Crawl Space Encapsulation
Obviously, if you have a mold or fungal growth problem, we will need to address this before we install a crawl space encapsulation system. Once the clean up is complete, the crawl space will get sealed off similar to the way we do it for the semi sealed crawl spaces above, but we go a few steps further after we seal of all the vents, gaps and crawl space door.
First, we start with the moisture barrier on the walls and piers. If we didn't have to remove the existing insulation that is up against the sub-floor, then we would attach a clear poly that is fiberglass woven which makes it extremely durable to all the walls and piers. This type of product allows us to still see behind it for a proper termite inspection. This is installed 3 inches from the top of the masonry walls and normally up to the bottom of the top block on the piers. This is fastened to the walls and piers with concrete nail guns and all edges and seams are sealed off with waterproof adhesive caulk. This is very important because masonry or concrete block walls do allow moisture to travel through them. By installing this wall liner, we are making those walls and piers waterproof.
If we are removing the insulation from the sub-floor because it was damaged by moisture or mold, then we will still use this clear wall liner on the piers, but we will also install a Bora-Care foam insulation board to all the exterior walls. This Bora-Care foam insulation board has a built in moisture barrier, providing a waterproof barrier. An added benefit is that it also has a wood destroying insect coverage built into it called Borate. This Borate is built into the insulation we are installing to all your exterior walls of your crawl space.
What this means for you is that if termites ever come up on one of your walls in the crawl space they will crawl right into this Borate, bringing them in contact with the chemical designed to kill them. This type of combination will provide you with double protection from mold and fungal growth, as well as protection from termites. This insulation also meets NC building code requirements for the R-Value. With that being said, if your crawl space didn't require the insulation to be removed, you can still benefit from adding the Bora Care insulation boards.
Once we have everything sealed off and all the walls have been insulated and waterproofed, we get into the moisture barrier. We install a white fiberglass woven poly that will cover 100% of you crawl space floor. This floor liner resembles that of an above ground pool liner. If you have ever seen one of those, it is 100% waterproof. Even though this fiberglass reinforced floor liner is extremely durable, we still install a felt underlay before we put down the floor liner for extra durability.
Once the floor liner is installed covering 100% of the ground, all edges are overlapped by 12 inches and the entire liner is staked to the ground to help keep it in place. Then, all edges and seams are attached together with a very strong and durable adhesive tape. This adhesive is also waterproof, so we can attach it to all of the walls, piers and floor. This process will create one entire membrane, so your crawl space is air tight and waterproof.
How to Condition the Crawl Space
After we have built the closed crawl space, we install devices that add conditioned air to the crawl space from your heating and air conditoning system. These are called supplied air inducers. They supply the crawl space with dry conditioned air. The reason you don't have mold or relative humidity problems inside your house is because your HVAC system is designed to remove the moisture from the air inside your home.
We install one of these supplied air inducers per 1500 sq. ft. of space in the crawl. With the old school style of crawl spaces, hot humid air in the summer or cold dry air in the winter would enter your home through the crawl space. All building structures have natural upward air movements. When this happens, that air entering your house from the crawl space causes your HVAC system to work that much harder to keep up with that air entering the house.
With this closed conditioned crawl space, you’re now receiving dry conditioned air that is equal to what you have your thermostat set at, so your HVAC system doesn't have to work as hard to keep up. This also keeps the crawl space from getting wet again from the relative humidity.
If your crawl space doesn’t have any duct work from your HVAC system, we will need to install one of our dehumidifiers like in option #1 above. Last, but not least, you get a Thermal Hygrometer installed in your home. This portable display monitor inside your home transmits to a receiver in the crawl space that shows you what the relative humidity and temperature are in the crawl space so you will know if you have a problem before it is too late. We give you the correct levels that you should be on the look out for and if something doesn't look right, we come back out to find out what the problems is. This way you don't have to crawl under your home to see if you have a moisture problem.
If you have a situation that needs attention, all you need to do is call us and we will come back to see what the problem is and fix it for you. As an added bonus, sealing off your crawl space also keeps out unwanted critters such as mice, snakes, ants and roaches. Get your free no hassle inspection to see how we can install one of these in your crawl space today.
Contact Killingsworth for more information about crawl space encapsulation in Charlotte NC.