Kathryn called us with a myriad or problems coming from her crawl space. There were visible cracks in the foundation and a moldy, musty smell coming from the crawl space up into her home. She wanted to find out exactly what was going on down there and how it could all be fixed so her crawl space was no longer a huge problem.
We sent senior system design specialist Roger Powell out to design a custom solution.
There was a definite moisture problem in the crawl space, which was contributing to everything Kathryn and her husband were experiencing. Mold was present on the fiberglass insulation and affecting the beams, weakening them and exacerbating the structural issues. Eliminating the water issues was the main focus of restoring this crawl space.
First, we had to rid the crawl space of facets that were actually making problems worse – fiberglass insulation and vents. Once a part of building code because “airflow prevents mold,” crawl space vents are now recognized as a hazard as they allow all manner of water and debris into the space. CleanSpace vent covers sealed the vents to prevent further air or water entry. Fiberglass insulation, while perfect for the above ground floors of a home, is a bad choice for a crawl space because it absorbs moisture and the paper backing can feed and harbor mold. We removed the extensive insulation for replacement with a suitable product.
Inside the crawl space, we installed a SmartSump pump to discharge any standing water, and a SaniDry Sedona dehumidifier to control ambient moisture moving forward.
Once these peripherals were installed, we moved onto encapsulating the crawl space, which is vital to protect the home above it from the elements. A layer of drainage matting was the first step, which allows water to move to the sump pump without getting stuck between the vapor barrier and the ground.
Then CleanSpace was installed in conjunction with our energy savings package, which includes SilverGlo insulation panels. Unlike fiberglass insulation, SilverGlo is inorganic and waterproof, meaning it won’t harbor mold, and the silver surface actually reflects to keep the space a little warmer. The CleanSpace vapor barrier provides a seal between the dirt floor and the crawl space, which in turn protects the home above from moisture and mold, and keeps it more comfortable.
With the moisture issues addressed, we moved onto the existing structural problems. We installed 15 SmartJack support posts to stabilize the failing joists, and sistered new beams to the failing ones for security.
In addition to causing mold and all of the associated smells and problems, water can also cause structural problems through degrading support beams. It’s good that Kathryn called when she did, and now that we’ve encapsulated against moisture and stabilized the structure of the crawl space, she can enjoy her home as it was meant to be.
System Design Specialist: Roger Powell
Products: SmartSump, SaniDry, CleanSpace, SmartJack, SilverGlo