Learn about crawlspace encapsulation and how Killingsworth protects your home from mold and termite damage.
Hello, my name is Mike Rogers. I'm the president of Killingsworth Environmental. First, I just want to say thank you for letting us take a couple of minutes of your time so that we can explain to you the importance and the details of an encapsulated crawlspace. The reason why people have encapsulated crawlspaces done, the number one reason, is moisture problems. There are a lot of molds, wood rot, and structural problems that can be caused from moisture building up in the crawlspace, so the encapsulation, if done correctly will fix all of those problems.
The advantages to an encapsulated crawlspace... think about it. You're taking a house that is being built on raw dirt, and basically you're turning it into a basement. You're putting a liner underneath the house that will keep the moisture that's being constantly sucked up out of that dirt by the sun from entering the house and creating an area where mold will grow. All the air in your house is encompassed inside the walls and that includes the walls around your crawlspace. The constant changing of that heating and cooling in that air actually moves it up through the house and creates the stack effect to where you constantly breathe that air.
The two ways you get rid of mold are, number one is dry ice blasting. The dry ice is a compressed carbon dioxide. It’s shot at the wood at a very high pressure, and it's very similar to sandblasting, but with no moisture or mess. It evaporates into nothing, so the dry ice basically strips a layer of the wood off. It does not damage the wood at all, but it removes and kills the fungus at the same time. The next form would be hand cleaning with an antimicrobial, using antimicrobials. If the fungus is light, and it's not very imbedded into the wood we can spray an anti-microbial on the wood and let it set for a few minutes. It kills the fungus then we physically go back with HEPA vacuums, and rags, and brushes, and wipe the wood down.
After the mold remediation process, after the fungus or mold's been cleaned up, you want to treat that wood with a fungicide which is going to help seal that wood off and prevent future mold or fungus from growing back on the wood. Basically we use Bora-Care with Mold Ram if we're dry ice blasting. Or we just use Mold Ram if we're just hand cleaning with an anti-microbial. Those products are going to seal the wood off and help prevent future growth.
For our inspection process, we walk around the entire house on the outside, look at the drainage from the gutter system, the grade of the property, whether or not you have a slope towards the foundation. Then we need to do a thorough investigation of the crawlspace. Look for any signs of water intrusion from the foundation. We check the atmosphere of the crawlspace to see what the temperature and relative humidity is. We also check the moisture content of the wood. We want to see what percentage of moisture is in the wood with the protimiter, that you actually stick into the wood and it tells you how wet the wood is. Even if you don't have a water intrusion problem, relative humidity alone can cause major dampness and moisture problems in crawlspaces.
The first steps of the encapsulation are; first we're going to seal off all of the foundation vents, the seal plate, and any gaps or openings that are allowing the outside air to come into the crawlspace which in this case has caused the moisture problems. Then we have attached this insulation. We didn't insulate back in the subfloor in between the floor joints as we insulated all of the exterior walls.
This insulation board has a product called Bore made in it which allows it to repel termites if they ever came up inside of this crawlspace they would get into this insulation board and it would kill them and deter them from getting into the house, as well as you're waterproofing all the walls. You can see we had to attach it with some concrete nail guns. We've sealed those areas off with either caulk, spray foam, or this polyethylene tape which is also waterproof.
One of the really unique things that we do, we install this clear liner down at the bottom of our insulation board which is going to allow us to attach it to the floor liner. We use this clear polyethylene fiberglass woven. This is a very durable material, and this allows us to do a thorough termite inspection at the ground level where the termites are going to be coming from in this area as opposed to by the time they get all the way up above this insulation and they're already in your subfloor.
During the process of putting the clear liner at the bottom of the foundation on the insulation board, we also wrap all of the piers with this same clear fiberglass woven polyethylene material. It's going to seal off these piers and prevent air rising up from the ground to get inside the house. It also allows us to do a thorough termite inspection on the house. We can see if termites are coming up this pier right here.
Next we install a floor liner which is this white, basically looks like a pool liner covering 100% of the crawlspace's floor. Also before we install this liner, we install a nice thick felt underlay which helps also preventing any tears for if there are rocks or gravel, things like that, that could possibly tear the liner and we guarantee it with our premier crawlspace warranty that there's not going to be any tears at all in the liner.
With all of our full encapsulations, we also install a thermo hygrometer. This is the display that would go inside the home that the customer can monitor. It has the temperature and relative humidity of what the actual areas inside the crawlspace are so the customer will know if they have a problem or not before it's too late.
With our encapsulation process, you would be eligible for our premier crawlspace warranty. With this warranty we would come out and inspect the crawlspace once a year. We would guarantee you that no molds or fungus are going to grow back in the crawlspace as well as the entire capsulation process would be warrantied.
In the US, termites do more than 5 billion dollars’ worth of damage to homes and businesses each year. That's more than all fire, wind, and water damage combined. At Killingsworth, we just want to make sure that you deal with a company that is taking termites into consideration when they encapsulate your crawlspace because the last thing you want is a termite infestation under a crawlspace that's not warrantied against termites, and folks remember, when it comes to mold, just make sure you get you Killingsworth.