Crawl Space Types
Crawl spaces are built under homes for various reasons, but one of the biggest is the cost to build is much less than a full basement. Having the ability to access the pipes and other utilities rather than tearing out the living room floor when pipe bursts is another function of a crawl space. Geographic location plays a major factor in a homeowner’s’ decision to go with a crawl space over a traditional basement or slab foundation. In northern geographic regions, the freeze/thaw cycle each year can eventually erode or break a slab foundation. Whereas, in warmer regions, the topsoil may be too unstable to support a slab foundation.
Common Moisture Problems and Mold
If you have a crawl space in your home or are on the fence about to add one when building a home, we highly recommend taking the time to fully finish the space. Though you will have the choice of finishing the space with concrete, gravel or a vapor barrier, we recommend going with concrete. This prevents animals from tunneling from underground into your home and blocking out mold and odors while keeping high energy costs at bay.
However, very few barriers are infallible. Common symptoms of moisture issues in a crawl space include musty odors and high humidity in living areas; condensation on air conditioning ductwork and/or equipment, insulation, water pipes or truss plates; hardwood floors buckling; and insect infestations. Though they can arise any time of the year, these symptoms are most often noticed during the humid spring and summer seasons.
The moisture can enter a crawl space from multiple sources, not limited to surface water flooding, improper slope or grading of the property, gutters or downspouts, window wells, cracked walls or foundation and/or broken water lines or water heater. Regardless of what is causing the flooding in your crawl space, flooding in the crawl space is a serious problem.
Crawl Space Flooding
In addition to rot, mold, sagging floors and attracting pests and vermin, crawl space flooding will drastically reduce your home’s resale value if not properly taken care of. Fixing the crawl space is a relatively necessary process that will save many headaches down the road should you put your home on the market.
While it may be tempting to start cleaning up a flooded crawl space by yourself, doing so can create more issues. Asbestos in pipe or HVAC duct insulation may have been damaged or deteriorated over time, opening the door to particles either floating in the air or on the ground, ripe for a disturbance. Add in possible mold contamination, rodent droppings, and sewage spills and the health risks to yourself and anyone else who may be helping you outweigh saving a few bucks.
- For more information, read our blog : “Crawl Space Water Damage Under Your Home.”
Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
Even the most well executed plan can still use a little support. For your crawl space, the vapor barrier plays the part. A vapor barrier slows the movement of water vapor, such as humidity, in the crawl space and into the home. That action also discourages growth of mold and mildew, reducing the health and home issues associated with them.
A vapor barrier comes in one of three classes, determined by the permeability of the material used. The most common form used in homes is a flexible plastic sheet, installed during the encapsulation process in the crawl space. Whether your home is already standing or being built next month, Water Extraction Experts can install a vapor barrier in your crawl space.
Call the Professionals
When it comes time for cleanup, our team will begin the restoration process by evaluating where the water entered the crawl space, whether recently or over time. By doing this we will gain a deeper insight into the best solution for your crawl space. During our restoration, we pay close attention to the visibility, or often times invisibility, of mold. All wet materials and personal belongings will be removed from the space before using sump pumps to remove any standing water along with negative air movers to pull remaining moisture back outside. We check the ventilation of the area, and if possible, enclose and seal the space to prevent moisture from reoccurring inside. This process is called crawl space encapsulation and includes installing a durable plastic liner on the bare ground, a vapor barrier. A final step in our restoration process is spraying the dry area with an anti-microbial spray to prevent further mold growth and contamination.
Every home and crawl space is unique. This is why we work with you, the homeowner, to find a solution that ends the moisture and/or mold issues and gives you back peace of mind. Our team brings years of experience to your crawl space issues to ensure the best results.
Water Extraction Experts is prepared to address any water damage and mold issues 24 hours, seven days a week, for all water removal, water damage, water restoration, mold remediation, and water leak needs, including water extraction and structural drying.