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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 Mathews County home's current energy efficiency issues. You'll receive the maximum energy and cost-saving results with the least amount of hassle.

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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.

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Job Stories From Mathews County, VA
Solving Bulk Ground Water in a Mathews, VA Crawl Space

This Mathews, VA homeowner contacted us because they were interested in getting their crawl space encapsulated. They had concerns about water and mold growth under the home. At our inspection, we found that there was standing water, staining on the block wall, an old and ineffective vapor barrier, and no insulation between the floor joists.

Open crawl space vents allow air carrying moisture to enter the crawl space and raises the relative humidity. However, we often find standing water in crawl spaces. This is often a result of groundwater or rainwater seeping in from outside. While bulk water is not always in a crawl space, we look for evidence of silt and sediment as well as staining on the walls. Bulk water is a major concern in the crawl space because it allows the space to stay damp and maintain high relative humidity, contributing to an ideal environment for microbial growth, pests, and critters.

The existing vapor barrier in this crawl space is the traditional 6mil ground cover installed at construction. This liner is laid on the ground and sometimes staked down, however it does not protect the crawl space against vapor because it does not seal the crawl space off from the earth’s moisture. At construction, fiberglass batt insulation is installed between floor joists. However, we found that this crawl space didn’t have any insulation between the joists, suggesting it had previously been removed from damage.

To help these homeowners address the concerns in their crawl space, we recommended taking the following steps.

First, we recommended removing the old 6 mil vapor barrier and any debris.

Then we would treat the mildew/mold growth on the floor joists with an antimicrobial to kill the mold.

We also suggested controlling the groundwater by installing an interior foundation drainage system with sump pump. The system would be installed along the perimeter of the crawl space and drain to a sump pump in the lowest corner of the space. The sump would then pump any water out of the crawl space, away from the home and to a spot designated by the homeowner on their property.

Next, we would install the CleanSpace Encapsulation System. CleanSpace is a heavy-duty, 20 mil liner sealed at all the seams, wrapped around and sealed to piers and sealed to the crawl space walls 6-8 inches above outside grade. Running the liner up the crawl space walls and sealing it allows us to ensure that any water seeping through the porous foundation walls will be directed underneath the liner. The rim and band, and sill plate are sealed with foam and all vents are blocked from the inside of the crawl space with foamboard and air sealed. This eliminates major air gaps and prevents air carrying moisture from entering the crawl space.

Then we recommend insulating the crawl space walls with either Closed Cell Spray Foam or Rigid Foam Board insulation, depending on the homeowner’s preference. Insulation is installed up the crawl space walls to 2 inches below the top of the block wall. This 2-inch gap allows for termite inspections per the Virginia Building Code. A friction fit door is installed behind the exterior crawl space door to insulate and air seal. Exterior crawl space doors are rarely airtight and are a large hole that allows air carrying moisture to flood in.

Finally, a SaniDry Sedona Dehumidification System is recommended to control the relative humidity in the crawl space and deter mold growth. High relative humidity in the crawl space doesn’t just result in microbial growth, it can also warp wood floors, contribute to poor indoor air quality and musty odors in your home. We install a Hygrometer with every dehumidifier so that homeowners can monitor the relative humidity and temperature of their crawl space from inside their home.

If the homeowners choose to take the approach of controlling groundwater, sealing the crawl space, and controlling relative humidity, it will prevent them from having to worry about microbial growth under their home again. It also provides the added benefit of warmer floors in the winter, lower energy bills, improved comfort, and improved indoor air quality.

Solving Bulk Ground Water in a Mathews, VA Crawl Space - Photo 1Solving Bulk Ground Water in a Mathews, VA Crawl Space - Photo 2Solving Bulk Ground Water in a Mathews, VA Crawl Space - Photo 3Solving Bulk Ground Water in a Mathews, VA Crawl Space - Photo 4
Controlling Ground Water & Relative Humidity in Bohannon, VA

This Bohannon, VA new homeowner contacted us because they wanted their crawl space encapsulated. At the inspection, we found that there were bulk water concerns, evidenced by staining and erosion around the perimeter of the foundation walls. There was also mold and mildew growth on the floor joists. The existing vapor barrier was damaged and missing in many places and was not preventing moisture from the earth from impacting the environment in the crawl space. The existing fiberglass insulation had been absorbing moisture in the crawl space and holding it against the floor joists. The added water in the insulation was making it heavier and causing it to fall away from the floor.

