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The Drying Co. is an authorized dealer of the nationally renowned Dr. Energy Saver network. The Dr. Energy Saver network is comprised of the best energy-conservation contractors across the country. We are not just another contractor company, we specialize in improving your Dinwiddie County home's current energy efficiency issues. You'll receive the maximum energy and cost-saving results with the least amount of hassle.
We specialize in a variety of services aimed to lessen your home's carbon footprint while reducing your utility costs! We offer it all, from air sealing, radon removal to ductwork and a variety of HVAC services.
At Dr. Energy Saver, we not only test and investigate your home's energy usage, but we will discuss and prioritize the proper repairs. You'll know which ones will save you the most energy and why. This will also help direct you in making the best decision for you and your family.
For a FREE, no-obligation services estimate, you'll also receive a free copy of "Saving Energy and Money at Home," a great book to use as you begin to create a more comfortable, healthy, and energy efficient home!
This Dinwiddie, VA homeowner reached out to us about concerns in their attic and crawl space. In the attic, they felt like they didn’t have enough insulation because they had rooms that were too hot and too cold, that just never seemed to be comfortable. As for the crawl space, they were interested in re-insulating as well as address any microbial growth.
In the Attic, We found that there was some existing insulation, but it wasn’t enough to stop the ceiling from heating up and heat radiating into the rooms below. The attic had several gaps where the air was escaping including top plates and wire and plumbing holes. We recommended the homeowner air seal the attic at all of these gaps to stop conditioned air from leaking through these openings. We then proposed adding additional blown-in cellulose insulation to the attic to help reduce the heat transfer from the attic to the rooms below. This would not only help reduce the conditioned air loss, but it would also make the rooms below more comfortable for the homeowner and improve the energy efficiency of the home.
As for the crawl space, we found that the existing 6 mil vapor barrier had deteriorated and was not completely covering the ground. This allowed moisture from the earth to rise into the crawl space and contribute to the high relative humidity. High Relative Humidity, warm temperatures, and organic material are all mold need to grow. We mildew/mold growth on the joists and paper backing of the fiberglass insulation. The insulation had absorbed moisture from the crawl space and was sagging and falling. Open vents allowed warm humid air to flow into the crawl space, contributing to the problem.
To address the microbial growth, we first recommended removing all the old, damaged materials and debris out of the crawl space and treating the joists with Shockwave Antimicrobial. Shockwave is a hospital-grade antimicrobial designed to kill the mildew/mold growth. Next, we recommend installing a heavy-duty vapor barrier that is more durable and can withstand service persons working in the crawl space. We would seal the vapor barrier at all seams, wrap and seal all piers, and seal the liner 6-8 inches above outside grade on the foundation walls to completely isolate the crawl space from the earth’s moisture. We also suggested sealing all open vents, the sill plate, and the rim and band to prevent humid air from continuing to flood into the crawl space and raise the relative humidity. Then we recommended applying Closed Cell Spray Foam insulation to the crawl space walls. We recommend this over insulating between the joists because it extends the thermal barrier of the home down to the crawl space floor, and at 1.5 inches, this foam product is both a vapor retarder and air barrier and will reduce the heat transfer from outside to the crawl space resulting in warmer floors and contributing to controlling the humidity. Finally, we advised installing a dehumidifier to keep the relative humidity under control. If the homeowner opts for this solution in the crawl space, they will be able to address the mold and mildew growth as well as prevent it from reoccurring and having to do the work again. This solution will also help the home stay more comfortable, reduce drafts, keep floors warm in the winter, and improve the energy efficiency of the home.
This Sutherland homeowner contacted us about moisture concerns in their crawl space.
At the inspection, we found that there was staining and efflorescence on the block wall. This indicated to us that there was a prolonged issue with moisture in the crawl space. We also found microbial growth on the joists, a result of high relative humidity and warm temperatures creating the ideal conditions for mold and mildew to thrive.
Moisture can enter a crawl space through the block wall, from the dirt, through open vents, around the crawl space door, the sill plate, rim & band, and any other gaps or holes to the outside. This moisture collects in the crawl space creating a hot humid environment that is ideal for critters, pests, snakes, and other animals.
The homeowner wanted us to address the moisture concerns and the mildew/mold growth on the joists.
