Research results indicate that a sealed crawl space is a great moisture control strategy with impressive energy saving potential, as reported by Advanced Energy.
As opposed to what many building scientists believed years ago, new research has shown that vented crawl spaces create the perfect environment for mold growth, wood rot, insects and moisture problems.
A sealed crawl space is the perfect defense against these detriments, and has proven to also create a healthier living environment and reduce energy costs.
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.
This Bruington, VA client contacted us about repairing moisture damage in their crawl space. Moisture had caused mold and mildew growth, was absorbed in the insulation which held it against the floor joists, the material began to delaminate and fall away from the floor.
All debris and insulation was removed from the crawl space, microbial growth was treated, the vents, sill plate, & rim band were sealed, the foundation walls were insulated with closed cell spray foam insulation and a dehumidifier was installed to control the relative humidity. The homeowners no longer need to worry about moisture damage in their crawl space and have the added benefit of warmer floors in the winter and reduced drafts in the home.
The original liner installed in this Henrico crawl space was a flimsy 6-mil vapor barrier. There were gaps in the liner, exposing the crawl space to moisture rising from the earth. This moisture can increase the relative humidity, which can lead to mold or mildew growth, condensation, and higher energy bills. We replaced this old liner with our 10-mil CleanSpace Light vapor barrier, which gets wrapped around all piers and mechanically fastened and sealed six to eight inches above outside grade on the foundation walls. CleanSpace will help protect the crawl space from moisture rising from the earth and comes with an antimicrobial, called UltraFresh, built into the material to help mitigate mold growth on the liner, itself.
Since the natural airflow in a home is from bottom to top, the air that is circulated back into the home from the sealed crawl space will be clean, dry air, creating a healthier environment.
Additionally, the air circulating back into the home is now conditioned air, reducing the need to heat or cool it, resulting in lower energy costs.