Moisture infiltrates a crawl space through vents, around the crawl space door, through gaps in the home’s construction such as the sill plate rim and band, utility penetrations through the block wall and the ground. All of these points allow water vapor in and once moisture is in the crawl space, it’s trapped and wreaks havoc.

To encapsulate the crawl space and control the groundwater, we proposed that the homeowner first opt to have any old insulation, vapor barrier and debris removed and treat the mold and mildew growth with an antimicrobial.

Then we suggested installing an interior foundation drainage system with a sump pump. The system would be installed around the perimeter of the crawl space and direct the collected bulk water to the lowest point of the crawl space, where our proposed TripleSafe Sump pump would evacuate any collected water to a spot designated by the homeowner on their property and away from the home.

We then recommend installing a heavy-duty CleanSpace 20-mil vapor barrier, that is overlapped and sealed at all seams, wrapped around all piers and sealed, and fastened and sealed to the crawl space walls about 6 inches above outside grade. This will completely isolate the crawl space from the earth’s moisture.

Then we would seal all penetrations in the foundation wall, such as utility penetrations. The sill plate and rim & band will also be sealed with foam to stop outside air from pouring into the crawl space and help reduce drafts in the living space. We would seal the crawl space vents from the inside with foam board insulation and foam to both insulate and prevent air from entering the crawl space. By sealing vents from the inside, we can maintain the aesthetic of the exterior of the home.

We then suggest that the homeowner insulates the crawl space walls with Rigid Foam Board insulation or Closed Cell Spray Foam. This will extend the thermal envelope of the home which can not only make the home more comfortable but will make floors warmer in the winter, and reduce energy bills.

Finally, we recommend installing a SaniDry Sedona Dehumidifier. We have done everything we can to prevent outside air carrying moisture and vapor from the earth from infiltrating the crawl space, however, we need to ensure we are controlling the relative humidity so that we do not see microbial growth return and protect the home’s structure. The Sedona is specifically designed to work in crawl spaces and cuts only when it is needed. It maintains the relative humidity of the crawl space preventing it from rising over about 55% so that we do not reach the 60% relative humidity that allows microbial growth. The unit is designed to pull excess moisture from the crawl space environment and circulate dry air to keep the entire space dry.

If the homeowner chooses this approach for their crawl space encapsulation, they will achieve an improved indoor air quality, warmer floors in the winter, lower energy bills, fewer drafts, and their home will be healthier and more durable.

Controlling Ground Water & Relative Humidity in Bohannon, VA - Photo 1Controlling Ground Water & Relative Humidity in Bohannon, VA - Photo 2
Uneven Temperatures & High Energy Bills in Cobbs Creek, VA

This Cobbs Creek, VA home has several different attic sections. There were several knee wall attic spaces, The Main attic, and Unconditioned attic storage space.  The homeowners have been experiencing some rooms being too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter as well as having high energy bills.

Knee walls are a wall with unconditioned attic space on one side and conditioned living space on the other side. The homeowner uses these spaces for storage. These spaces usually make the conditioned room they share a wall with too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter as heat transfers through the wall and escapes around the access door. The same is true for the unconditioned attic storage spaces.

The main attic houses the HVAC equipment. Ductwork typically has very little insulation on it, about an R-5. This insulation is typically stretched tight around the ductwork, compressing the material, and decreasing its R-value. This means the ductwork is not resistant to the temperatures of the attic. In the summer, the attic is sweltering, heating up the ductwork and the air inside of it making it harder to heat and cool the rooms the conditioned air is going to, putting more wear and tear on the HVAC unit and raise energy bills. The reverse is true in the winter.

In the main attic, we also found that there was batt fiberglass insulation on the ceiling. The attic also had several points at which conditioned air was leaking out of the top of the home. Unsealed top plates, recessed can lights, and utility penetrations allow air to leak out through the stack effect.

