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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Crawlspace Moisture Can Grow Into a Larger Problem: Mold

Jeff from Carolina Crawl Space shows us a common problem found in crawl spaces in North Carolina, which is mold. North Carolina’s humidity creates the perfect environment for mold growth in unprotected crawl spaces but, that mold doesn’t just stay in a crawlspace. As the air continuously circulates throughout the entire home it carries mold spores with it. This means all home occupants are vulnerable to its potential health effects.

 

If you are peeking in your crawlspace and notice anything similar to what Jeff is pointing out in this video then you may have a mold problem. It is important to address mold problems quickly as well as implementing preventive measures for the future.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Crawl Space Vent Sealing and Why it is Done

The crawl space is usually the most-often ignored part of any house - it is, after all, a space that simply cannot be used for any purpose. What goes on in this place, however, can and does have a strong impact on your home and the health of its occupants.

Once upon a time, houses were built by contractors and carpenters who used their own wisdom and expertise but little to no building science. These builders had the good idea to create a space, like a miniature basement, beneath houses that were large enough for a person to crawl through. These crawlspaces made for easy access to utility lines and pipes while remaining less expensive than basements. During this time, the logic was that foundation vents would allow air to circulate all-round the house while also keeping a crawl space dry.

However, it was later discovered that open crawl space vents did more harm than good. Building scientists, who created an entire discipline studying the pros and cons of construction, determined that vents can actual do the opposite; promoting mold and decay by increasing moisture levels. This failure in functionality occurs because the moist, outside air typically condenses into water as it enters the vents –and we all know the damaging effects water can have on a home. After much debate and discussion, and a number of studies, this was finally established as a fact.

Nowadays, we know better and the science is there to back the facts. An open crawl space vent will allow the influx of moisture, which in turn make it a hub of mildew, mold spores, and an assortment of bugs. These open vents also reduce the energy efficiency of homes by allowing cooled and heated air to escape while outside elements creep in.

The best solutions to this issue is to make sure crawl space vents are properly sealed. Given the fact that over 50% of household air actually flows up from your crawl space, it is very important that this problem get fixed soon - something that can only be accomplished with sealed vents.

Similar to a full-sized basement, crawlspaces can have leaks and other moisture problems aside from the ones caused by open vents. A full crawlspace inspection and encapsulation should be considered.

What is Crawl Space Vent Sealing?

An increasingly popular way to avoid indoor moisture problems, crawl space vent sealing is very similar to the lining which is added to swimming pools to prevent leaks. The goal, here, is to prevent moisture from forming in foundation vents and the crawlspace itself by putting a barrier in place.

The process of sealing crawl space vents involves installing a heavy-duty polyethylene barrier over the floors and foundation walls of the crawlspace. The barrier is then sealed with tape which also serves to connect all the barrier pieces. Once the sealing work is done, the air inside the crawlspace can be properly maintained by installing a dehumidifier which will remove excess moisture in the air as it appears.

This combination of using a barrier and a dehumidifier serves to protect the crawl space from too much moisture and all problems that come with it.

Benefits of Sealing your Crawl Space Vent

Sealing crawl space vents has several benefits, which include:
•    Creating an atmosphere that does not allow the growth of any kind if mold, mildew bugs or pests
•    Better quality of air in both your crawl space and your home
•    No rot resulting from water, fungi and mold
•    Helps to maintain a secure foundation
•    A home that is more energy-efficient, due to you not having to tackle vent-related problems; and
•    More potential for extra storage

Sealing your Crawl Space Yourself vs. Hiring a Professional

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Much like everything else, many people believe in DIY-ing the task of sealing their crawl space vents to cut back on costs. While it is certainly possible to do so, the results may not be so long-lasting, especially if done by beginners and amateurs. Its also worth noting that whoever does the job is likely to run into some surprised, like poisonous snakes, bugs, and rodents.

It is always best to hire a professional company that is also able to seal your crawl space for you. Not only will they follow proper procedure and work with a far better level of efficiency, they will also address any other moisture or foundation issues in the area. For additional energy-savings and comfortable, contact Carolina Crawlspace Pros - basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation and spray foam insulation services you can trust.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Humidity can be a Major Problem in Crawlspaces

There is a long list of issues that can create problems in your crawlspace and one of the most common is humidity. Those who live in areas where the humidity exceeds 55%, there is a higher chance that mold spores and dust mites will be more active.

Mold spores will grow in great abundance if the conditions are right. In order for mold spores to form and grow, they need to have water. When air has a humidity level that surpasses 70%, there is enough moisture to enable mold spores to grow.

Another sign of trouble with humidity comes in the form of dust mites. These tiny unpleasant creatures thrive in dark, damp places and can ascend throughout a home. In order to eliminate dust mites, a dehumidifier should be installed in your crawlspace. This will protect the vulnerable parts of the crawlspace from producing any dust mites.

Watch videos of Carolina Crawlspace Pros' owner, Jeff Wolfe, identifying problems regularly found in crawl spaces and basements in the Carolinas, including those mentioned in this article.
Go to CarolinaCrawlSpacePros.com/videos

There are other types of would-be fixes that should be avoided in crawlspaces. Venting a crawlspace should be avoided when living in a humid area. The reason for this is the air that is brought in from the outside is full of moisture, more so than the actual amount of moisture in your crawlspace. That could quickly lead to a buildup of mold and provide a prime breeding ground for dust mites. 

The key to a lasting fix is to find the source of the problem that is causing the excess humidity and then eradicate it. Another common cause of humidity in a crawlspace is standing water. The presence of water signifies that your home has either leaky plumbing or an issue with drainage. If that is the case, then it could become a plumbing issue.

Newer homes can also experience problems with standing water and that is mainly due to a builder’s failure to waterproof the concrete block. An improperly graded yard could also be a source of this kind of problem.

There is even the possibility that humidity problems can be caused by water evaporating from the ground. When that is the cause, the best method of fixing the problem is crawlspace encapsulation.

When you start to experience problems in your crawlspace or basement, contact Carolina Crawlspace Pros. Our team of experienced professionals will take care of all your basement waterproofing in Charlotte. We also specialize in spray foam insulation and vapor barrier.