If the homeowner chooses to proceed with the project, we would begin by cleaning any existing fiberglass, vapor barrier, and debris out of the crawl space then treating the microbial growth. We use Shockwave Antimicrobial, a hospital-grade antimicrobial to kill the mold.
This crawl space did appear to have some bulk water issues. We recommend this be mitigated with a perimeter drainage system that feeds to the SuperSump. The SuperSump is a 1/3 hp cast iron pump system designed to protect the crawl space from bulk water, discharging the collected water away from the home to a designated spot on the property. In addition, it comes with an airtight lid preventing water vapor from rising into the crawl space and a water watch alarm indicating if the levels in the pump basin ever rise too high indicating there may be a problem with the pump. The lid also has a float that activates if there is a plumbing leak, allowing it to evacuate the water from the crawl space and when not in use, maintains an airtight seal.
Next, we would install a heavy-duty vapor barrier, that is durable enough to be sealed to itself at all seams and is attached and sealed to the foundation walls 6 inches above outside grade. All piers are also wrapped and sealed. This approach allows us to completely seal the crawl space off from the earth’s moisture.
The next step would be to air seal the crawl space. This includes blocking and sealing all vents from the inside with foam board and spray foam. We use foam to seal the sill plate, the rim and band, and any penetrations in the foundation walls to the outside such as utility lines. We also install a Friction Fit door behind the existing crawl space door. This door both air seals and provides an R-10 of insulation behind the door.
We then recommend installing an R-10 of Closed Cell Spray Foam insulation on the crawl space walls. At 1.5 inches, the foam product is both an air barrier and a vapor retarder. We leave a 2-inch viewing strip at the top of the block wall per Virginia Building Code, this is for termite companies to perform their inspections. Insulating from the walls extends the thermal barrier of the home to the floor of the crawl space and makes the environment easier to control.
Finally, we recommend installing a SaniDry Sedona Dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will allow control over the relative humidity in the space. We have done everything we can to prevent air carrying moisture from flooding into the crawlspace, but we still need to make sure the relative humidity is under control to prevent future microbial growth. The Sedona is specifically designed to be effective in crawl spaces and basements. It only cuts on when the relative humidity rises above 55%, this is where we set the unit at the time of install, the goal is to keep the relative humidity under 60%, the point where microbial growth can begin. It pulls excess moisture from the air and circulates dry air throughout the entire crawl space.
If the homeowner chooses to proceed with this project, they will be able to mitigate the moisture concerns in their crawl space and will not have just addressed the existing microbial growth but will be preventing future growth and moisture damage. They will also have added benefits of lower energy bills, healthier indoor air quality, and warmer floors in the winter.
We met this homeowner at the Spring Home and Garden Show in Richmond. They invited us to their Carson, VA home to help them address some concerns in their attic. They had a radiant barrier installed on the rafters and little insulation on the ceiling. They were experiencing some discomfort in their home and had some rooms that were too hot and too cold. The homeowners were looking for a solution to make their home more comfortable.
We also found that there were cavities on either side of the chimney. These cavities created an “air super-highway” allowing conditioned air to rush up toward the top of the house into the unconditioned attic.
To make the home more comfortable, we recommended installing a new blanket of cellulose insulation at an R-49 on the attic floor and filling the cavities on either side of the chimney. Cellulose is 85% recycled material, such as newspaper, and 15% new material. Because it is made of fine particles, the material allows for less air space than fiberglass alternatives, offering a higher R-value per inch. Properly insulating the attic reduces the transfer of heat or cold in the attic to the ceiling and into the rooms below. This transfer of heat is what results in the discomfort the homeowners are experiencing. We installed a dam around the attic access to prevent insulation from falling out when it was opened. Finally, we suggested insulating the scuttle access. Without insulation, the access is a large hole that allows the conditioned air to escape and hot and cold air to radiate down into the living space. If the homeowners choose to proceed with the project, they will be more comfortable in their home, experience fewer drafts, and see lower energy bills.
This new Ford, VA home needed to have insulation installed in the attic. The home had decking installed over the sheetrock then the truss system for the roof was placed. The joints of the decking had already been sealed, so for this home, unlike many others, we did not need to air seal, it had already been done. To insulate the attic and keep the home comfortable, year-round, we proposed installing an R-38 of blown cellulose insulation. The cellulose produce we use is 85% recycled material, such as newspaper, and 19% new material. The product also contains a borate that deters pests. As part of insulating the attic, we would also install a dam around the attic access to prevent insulation from falling in and insulate the back of the access door to reduce heat transfer through the door.
