The way to protect a home with a crawl space is to seal the crawl space with an encapsulation system. An Encapsulation Crawl Space System completely isolates your home from the earth and dramatically reduces the humidity level. In most cases, this has the effect of eliminating mold growth, rot, and critters from your crawl space, and making the whole house healthier.
Before encapsulating this crawl space, we treated the joists with an antimicrobial called Shockwave. This product is a hospital-grade antimicrobial designed to kill the mold and mildew growth.
We met this homeowner at a home show, where they asked us to come to inspect their crawl space because they were interested in encapsulating it due to moisture and mildew-mold concerns. This section of the crawl space is under an addition. The vapor barrier is unsealed, allowing moisture to rise from the ground and contribute to high relative humidity. Microbial growth is beginning on the floor joists and the fiberglass insulation is beginning to sag and fall.
The old materials have been removed, vents sealed, and the sill plate and rim band have been sealed as well. The CleanSpace vapor barrier has been installed with all seams overlapped and sealed. The moisture barrier is also run up the walls 6-8 inches above outside grade. The walls are prepped for spray foam insulation to be applied.
As the insulation acts as a sponge, it holds moisture against the wood joists raising the moisture content of the joists. Mold requires organic material, warm temperatures, and relative humidity above 60% to grow. Often we see mold growing on the paper backing of the insulation and on wood joists in the crawl space. As the moisture content in the joists increases, the probability for wood rot becomes more likely. Once the joists reach 19% moisture wood rot begins. An antimicrobial called Shockwave is sprayed onto the joists to kill the mold. Once the encapsulation is complete and the dehumidifier is installed it will be set to turn on before the humidity in the crawl space reaches 60% (The ideal point for mold to grow). The Encapsulation system will help prevent ideal conditions for mold to grow from occurring and make the home healthier and more comfortable.
Initially, this crawl space was encapsulated with a 6-mil vapor barrier and R-11 vinyl faced fiberglass insulation. Thhomeownerer contacted us with concerns about an ammonia, or animal urine odor in her home and poor air sealing.
Our goal was to remedy the Home Owner’s concerns of foul odors in her home and wasted energy. To achieve this, we installed a 20 mil Clean Space Vapor Barrier on the floor of the crawl space and around the piers. We installed Foamax board insulation on the walls leaving a 3-inch viewing strip for pest control companies to do their inspection. We applied spray foam insulation to the rim and band and sill plate to create an air seal and reduce drafts coming into the crawl space. Finally, we installed a Sani Dry Sedona Dehumidifier, the leading dehumidifier on the market, to pull any moisture that enters the crawl space out.
This crawl space was originally encapsulated at construction with a 6 mil Vapor Barrier and R-11 vinyl faced fiberglass insulation. The homeowner complained of an animal urine or ammonia odor in their home. This was a result of moisture entering the crawl space through the porous cinder block walls and saturating the fiberglass insulation.
We installed a 20 mil Clean Space Vapor Barrier, Foamax Insulation Board, sealed the rim & band and sill plate, and installed a SaniDry Sedona Dehumidifier. This approach will help keep moisture out of the crawl space and control relative humidity.
The finished liner is tough enough for you to crawl on it and use your crawl space for storage. Servicemen can crawl on it without worrying about putting holes or tears in the liner. It completely stops moisture penetration. The result is an attractive, bright, tough, impervious liner and a healthy home above it.