space humidity allows mold to grow and release spores. A crawl space with humidity will have your home constantly filled with tiny invisible mold spores floating through the air.
If there’s moisture, there’s a good chance that spiders, snakes, silverfish, rats, mice, or even termites will make a home in the shady, damp crawl space under your home. The rot and decay from moisture can cause structural damage to your home. If there is mold, you’re likely to have dust mites as well.
How do crawl spaces get so damp? Roof water may be falling too close to your home. A typical roof can produce 1,250 gallons of water during a one-inch rainstorm. If this water is not properly drained away from the home, it can saturate the ground around your home. In the summer, excessive watering of the landscape and flowerbeds can create too much moisture around the foundation. If your home is on a slope, the rainwater will flow down the slope and pool next to your foundation. Even if there is not standing water, this moist soil will evaporate in to your crawl space, as the capillary action in described above.
In order to properly control dampness and odors in the crawl space, the best method is to install an encapsulation system as well as an indoor air quality control system to control the humidity and prevent it from getting too high.
Leaking or Standing Water
Water can enter a crawl space when ground water rises during a hard rain, or even through capillary action, where surface tension will pull water through the soil, directly into your crawl space. You may also have a problem if your crawl space happens to fall beneath the water table line or the frost line. Whatever the reason, it is important to find the source and correct the problem. Standing water in the crawl space is unhealthy for your home environment because it invites excess moisture, mold growth, and sometimes bugs and critters. This unhealthy air will make its way directly to your living space and could affect your family.
Perma-Seal can provide you with a drainage solution for your crawl space that will help control the level of water and keep it from flooding. We can simultaneously install an encapsulation system to make your crawl space a brighter, cleaner and healthier place for storage.
Nasty Plastic or Dirt Floor Crawl Space
Dirt floor crawl spaces allow odors, gases and critters to have a free pas into your home. If you are living with a dirt crawl space, or even a cheap plastic sheeting over the dirt, soil gases and odors can find their way directly into your living areas, which can affect your family’s health. You also will not feel comfortable storing anything of value in that area without any protection against water, moisture or critters.
By installing a complete encapsulation system we can prevent any outside dirt and critters from entering the crawl space.
Excess Humidity or Moisture
If you have excess or standing water in your crawl space, it needs to be addressed immediately. A vented crawl space, high amounts of water, and increased moisture can lead to structural damage in your home by causing your wooden floor joists to rot out and even possibly break. Water and high moisture create a breeding ground for bacteria and other harmful gases, which can lead to health problems for your family, since half of the air that you breathe comes from your basement or crawl space.
To properly control the humidity in the crawl space, it must be closed off from the outside air with an encapsulation system. Only then can we begin the process of reducing the humidity levels.
Soil Gases In Crawl Space
You may be concerned about the possibility of soil gases in the crawl space, or you may have even had an inspection which determined that there are soil gases present in the crawl space. Soil gases can be harmful and even fatal, and that’s why it is important to take steps to reduce the risk of soil gases being emitted into the crawl space area. Anything that affects the crawl space environment will also affect the living environment of your home.
Although Perma-Seal does not install radon mitigation systems, the Perma-Seal encapsulation system can help seal the crawl space from the outside world and help keep other soil gases out of your home.
We regularly have customers asking us about pouring a floor into the crawl space. We do not add concrete floors to crawl spaces and we will generally give people the following three reasons that we would not pour a concrete floor there:
- Pouring new concrete will add hundreds of gallons of moisture to the already damp crawl space air (concrete mix is 30-40% water).
- Typically the concrete is pumped into the crawl space at approximately a 2” depth. This type of concrete will crack and will be porous, allowing moisture to permeate through it and migrate into the upstairs area.
- The finish on the pumped concrete is not steel troweled (like your basement floor) and will be rough and always be a dusty unclean surface.
Crawl Space Solutions
If you have any of the problems listed above, don’t hesitate to contact us and set up a meeting with one of our experts.
Vapor Barrier in crawl Space
On Monday of this week, the team of Daniel, Angel S, and Raul T showed up to start the project. They put down tarps, put on protective clothing and made certain the pathway was clear from the job site to the truck parked in the driveway.. They worked quickly, quietly and very professionally. When finished they cleaned everything, let me examine their work (although I am not qualified to evaluate their work beyond the visual) and then departed. Excellent workmen who are a credit to Perma Seal.