 

In the knee wall spaces and the unconditioned attic storage space, we recommend that the homeowner insulate the wall shared with the conditioned space and install an air barrier to prevent airflow between the spaces. We also recommend insulating the access door to reduce heat loss. In addition, we recommend insulating and air sealing the attic floor to prevent air in the conditioned spaces below from escaping into the attic.

For the main attic, we recommended air sealing all top plates, and utility penetrations as well as installing Rockwool can light covers and sealing over the recessed lighting to stop air leaking into the attic. We then advise installing blown-in cellulose insulation to reach an R-49 of insulation in the attic space. We would also insulate the scuttle access, to reduce the air and heat loss.

This approach to insulating and air sealing the attic spaces will allow the homeowners to reduce their conditioned air loss, wear and tear on their HVAC system, and energy bill and temperatures throughout the home will be more even.

Uneven Temperatures & High Energy Bills in Cobbs Creek, VA - Photo 1Uneven Temperatures & High Energy Bills in Cobbs Creek, VA - Photo 2Uneven Temperatures & High Energy Bills in Cobbs Creek, VA - Photo 3
Upgrading Attic Insulation in Port Haywood, VA

This Port Haywood homeowner reached out to us because they were concerned about the insulation in their home. They had rooms that were too cold in the winter that they wanted to make more comfortable.

The attic had three chimneys, each chimney has a couple inches of space between it and the wood framing of the home to prevent fires. This creates a tunnel for conditioned air to escape into the unconditioned attic.

There was minimal fiberglass insulation between the joists that offered little protection for the home against the sweltering attic temperatures int eh summer and freezing air in the winter. In the winter, the attic is the same temperature as outside and cools the ceiling to that temperature. As warm conditioned air rises through the home, it meets the cold ceiling. The warm air gives up its heat, cooling, and falling this cycle is called convective looping. This results in rooms being too cold, hard to heat and cool, and drafts in the home.

To address the uncomfortable rooms in the home. We recommended removing any plywood or debris in the attic. Then we would wrap the chimneys in rock wool, this is a fire-retardant material that can be safely wrapped around the chimney and allows us to blow in insulation up to the Rockwool. Then we would install an additional R-38 of blown in cellulose insulation on top of the existing fiberglass insulation. If the homeowner chooses this approach to insulating their attic, they will have less heat transfer to the rooms below the attic meaning air they pay to heat and cool will stay in the home longer. This will help to even the temperatures in the home, making the rooms and the homeowners more comfortable.

Upgrading Attic Insulation in Port Haywood, VA - Photo 1
Crawl Space Moisture Damage in Gwynn, VA

This homeowner reached out to us because they were interested in adding insulation, a new vapor barrier, and treating mold in the crawl space.

At our inspection, we found that the relative humidity in the crawl space was about 85.9%. At 60% relative humidity, mold growth can begin. Mold and mildew grow on organic surfaces, in this case, the wood substructure of the home. Wood moisture readings of the flood joists ranged from about 20% all the way to 39%! At 19% wood moisture content, wood rot can begin. Some of the joists had signs of wood rot, including high moisture content, soft wood, the material was darkened, and there were musty odors. Wood rot is a major concern, if left untreated, it can result in serious and costly damage to the home’s foundation.

The excess moisture in the crawl space is a result of open foundation vents, bulk water, and water vapor from the earth. We found that there was puddling in several spots throughout the crawl space. Standing water and moisture evaporate, rising into the crawl space and is absorbed by porous surfaces. The dark, damp environment is ideal for snakes, insects, and rodents, creating its own ecosystem where these creatures can thrive.

After our inspection, we discussed our findings with the homeowners and reviewed their options to address the mold, dry out the crawl space, and prevent further fungal growth and damage to the foundation.

We first recommended removing all debris including the sparse vapor barrier and installing a drainage system to address the puddling. A drainage system is necessary when bulk water is present because vapor barriers are only designed as a vapor suppression system and even when properly sealed, will not be able to prevent bulk water from eventually seeping through seams. We then offered several options for treating the microbial growth to kill the mold and mildew.

Our next option for the homeowner was a heavy-duty vapor barrier. One that can be properly sealed and attached to the foundation walls to protect the crawl space from water vapor, as well as withstand any service persons working in the crawl space. The next step would be to keep out any outside air carrying moisture. This would be done by sealing the sill plate, rim and band, and all vents.

