Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 by Erin Dougherty
Not all crawl space encapsulations are created equally. When encapsulating their crawl space, homeowners face a lot of decisions. What is the best way to remediate mold? Do I have a water infiltration issue, and do I need a drainage solution? What type of liner or vapor barrier should I use? What insulation is best for my crawl space? How do I best seal the rim & band and sill plate? Do I need a dehumidifier? There are a lot of things to think about when you decide to encapsulate your crawl space. The best way to approach this is to understand your options and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Many crawl spaces, especially the ones in high humidity areas such as Hampton Roads and Greater Richmond, have mold in them. The first thing we need to understand about mold is that it requires three things to grow and thrive.
1) Organic Material - such as wood and paper
2) Warm temperatures – approximately 60-80 degrees or warmer
3) High Relative Humidity – approximately 60% or higher
The next thing you need to know is that 50% of the air you breathe inside your home comes from the crawl space. These are important factors to consider when determining how to address mold in your crawl space.
There are three options for dealing with mold:
It is up to the homeowner to determine what course of action they want to take when remediating the mold in their crawl space. However, it is important to understand that just “killing” the mold does not keep it from being harmful. In fact, the EPA says it isn’t enough to kill mold, though it won't grow or harm wood, it will still affect air quality just as much as live mold, if not more, as it becomes airborne.