North Carolina has a rather warm and humid climate. Because we have so much moisture in our air, the crawlspaces under homes in our region tend to experience mold growth.
Since STOP Restoration has been in business in Winston Salem, some of our most frequent calls have been in regards to cleaning under homes and in crawlspaces. Mold remediation can be quite expensive and because of the climate, the issues will often return over time.
We’ve researched and read studies on ways to prevent regrowth and it really comes down to the simple fact that moisture must be controlled. The best solution that we are aware of is crawlspace encapsulation. This means sealing the area under your home to prevent moisture from entering via the ground, air and even from inside the building structure.
How excess moisture affects your crawlspace:
- Rot: wood underneath your home can begin to rot as moisture sets in. Rotten joists will sink or buckle and can cause very expensive structural repairs.
- Mold: mold growth flourishes in warm, damp environments. A humid crawlspace is the perfect breeding ground for mold and fungus. Many are allergens and some are toxic to people.
- Air quality: mold spores in the crawlspace will find their way into the main living area.
- Bugs: insects need moisture and flourish in very environments.
Main benefits of encapsulation are:
- Reducing humidity within the crawlspace
- Less hospitable for insects
- Prevent the chance for mold spores to grow and spread
- Reduce temperature changes around HVAC systems and reduce the likelihood of condensation which can cause damage to the unit
- Cleaner space
- Cleaner / healthier air in the home above
- Minimize humidity changes in the main living area that can damage trim or hardwood floors
Before we begin the job of encapsulating your crawlspace, we conduct a thorough evaluation of your unique situation to determine what exactly your home needs (vapor barrier, sump pump, exterior drainage, microbial growth removal, soil gas fan, et cetera). Once we are hired we take the following steps when cleaning out your crawlspace:
- The area is cleaned and prepped for the encapsulation process. If any contamination is present we will remove it before sealing the space.
- The crawlspace is completely air sealed.
- High performance vapor barriers are installed along the walls, columns and floor of your crawlspace. This is typically done with heavy, laminated plastic.
- A dehumidifier will generally be installed to ensure that the humidity levels are consistent and your crawlspace stays dry.
After the encapsulation project is completed, we offer annual service plans to help maintain your crawlspace vapor barrier system. This could be as simple as routine inspection and filter replacement up to data logging the humidity levels in the crawlspace 24/7 and alerting you in the event that the humidity reaches a level conducive to mold growth.
If you are fed up with crawlspace problems, call STOP Restoration of Winston Salem, NC to get your crawlspace encapsulated today! You can reach us at (336) 829-5345.