We then discussed insulating the crawl space. We recommend insulation from the foundation walls as opposed to the floor. This is because it will extend the thermal barrier from the floor of the bottom level of the home to the floor of the crawl space. This means we can effectively reduce the heat and moisture transfer through the foundation walls and better control the crawl space environment. Our final recommendation is a dehumidifier. Though we have done everything we can to prevent moisture from getting into the crawl space, we still need to control the relative humidity with an energy-efficient dehumidifier. Installing the dehumidifier without taking the previous steps would be ineffective in protecting the crawl space because it would be the same as trying to dehumidify the outdoors.

If the homeowner opts to take these steps, they will be able to not only replace their vapor barrier, add insulation, and treat mold, but they can prevent further damage and never have to worry about completing the project again. In addition, they will have the benefit of warmer floors in the winter, reduced energy bills, healthier indoor air quality, and added durability to their home.

Crawl Space Moisture Damage in Gwynn, VA - Photo 1Crawl Space Moisture Damage in Gwynn, VA - Photo 2Crawl Space Moisture Damage in Gwynn, VA - Photo 3
Addressing Moisture in a North, VA Crawl Space

This North, VA homeowner reached out to us when they noticed how all the recent rain had been impacting their crawl space. They were concerned about water under the home, musty odors and worried about mold growth.

At our inspection, we found that water had indeed been seeping into the crawl space. The block walls had signs of moisture stains and the soil in front of the wall was damp and muddy. The existing 6-mil vapor barrier was disheveled and torn in several places and did not seal the crawl space from the earth’s moisture. Hot, humid air flooded in through open foundation vents contributing further to the excessive moisture and high relative humidity.

The excess moisture was being absorbed by the wood joists and fiberglass insulation damaging the materials. When fiberglass gets wet, its R-value is greatly diminished. The moisture damages the fibers of the material and causes it to delaminate, separating from itself and falling to the ground. The high relative humidity and warm temperatures create the ideal environment for mold and mildew growth on organic materials such as the paper backing of insulation or the wood floor joists. Resulting in the odors the homeowners were noticing.

To address these concerns, we proposed sealing the crawl space, to prevent moisture from entering the space and insulating from the foundation walls to help us better control the environment and prevent these damages from reoccurring.

We would begin by cleaning out the old vapor barrier and fiberglass along with any debris on the ground. Then we would treat the mold and mildew growth with an antimicrobial solution, designed to kill the growth. Next, we want to install a heavy-duty, CleanSpace vapor barrier that can be attached to the walls without ripping or tearing and is durable enough to be crawled on by service persons without the worry of damage to the system. This will seal the crawl space from the earth’s moisture.

The next step would be to seal the crawl space from outside air and moisture. We would achieve this by blocking and sealing all vents from the inside. Sealing the rim & band, sill plate, and any penetrations through the foundation wall to the outside with foam. We also install an interior friction fit crawl space door designed to insulate and air seal behind the exterior door.

Then, we want to install insulation on the foundation walls. This reduces the transfer of heat through the walls and allows us to better control the environment. Most of our homeowners choose to insulate with closed-cell spray foam which creates an air barrier and vapor retarder at 1.5 inches. Insulating from the foundation walls has the added benefit of protecting pipes from freezing in the winter.

Finally, we recommended a SaniDry Sedona dehumidification system. This system is specifically designed to regulate the humidity in crawl spaces and basements and is energy efficient. The Sedona cuts on at a preset threshold, usually about 55% relative humidity. It pulls the excess moisture from the air, filters it, and circulates dry air throughout the space. With every dehumidifier, we install a wireless hygrometer. This allows the homeowner to monitor the temperature and relative humidity in their crawl space compared to the home.

With this approach to treating and preventing future mold growth and moisture infiltration, the homeowner will not need to worry about having their crawl space fixed again. They will no longer experience musty odors in the home because water working its way through the walls will be directed under the encapsulation system preventing it from impacting the crawl space environment.

Moisture in an Encapsulated Crawl Space in Foster, VA

A Foster, VA homeowner contacted us after they noticed moisture issues in their encapsulated crawl space. The homeowners had the crawl space encapsulated several years ago by a different company.  

