There are several types of crawl space systems. LiveGreen professionals can seal each kind.
Plastic Moisture Barrier
Unfortunately, this is what most homeowners have. 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 this results in increased moisture followed by 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 Dehumidifier
So you know why the plastic is down, but what about the dehumidifier? The dehumidifier will remove moisture from the air but the challenges and issues with a dehumidifier tend to outweigh the benefits a homeowner would recognize. While the dehumidifier will work during some seasons, but we have yet to see a dehumidifier keep up with the humidity we get in the summer months. Some questions you might consider.
- What happens when the dehumidifier 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 dehumidifier truly keep up when the air is most humid and temperatures are at their highest?
- Is one dehumidifier enough?
- Is the dehumidifier 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 sidewalls and taped to any columns or piers creating a water-tight plastic liner in your crawl space. We add R-10 insulated wallboard 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 airtight. 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.