A homeowner in Ford, VA contacted us because they found moisture was entering their basement. The home has a walk out basement, and only part of the basement is below the outside grade. On this side of the basement, the homeowner noticed moisture coming through the wall and wanted a solution to keep the moisture out. Water and moisture seep and leak into a basement through the porous block walls and can enter under or through the concrete slab as well.
Just treating the wall that is sub-grade and currently affected by water infiltration could cause future problems on currently unaffected walls. Water always follows the path of least resistance, therefore even if the subgrade wall is treated, it is possible that water will run down and find its way through the walls, near the floor. Because of this, we recommend the homeowner install the WaterGuard Drainage system along the entire perimeter of the basement.
To address the moisture concerns the first step would be to trench the perimeter of the basement. We would then install rock and the WaterGuard Drainage System on top of the footer. By installing the drainage track on top of the footer, we can keep the drainage system out of the mud zone, greatly reducing the probability of it clogging due to mud and create a drainage plain with the rock. A trench drain would be installed in front of the exterior door to collect any bulk water that may enter under the door.
We would then install the CleanSpace vapor barrier on the affected basement walls 6-8 inches above outside grade. This will direct any water that seeps through the walls down and into the WaterGuard System. We would then fill in the trench with concrete, allowing the homeowner to have full use of their basement. The WaterGuard system will feed the collected water to a SmartSump pump which will extract the water and discharge to a spot on the property designated by the homeowner.
This solution would help the homeowner be able to protect their basement from future water damage. The WaterGuard Drainage System allows the homeowners to finish their basement and make use of the extra square footage in their home, without concerns about their belongings being damaged.
A Dewitt, VA homeowner contacted us when they noticed musty odors in their home and discovered a moisture problem in the crawl space.
At the inspection, we found that the existing fiberglass insulation in the floors joists was damp and falling from the floor. Fiberglass absorbs moisture like a sponge, lowering its R-value and damaging the fibers causing them to pull apart from one another.
There vapor barrier was missing in some places and was not sealed to itself or the walls and piers allowing water vapor to rise into the space and contribute to the moisture problem.
The excess moisture in the crawl space raised the relative humidity and with the moderate temperatures we experience most of the year, allowed mold and mildew growth on the floor joists and paper backing of the insulation. The musty odors the homeowner was experiencing was a result of the moisture and microbial growth.
To remedy the moisture and mold in the crawl space that was causing odors in the home, we recommended sealing the crawl space.
To achieve this, we first recommended removing the existing fiberglass, vapor barrier, and any debris and treating the mold growth with an antimicrobial.
Next, we would want to install a durable vapor barrier, CleanSpace, to seal the crawl space from the earth’s moisture. The CleanSpace liner would be installed on the floor of the crawl space and sealed at all seams, wrapped around all piers, and sealed, and attached and sealed to the foundation walls about 6 inches above outside grade. This will seal the crawlspace from the earth’s moisture.
The next step is to air seal the crawl space, by blocking and sealing all vents, insulating the rim and band with spray foam, sealing the sill plate, sealing around all penetrations through the foundation wall to the outside, and installing a friction fit door behind the exterior crawl space access door.
Then we would insulate the crawl space walls with Closed-Cell Spray Foam at an R-10. R-10 meets the VA building code for insulating from foundations. This foam product also offers an air barrier and vapor retarder at 1.5 inches. We would leave a 2” code required viewing strip so for termite inspections as well.
The final piece would be to install a dehumidifier and control the relative humidity in the space. The Drying Co. uses the SaniDry Sedona Dehumidifier, which is specifically designed for the crawl space. It is an energy-efficient unit that only cuts on when the relative humidity hits about 55%. It then pulls the excess moisture from the air, filters the air, then circulates dry air throughout the entire crawl space.
If the homeowners choose to take this route in addressing the moisture and musty odors, they will not only remedy it, but they will not have to worry about the odors again. Their crawl space will stay dry and with the relative humidity under control, they will not need to worry about mold and mildew growth again.
If you are experiencing musty odors in your home, you may have moisture problems in your crawl space or basement. Give the professionals at The Drying Co. a call 1-833-933-3111. We will do a thorough inspection of your basement or crawl space, take photos, review our findings, and work with you to develop the best solution for you and your home.
