Mold Growth and Damp Fiberglass
Mold and mildew have formed on many of the wooden floor joists of the crawl space. This can occur on any organic materials when the relative humidity reaches over 60% during warmer temperatures. Musty odors and mold spores can rise into the home above and affect those with allergies and asthma. The fiberglass batts were also damp and falling to the floor in chunks. Fiberglass will absorb the excess moisture which will cause it to become too heavy and begin tearing apart.
Gaps and Tears in the Vapor Barrier
There were gaps and rips in the existing vapor barrier of this crawl space. This is allowing the earth's moisture to rise into the crawl space and elevate the relative humidity. The raised relative humidity can lead to condensation, as well as mold and mildew growth. This muddy and damp environment also makes it difficult for service persons to maneuver around the crawl space.
Porous Foundation Walls
The foundation walls of this crawl space are made with porous cinderblocks and efflorescence was visible on some of the walls. This occurs when moisture forces its way through the walls, bringing along with it the inner salts and sediments to the surface, creating a chalky, powdery substance. The infiltrating moisture then increases the relative humidity of the crawl space.
Open Vents in the Foundation Walls
Open vents lined the foundation walls of this crawl space. These vents are allowing the outside air and moisture to flow freely into the crawl space, where it becomes trapped. During the cooler seasons, cold air becomes trapped in the crawl space and causes the floors above to be cold and uncomfortable. It also causes the home's heating system to work harder and more often. During the warmer seasons, the trapped moisture adds to the relative humidity, which can lead to condensation, water damage to materials, and mold growth.
We used an antimicrobial, called Shockwave, to eliminate any mold and mildew growth found in the crawl space. This solution kills the growth but it does not remove any staining left behind from the mold. It is also important to note that the mold and mildew can reform if the relative humidity and temperature are not controlled.
CleanSpace Vapor Barrier
We installed a durable 20-mil vapor barrier, called CleanSpace, over the dirt flooring of this crawl space. This heavy-duty liner is wrapped around all piers, mechanically fastened to the foundation walls six to eight inches above outside grade, and sealed with vinyl tape. CleanSpace will help to protect the crawl space from any moisture rising from the earth.
SilverGlo on the Foundation Walls
We installed a 2-inch foam board insulation, called SilverGlo, over the foundation walls of this crawl space. This insulation will help us control the temperature of the crawl space, and it will act as an air barrier and vapor retarder, giving protection to the crawl space from any moisture seeping through the foundation walls.
Blocking off the Open Vents
We used custom foam board pieces and can foam to internally block and seal the open vents lining the foundation walls of this crawl space. This will help to prevent any outside air and moisture from infiltrating into the crawl space and affecting the relative humidity and environment.