At our inspection, we found that there was puddling on the vapor barrier. This could be a result of several different factors. There could have been a failure in the liner that allowed moisture to get into the crawl space from the earth, condensation could be occurring on pipes and duct lines, or high relative humidity due to temperature changes in the space.

No dehumidifier was installed when the crawl space was encapsulated. Therefore, nothing has been regulating the relative humidity in the space and preventing moisture from building up. Even though the crawl space is air sealed, insulated, and sealed from the earth’s moisture, the crawl space is still going to suck in air, even though the smallest of holes therefore the relative humidity needs to be controlled.

The relative humidity is how much moisture air at that temperature can hold. As temperatures change in the crawl space so does the relative humidity. If this goes unchecked, it can allow mold growth to occur, the homeowners may notice musty odors in the home, and in extreme cases, can even result in wood rot.

Air running through duct lines can even contribute to the moisture and humidity in the crawl space, resulting in condensation on the ductwork which eventually evaporates into the air and can be absorbed by the wood or puddle on the liner, allowing the cycle to continue. Plumbing lines also allow condensation to occur as cold lines in a hot crawl space condensate.

Moisture in an Encapsulated Crawl Space in Foster, VA - Photo 1
Solving Uneven temperatures in a Moon, VA Home

This Moon, VA homeowner was referred to us when they were looking to upgrade their attic insulation. They had been noticing high energy bills and uncomfortable rooms throughout the home. At the inspection, we found that the attic had fiberglass batts stuffed between the joists. There was little resistance to the sweltering summer temperatures to prevent heat from radiating down. In the winter, warm air was rising through the home and hitting the cold ceiling, which sucked up the heat and left the homeowners struggling to get comfortable.

We recommended beginning with air sealing the attic. This includes all top plates, utility penetrations, and fixture housings, contributing to the hundreds of holes connecting the conditioned living space to the unconditioned attic. Then the homeowners have the option of either adding insulation on top of the existing fiberglass or replacing the insulation all together to bring the insulation up to an R-38 to R-49. This will offer more resistance to heat transfer between the attic and the rest of the home. This means air that they are paying to heat and cool is staying inside the living space longer, the HVAC is running less, and the homeowners are more comfortable in their space.

If you are noticing uneven temperatures in your home, rooms that are too hot or too cold, or high energy bills, contact The Drying Co./ThermalTec at 1-833-933-3111 for a free Home Energy Evaluation.

Solving Uneven temperatures in a Moon, VA Home - Photo 1
Repairs for a Onemo, VA Crawl Space

This Onemo, VA customer called us out for repairs in their crawlspace. They had no insulation under the home, the vapor barrier was unsealed, and mildew/mold was growing on the floor joists.

Open vents and an unsealed vapor barrier allow moisture to flood into the crawl space. Hot humid air flows in through openings in the foundation walls, including cracks, vents, utility penetrations, and the crawl space door. Water vapor rises from the earth into the crawl space and eventually into the home. All this moisture raises the relative humidity and with moderate temperatures allows mold and mildew to grow on organic materials, such as the floor joists. Signs of moisture infiltration appear on the block walls which had efflorescence, a white powdery substance that is the result of moisture pulling minerals in the block to the surface. The water lines and staining also tell us that moisture is being pulled through the foundation walls.

To repair the crawl space and prevent future problems, we recommended the homeowner seal the crawl space and control the relative humidity. To do this, we would begin by removing the old vapor barrier and any debris in the space. Then we would treat the mold with an antimicrobial.

Due to the excess groundwater and water infiltration in the crawl space, we recommended installing an interior foundation drainage system. To do so, we would trench around the perimeter of the crawl space and lay stone and drainage line leading to a sump pump. The sump pump will discharge collected water away from the home, to a spot designated on the property by the homeowner.

We would then seal the crawl space from the earth’s moisture by installing a CleanSpace vapor barrier. The liner will be sealed at all seams, run up the foundation walls about 6 inches above outside grade and sealed, then wrapped and sealed around all piers. Next, we seal the crawl space from outside air and moisture. This includes sealing all vents, the rim & band, sill plate, and any penetrations through the foundation wall to the outside.