This homeowner in Carson, Virginia called us at The Drying Company to discuss moisture issues within their crawl space. A Home Performance Advisor was sent out to investigate and draw up some possible solutions.
Upon inspection, we noticed that many of the fiberglass insulation batts residing in the floor joists were damp and sagging. Moisture entering through the foundation walls and rising from the dirt flooring is being absorbed by the fiberglass and is causing it to pull apart and fall to the floor in chunks, exposing the subfloor and floor joists. The exposed areas were covered with mold and mildew growth. This can occur on organic materials when the relative humidity is at least 60% with warm temperatures.
We noticed that there was a flimsy 6-mil vapor barrier underneath the fallen fiberglass and other debris. It was ripped in many places, exposing the dirt floor, and allowing the earth’s moisture to rise into the crawl space and raise the relative humidity. This ineffective liner has the durability of a trash bag and will continue to tear when service people crawl on top of it.
The next things we inspected were the foundation walls and open vents lining them. The open vents were allowing outside air and moisture to freely enter the crawl space and become trapped, affecting the environment and relative humidity. Small critters and creatures can also enter the crawl space through these vents. Efflorescence was also visible on the foundation walls. This occurs when moisture seeps through the porous cinderblock walls, bringing along with it the salts and sediments to the surface, leaving behind a powdery, chalky substance.
With the homeowner concerned about all these moisture problems, we drew up a proposal to solve these issues and bring the crawl space into the conditioned area of the home. If the homeowner agrees to our proposals, we would first focus on removing the existing vapor barrier and debris from the crawl space. Then we would remove the fiberglass insulation batts from the floor joists so we could address the mold and mildew growth.
Once the fiberglass batts are all removed, we would apply an antimicrobial called Shockwave to eliminate the mold growth from the wooden floor joists and subfloor. The mold can also grow back if the relative humidity and environment are not controlled.
We would then focus our attention on the crawl space floor. A 20-mil heavy-duty CleanSpace vapor barrier would be used to cover the dirt floor and protect the crawl space from the earth’s moisture. It would get wrapped around all piers and mechanically fastened to the foundation walls six to eight inches above outside grade. All seems would be sealed with a special vinyl tape.
Once the CleanSpace vapor barrier is installed, we would move on to the foundation walls, where we suggested blocking all open vents with precisely cut foam board pieces and seal them with can foam. Then we would spray over them with a closed-cell spray foam, which at 1½ inches thick, acts as an air barrier vapor retarder. A two-inch viewing strip is left at the top of the walls for termite inspectors.
The last thing we suggest adding is a SaniDry Sedona dehumidifier, which will help us regulate the relative humidity and better control the environment in the crawl space. The dehumidifier circulates dry air around the crawl space while sucking moisture out of the space.
If the homeowner moves forward with our proposal, they will get the benefits of having a healthier environment underneath their home and lower energy costs. If you or someone you know has any similar issues, then please call us at The Drying Company. We will help you and your home keep the outside, outside!
A homeowner in Church Road, VA reached out to our team with concerns about groundwater getting into the basement of their 275-year old home.
At our inspection, we could see that water and moisture infiltration had been an ongoing issue for this home. Efflorescence on the foundation walls indicated the movement of water from the earth through the porous block and into the basement. Efflorescence is a white powdery or chalky substance left behind on the surface of the block as a result of the moisture pulling the sediment in the block to its surface then evaporating. We also noted water staining on the floor of the basement especially in the corners of the room.
After discussing solutions with the homeowner, we determined the best approach to prevent further moisture damage to the space was the WaterGuard System. We would first trench the perimeter of the basement to install drainage rock and the WaterGuard drain track then reinstall concrete over it. This system will collect the infiltrating water and direct it to a sump pump. We would also install CleanSpace on the basement walls, which would direct any water seeping in through the block wall down into the WaterGuard system. The water would be pumped away from the home to a spot designated on the property by a SuperSump Plus Sump Pump System. The SuperSump Plus consists of a basin with a single 1/3 hp pump system with an airtight lid and water watch alarm system. This sump system is also compatible with an optional battery-backup UltraSump which would kick in if the main pump failed or in the event of a power outage.
This solution would give the homeowner peace of mind that their basement would be dry all the time, and they could even finish the space overtop of the system adding valuable square footage to their home.