Sealed Crawl Space System
Crawl Space Blues: Your battle with moisture
At the heart of every crawl space problem is moisture. Rotted wood, sagging insulation, mold growth, pests and rodents, nasty duct work and condensation are all made worse when there is too much moisture in your crawl space.
It’s no wonder that many pest control professionals, HVAC technicians, insulation companies and water proofing companies all recommend some kind of moisture prevention in any solution they offer. But what is right for you?
Types of Crawl Space Systems
Plastic Moisture Barrier – Unfortunately, this is what most folks have under their homes. Plastic is laid on the crawl space floor in an attempt to limit moisture penetration. This approach will cut down on moisture coming up through the ground, but it will do nothing to prevent hot, humid air from entering your crawl space. The humid air comes in contact with the relatively cooler duct work or HVAC unit and you get an instant rain forest complete with sagging insulation and duct work, standing water on the ground plastic and a perfect environment for mold growth and pest habitats.
Plastic Barrier with a De-Humidifier – So you know why the plastic is down, but what about the de-humidifier? The de-humidifier will remove moisture from the air but the challenges and issues with a de-humidifier tend to outweigh the benefits a homeowner would recognize. Yes – the de-humidifier will work during some seasons, but we have yet to see a de-humidifier keep up with the humidity we get in the summer months. Some questions you might consider.
What happens when the de-humidifier breaks down?
Will you know that it stops working?
Do you really want another piece of mechanical equipment in your home to maintain?
Can a de-humidifier truly keep up when the air is most humid and temperatures are at their highest?
Is one de-humidifier enough?
Is the de-humidifier loud or an energy hog?
Sealed, Conditioned Crawl Space – at its core, a sealed and conditioned crawl space is designed to create an environment free of excess moisture.
We target the moisture that would come up through the ground by using an extra thick, durable plastic on the crawl space floor. The seams are taped and the plastic is fastened to the side walls and taped to any columns or piers creating a water-tight plastic liner in your crawl space. We add R-10 insulated wall board on all the exterior walls of the crawl space and we insulate and seal all outside vents. We install weather stripping to the crawl space door and make sure the crawl space is air tight. Your crawl space is sealed.
To condition the space we modify your HVAC duct work a little to provide a source of conditioned air into the crawl space. Think of it like adding a diffuser or floor vent in your crawl space. So, when your HVAC systems runs in the winter, a little heated air is forced into your crawl space and in the summer it would be cooled air push into your crawl. Since there are no air returns in your crawl space, the air is not circulated through the house but simply used to pressurize the crawl space.