The next step would be insulating the foundation walls with Closed Cell Spray Foam. A 2-inch viewing strip is left at the top of the block wall to allow for termite inspections. To maintain a continuous R-10 on the crawl space walls, we also install an interior friction fit crawl space door that provides insulation and air sealing behind the exterior door.

The final piece of the solution is a dehumidifier. For crawl spaces, we typically recommend the SaniDry Sedona. This unit is energy efficient, only cutting on when the relative humidity increases over 55%, we want to keep it below 60%. The system pulls excess moisture from the air, filters the air, and circulates the dry air throughout the crawl space. We would also provide a hygrometer, which allows the homeowner to monitor the relative humidity and temperature of the crawl space and the home from their living space.

With this solution to repair their crawl space, the homeowner will not only remedy the current issues but prevent them from reoccurring. They will have the added benefits of increased energy efficiency, reduced drafts, warmer floors in the winter, and improved indoor air quality.

Issues of an Old Crawl Space in Hudgins, VA

This homeowner in Hudgins, VA contacted us to discuss moisture problems within their crawl space. We set an appointment and one of our trusted home performance advisors was sent out to evaluate the issues.

Upon inspection, we found that the vapor barrier was ripped apart and exposing the dirt floor, allowing the earth’s moisture to rise, elevating the relative humidity. The foundation walls were unsealed and made of porous cinderblock allowing moisture to seep through. The walls were covered with efflorescence, which is when water leaking in pulls the salts and sediments of the cinderblock to the surface of the blocks, an issue that unsealed crawl spaces face. Open vents within these walls also allow outside influence to breach the space. The vents were initially intended to air out the crawl space but instead allow outside moisture to seep in and become trapped, increasing the relative humidity.

Mold and mildew were thriving on the floor joists and some of the girders. Mold will grow on any organic material in the underbelly of the home so long as there is 60% or higher relative humidity with a temperature around or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Musty odors will come off these mold spores and rise into the home. With approximately 50% of the air you breathe in your home coming from the first floor, rising mold spores can irritate those with allergies and prolonged exposure can even cause asthma.

And finally, we found there was a lot of deteriorating fiberglass scattered throughout the crawl space. Fiberglass insulation acts much like a sponge and will absorb moisture until it is too heavy, and gravity pulls it down from the floor joists. Water droplets pull the fine glass fibers apart, tearing the insulation into pieces. It becomes ineffective once it is waterlogged and falling apart.

We proposed many solutions to help this homeowner turn this dirty and damp area into a beautifully encapsulated crawl space. We advised taking the following steps to help reduce energy bills and eliminate moisture issues.

The first problem we would want to tackle is mold and mildew. We would remove all debris and the old vapor barrier from the crawl space before attacking the mold. We proposed using Shockwave Antimicrobial, an ammonium chloride cleaner, disinfectant, and sanitizer that will kill mold and mildew at its source.

The next step would be to install a CleanSpace vapor barrier. This durable 20-mil liner is perfect for sealing the crawl space off from the moisture rising from the dirt floor, as well as the outside influence penetrating through the foundation walls. The barrier is mechanically fastened around all piers and up the foundation wall six to eight inches above outside grade, with a two-inch viewing strip left for termite inspectors.

Then we proposed using closed-cell spray foam to insulate the foundation walls to keep outside moisture and air from seeping through. The spray foam, when sprayed to at least one and a half inches thick, acts as an air barrier and vapor retarder. It would be sprayed over the mechanically fastened CleanSpace, ensuring full coverage from the outside influence. The open vents found within these foundation walls will be covered from the inside using a precisely cut piece of foam board and sealed with can foam, reducing the infiltration of moisture and air.

The next thing we would propose is to add a SaniDry Sedona dehumidifier. This high-performance dehumidifier is perfect for controlling the relative humidity within the crawl space. The dehumidifier is connected to a Little Giant condensation pump that drains out the moisture pulled from the crawl space. The dehumidifier helps to keep the relative humidity below 60%, which is the percentage at which mold begins to grow. A hygrometer is given to the homeowner to monitor this percentage and the temperature of the crawl space for any major changes.

