ANSWER: Many people are not aware of what is going on in their crawlspace until its time to sell their home.
A crawlspace provides a perfect environment for mold growth. Mold requires heat, moisture and organic material to feed on. Even during dry weather, a continuous flow of moisture in the form of vapor will enter the crawlspace through the soil and flow upward through the house. This moisture will be absorbed into the wood framing supporting the floor providing a source of food for mold. Moist wood is subject to wood rot and other wood-destroying organisms such as termites and carpenter ants.
In the past, venting the crawlspace was thought to be the solution to the moisture problem. This actually makes the problem worse by allowing warm, humid air to enter the area. Since warm air holds more moisture than cool air, condensation will occur on the cool surfaces inside the crawlspace. We often find the most mold growth nearest to the vents. The vents also allow cold air to enter during the winter months causing higher energy bills.
Crawlspaces with concrete floors are also subject to the same problems as dirt floors. Since concrete floors and block walls are porous, the water vapor will continue to flow in.
There are three steps to follow in the order to eliminate the dampness which supports the growth of mold.
1. Some grading or trenching may be required to allow water seepage to flow into a sump pump for removal. Be sure to remove all organic materials from floor.
2. The floor and walls must now be sealed with a durable plastic liner. We recommend a product called “Cleanspace® Encapsulation System” for this purpose. Cleanspace is a 20 mil thick, polyester cord reinforced plastic liner which is bright white, durable enough to walk on without tearing, and will last the life of the house.
3. Finally, it is important to seal the vents with 2 inch thick rigid foam board and caulk the edges.
In some cases a dehumidifier may also be necessary.
For a free inspection and estimate on crawlspace or basement waterproofing please call EnviroPro Basement Systems at (856)694-0266.
About The Expert:
Mike has worked in the home improvement industry for over 30 years. His interest in environmental issues has included work in asbestos and lead abatement, air quality, pest control and basement waterproofing.
He decided to add basement waterproofing as a service for his customers and became an authorized dealer in 1997 with Basement Systems, Inc. — the world’s largest waterproofing company — and has since installed thousands of basement waterproofing systems throughout the tri-state area.
Mike is ready to address any questions or concerns you may have and will provide you with a detailed, written proposal at the time of inspection. In the meantime, we have enclosed some information we think you will find interesting and useful.
Contact Mike, (888) 295-6950