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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.
This crawl space had evidence of water infiltration, mold, and a deteriorating vapor barrier. After removing all debris and treating the mold, we installed the CleanSpace Encapsulation System. CleanSpace, a 20-mil vapor barrier that is poly-string reinforced and contains an antimicrobial called UltraFresh is installed. It is laid on the crawl space floor and fastened to the walls six inches above the outside grade (to direct any moisture entering through the cinderblock down to the earth) and wrapped around piers. All seams are overlapped and sealed to isolate the crawl space off from the earth's moisture.
Moisture and high humidity in this crawl space resulted in mold and mildew growth and damage to the insulation. The homeowner wanted to encapsulate the space, so our team set to work cleaning out the crawl space, air sealing vents, the rim band, sill plate, and any other openings through the foundation wall to the outside. They treated the microbial growth with an antimicrobial, installed a new CleanSpace Vapor Barrier, applied Foam Board insulation to the foundation walls, and installed a dehumidifier to regulate the relative humidity.
After sealing and insulating this crawl space, we need to make sure we control the relative humidity. This is achieved by installing a dehumidifier with a hygrometer. The dehumidifier will be set to cut to on when the humidity reaches about 55% our goal is to prevent it from getting high enough that microbial growth can occur in the crawl space. We don't want the space to be too dry either because that can be damaging to the home's structure as well. A hygrometer is provided to the homeowner that allows them to monitor the temperature and relative humidity in the crawl space from inside their home.
These homeowners in Louisa wanted to encapsulate the crawl space on their newly constructed home. The exposed dirt flooring of the crawl space would continue to allow the earth's moisture to rise into the crawl space unless covered and sealed. The moisture rising from the earth can increase the relative humidity of the crawl space, which can then lead to mold growth, condensation, and moisture damage to certain materials. We placed a 10-mil CleanSpace vapor barrier over the dirt flooring to help protect the crawl space from the rising moisture. This liner gets wrapped around all pillars and is mechanically sealed to the foundation walls six to eight inches above outside grade. Any seams and gaps are sealed with a unique vinyl tape. The vapor barrier will help to prevent moisture from elevating the relative humidity, and it gives the crawl space a brighter and cleaner aesthetic.
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.
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.