If the homeowner chooses to act on our proposals, they will experience the joy of owning a wonderfully clean and energy-efficient crawl space, as well as a significant reduction in their energy costs. Our professional and experienced team will help any homeowner feel more comfortable in their homes.

Issues of an Old Crawl Space in Hudgins, VA - Photo 1Issues of an Old Crawl Space in Hudgins, VA - Photo 2Issues of an Old Crawl Space in Hudgins, VA - Photo 3
Evaluating a Wet Crawl Space in Cobbs Creek, VA

A homeowner in Cobbs Creek, Virginia called us at The Drying Company to address water and moisture issues in their crawl space. We sent out one of our Home Performance Advisors to evaluate their crawl space and draw up solutions to any moisture problems we found.

Upon inspection, we noticed that the fiberglass insulation batts hanging in the floor joists were quite damp. When there is high relative humidity in the crawl space, the fiberglass will soak up much of the moisture, which can pull apart the fine glass fibers of the insulation and cause it to fall to the floor in chunks.

We also noticed that there was already quite a bit of mold and mildew growth on many of the floor joists already. When the relative humidity gets to be above 60% with warmer temperatures, mold and mildew begin to grow on any organic materials such as wood or paper.

We then focused our attention on the crawl space floors, which were covered with a flimsy 6-mil vapor barrier. This liner is easily torn and pushed aside, exposing the crawl space to the earth’s moisture. There were gaps where the liner met the foundation walls and around each pier. This moisture rising through the gaps will increase the relative humidity, leading to more mold growth and material damage.

After inspecting the vapor barrier, we looked at the foundation walls, which were covered in efflorescence. Efflorescence occurs when the moisture from the outside seeps through the porous cinderblock walls, bringing along with the salts and sediments from within the blocks to the surface, leaving behind a chalky, powdery residue. The moisture that does enter the crawl space will also add to the overall relative humidity, making things even worse.

The foundation walls were also lined with open vents, which were meant to help ventilate the crawl space of moisture. Instead, the air and moisture entering through these open vents become trapped, affecting the relative humidity and air quality. Small critters and creatures can also enter through some of these vents, making this dark and damp environment their home.

To help this homeowner address the water and moisture issues in their crawl space, we need to properly seal it from outside moisture infiltration. Then we need to control and regulate the relative humidity and environment.

The first thing we would focus on would be clearing the crawl space of the old vapor barrier and any debris and materials laying on the floor. Then we would remove the existing fiberglass insulation from the floor joists so we could remediate mold and mildew growth. The mold and mildew can grow back if the environment and relative humidity is not controlled.

The next step would be to install a 20-mil CleanSpace vapor barrier over the dirt floor of the crawl space. This heavy-duty liner can significantly reduce the earth’s moisture from rising into the crawl space. The liner gets wrapped around all piers, sealed with vinyl tape, and mechanically fastened to all the foundation walls six to eight inches above outside grade.

After the CleanSpace is installed, we would focus on insulating the foundation walls. We would first block the open vents off from the inside with foamboard and seal the seams with foam. Then the foundation walls need to be insulated using an R-10 value of closed-cell spray foam. A 2-inch viewing strip is left per Virginia building code for termite inspectors.

With the walls and floors insulated and sealed, we would suggest adding a SaniDry Sedona dehumidifier, which would help to regulate the relative humidity and to circulate dry air throughout the crawl space.

With these actions taken, the crawl space and foundation would be better protected from outside air and moisture. If you are experiencing any of the same problems in your crawl space, then call us at The Drying Company to schedule your free estimate and evaluation! We will do our best to help keep the outside, outside!

Evaluating a Wet Crawl Space in Cobbs Creek, VA - Photo 1Evaluating a Wet Crawl Space in Cobbs Creek, VA - Photo 2Evaluating a Wet Crawl Space in Cobbs Creek, VA - Photo 3
Serving the following Mathews County, VA zip codes
Mathews 23109, Cobbs Creek 23035, North 23128, Port Haywood 23138, Hudgins 23076, Gwynn 23066, Foster 23056, Bohannon 23021, Moon 23119, Onemo 23130, Cardinal 23025, New Point 23125, Susan 23163, Diggs 23045, Hallieford 23068, Grimstead 23064
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