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Monday, May 14, 2018

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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Standing Water Problem in Basements and Crawlspaces

Some homes are more susceptible to taking in water in their basement or crawlspace. Homes that are built in regions with high rain counts and moist soil may be more prone to standing water problems. The good news is that there are several precautionary measures you can take.

When examining the outside base of your home, be sure that the dirt slopes downward so that any water will flow away from your home. In the event that water settles around the base of your home, it could seep through and cause issues with mold, while also threatening the foundation. That is why gutters show release rainwater a minimum of six feet away from the home.

It is also important to make sure any hoses connected to the outside of your home do not have a leaky nozzle. A steady leak could allow water to seep down into your basement or crawlspace and although it may take several weeks, standing water could develop.

There is also the issue of water getting into your basement following a rainstorm. One way to remedy this issue is to install a sump pump, which will take any standing water and discharge it outside. However, should the power go out, a sump pump is rendered useless and that can lead to a lot of standing water in a basement or crawlspace. Even if a sump pump is installed, a drying fan should also be used to completely eliminate any remnants of standing water.

It should be noted that standing water is not the only cause of mold growth. A high level of humidity is really all that is needed for mold to grow as there only needs to be traces of moisture.

Many basements are equipped with windows and to prevent water from gaining entry, window wells are used as a line of defense. While window wells do keep out water, they also prevent adequate ventilation, which can be a primary cause for the growth of mold. To combat this issue, it is a good idea to remove those covers on a regular basis and air out the basement.

Rest assured, Carolina Crawlspace Pros can attend to any standing water or mold problems you may encounter in your Carolina home. Our solutions are individualized to fix every problem as we offer crawlspace encapsulation, basement waterproofing, spray foam insulation, and the installation of a vapor barrier.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Condensation Means It’s Time for Crawlspace Encapsulation

When hot air meets cold air, condensation is created. Inside a crawlspace, that produces humidity which can cause an array of problems. However, it is not as if homeowners can take a simple look inside and immediately figure out the humidity level in all parts of their crawl space Charlotte. What they can do is identify any signs of condensation.

Condensation is an indication that the humidity level has reached 100%. That means the air cannot hold any more moisture, which is why water starts to form condensation. Once that condensation appears, it is often followed by the growth of mold and mildew. That growth leads to unhealthy air that begins to rise up through your home. Prolonged exposure to that air can result in a variety of health problems. So at the first sign of condensation, it is time for a fix.

The most effective way to attend to condensation in a crawlspace is to hire a professional service for the purpose of crawl space encapsulation. Sealing off the crawlspace is a much better option than venting it. This method produces a drier environment within the crawlspace.

The process begins by laying a vapor barrier on the walls and floor in the crawlspace. This acts as a way of sealing off from the outside. However, there should be a small gap left by the sill so that professionals can conduct pest inspections. That gap is typically no more than three inches.

Openings to the outside should also be sealed off. That includes any doors that may be loose and especially vents. The purpose is to keep any air from the outside from getting into your crawlspace and mixing hot and cold air to create condensation.

Once a crawlspace is encapsulated, it prevents any rodents or insects from gaining access. It also serves the function of minimizing the growth of mold and mildew. The benefits even show up in your monthly energy bills, which can be reduced by as much as 15-20%. Air quality within your home will also be improved, making it a healthier environment for you and your family.

Carolina Crawl Space Pros has a vast amount of experience encapsulating crawl spaces and can also take care of basement waterproofing in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas. When you begin to see signs of condensation, mold or moisture in your crawlspace, contact our team of experienced professionals for an efficient and affordable solution.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mold Can Harm You and Your Own Home

Mold can be the silent and unseen cause of many different problems within a home. In many cases, the mold usually originates from a moist crawlspace or basement. It can affect the actual home as well as its inhabitants. This reality has led to several important factors every homeowner should know as it could help them identify, treat and remove mold in the home. 

Safety Precautions

When you are looking for mold, it is a good idea to take safety precautions. That means refraining from touching any mold spores as gloves should be worn at all times. It is also a good idea to wear safety goggles as mold could irritate your eyes. Some people even go as far as covering their mouth with a cloth or handkerchief to keep from inhaling any fungus spores. It should also be noted that mold can be absorbed through your skin, so it is best to cover your entire body with protective clothing. 

Mold Exposure

Some types of mold are classified as toxic while others are very toxic. The exact strain is not important, but what does matter is whether or not you are allergic to that specific strain. People are affected differently by mold.  Where one person may not be harmed by a certain type of mold, someone else could suffer serious effects.

Human Symptoms

There are a number of symptoms people can experience when exposed to mold. When the mold is undetected, people often come down with an illness that is not adequately explained. These symptoms affect otherwise healthy people and can surface in the form of a persistent cough, respiratory illness, itchy eyes, sudden pneumonia or the unexplained onset of asthma.

Growth and Nourishment

Mold can survive on wood, dust and even paint as those are all enough to sustain it. Most organic material will provide enough nourishment for mold to grow. It also does not matter how clean a home is kept. The growth of mold has more to do with the presence of moisture. It can also grow year round, regardless of the season or weather.

When mold attacks your home, it is time to fight back and eliminate the source of the problem. Carolina Crawlspace Pros will do just that as we specialize in crawl space encapsulation, basement waterproofing, spray foam insulation and more. Our services will get rid of your mold problems in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding communities.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Benefits of Crawlspace Encapsulation

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Sealing off a crawl space in Charlotte is a smart move for homeowners as it provides a wealth of benefits. There are plenty of reasons for homeowners to go with this option and here is a look at how such an endeavor can work for you.

Energy Savings

It comes down to dollars and cents. The bottom line is that it is easier to heat or cool a house that is dry because there is no lingering humidity to conflict with that task. As soon as a crawlspace is sealed, the energy savings will start to roll in and can total as much as 20% in the first month.

Structural Integrity

The foundation of your home sits on the same soil that affects your crawlspace. It is important to keep that soil dry, which is way water runoff from your roof is intended to move water away from your home. Dry crawlspaces preserve the structural integrity of a home and prevent any issues that could lead to major repairs in the future.

Higher Resale Value

If you are attempting to sell your home, the home inspection process can reveal some issues that homeowners may not have considered. Moisture, condensation or mold in the crawlspace can give a buyer leverage and either drop the asking price or request the crawlspace be sealed. Similar situation can occur when there is a need for basement waterproofing in a home. Either way, it is going to affect the amount of money you receive upon the sale of your home.

Avoid Termites

Termites can cause a variety of problems to a home and they thrive in dark, wet places. Sealing off a crawlspace puts an end to the possibility of termites colonizing underneath your home. Termites can do a great deal of damage to wood that is damp and are very difficult to eliminate once they colonize. A dry crawlspace is not a welcoming place for termites.

More Comfortable Living

Sealing off your crawlspace is a way of improving the quality of air inside your home. Any health problems related to mold or mildew can be avoided as fresher, cleaner air will be circulated throughout your home. This is particularly important for older people as well as homeowners with children.

In the video above, Jeff from Carolina Crawlspace Pros shows us what can happen to a crawl space that is not properly sealed, or encapsulated.

When you are ready to seal off your crawlspace, contact the team at Carolina Crawlspace Pros. We have an ample amount of experience sealing off all types of crawlspaces and also offer basement waterproofing and crawlspace encapsulation in Charlotte, NC and the neighboring communities.

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.