Crawl Space Repair

What is the purpose of a building or home?
The number one purpose is to separate and protect us from the outdoor environment. But since crawl spaces are part of the homes they are under, the conditions found in the crawl space dramatically affect the conditions found in the conditioned area of the home.

Why are homes built on crawlspaces?
Here in western Pennsylvania (northern climate) crawl spaces were a way of getting the foundation below the frost line in the winter while keeping the wooden portion of the structure off of the soil.

before picture of a crawlspace in a home with water damageAfter picture of the re-done and cleaned up water damage in a crawl space

What is the difference between a vented crawl space and an encapsulated crawl space?

Home With A Vented Crawl Space Home With An Encapsulated Crawl Space
Control heat flow NO YES
Control air flow NO YES
Control water vapor flow NO YES
Control contaminatons, odors,odors, and environmental hazards NO YES
Control insects, rodents, and vermin NO YES

Crawl Space Problems

  1. Crawl Space Moisture Management: moisture here can lead to mold growth and wood rot. To take care of the problem, be sure that you have proper interior and exterior drainage with the crawl space so that water cannot simply pool up and lie stagnant. If the CS has vents, be sure that they are not the cause of the moisture problems underneath the home.
  2. Pest Control: reducing the humidity under your crawl space can help to prevent wood rot, and thus reduce the number of unwanted pests living under the home, such as termites and roaches. A dehumidifier can be installed to lower the amount of moisture in the air.
  3. Carbon Monoxide Safety: vented combustion appliances should not be installed in a closed crawl space as this can lead to a build up of dangerous Carbon Monoxide gas below the home. Check the appliance’s warning labels to make sure that it is safe for the environment below the home.
  4. Fire Safety: a fire-rated caulk can be added around the plumbing, wiring, ducts, and electrical components in the crawl space to help with preventing damages relating to a fire.
  5. Insulation: wet fiberglass insulation will need to be replaced with spray foam or Roxul insulation which will not foster the development of dangerous molds or mildew.
  6. Radon Control: this dangerous gas can seep up through the ground, through the crawl space, and into the home. Installing floor liners will prevent the gas from coming up through the earth.
  7. Have a More Comfortable and Energy Efficient Home: be sure that crawl space vents are properly sealed so that conditioned air from inside the home can’t get out, and so that outside air can’t get in. This helps to prevent HVAC units from working overtime to keep the home comfortable throughout each season of the year.
  8. Prevent Mold Growth: be sure that the levels of humidity are controlled underneath the home with a dehumidifier, and be sure that excessive amounts of moisture aren’t able to get inside.
  9. Sagging Floors: these floors could be leveled once again with the use of crawl space stabilizers beneath the weakened floor joist. However, rotting wood below the home is a sign of moisture and humidity – things which should be investigated by a professional.
  10. Dead Animals and Odors: dead animals and bugs underneath the crawl space will need to be removed to help eliminate any foul odors that are noticed inside of the home.