The owners of this home in Lansing, MI came to Ayers with the complaint that their living room smelled musty, or in their words “like dirty socks.” Clearly not the most pleasant smell to have in your home. The living room was built over a damp crawl space, which was the culprit of the smell.
Block foundation walls allow water in easily, since they’re porous and often times aren’t mortared together completely. They also suck up water from the ground, making the surface of the walls damp. The water itself isn’t necessarly the problem, it’s when this water evaporates and turns to vapor that’s the issue. Damp, cold air is full of mold spores, and because of the stack effect, the musty, hazardous air moves upstairs.
The stack effect describes how the air flows form the bottom of the home upwards. Therefore, if it’s humid downstairs, it’s likely the humidity is relatively high upstairs as well. In this case, the musty smell, and likely mold spores downstairs were probably upstairs, too.
Encapsulating the space with CleanSpace seals off the home from the earth, keeping the moisture out of the crawl space. This resilient liner is fixed to the walls and virtually indestructible. It’s manufactured with an antimicrobial additive as well, so mold can’t grow on the back of the liner if it gets damp. By sealing of the crawl space, the water vapor is gone, and so is the smell.