We have been working with homeowners for several years now and helping them with various problems around the home. Crawlspaces have always been an issue. It seems we’re in them with most of our water losses and more often than not we find mold growing around the water damage and in other areas as well.
We have cleaned several crawlspaces and I’ve always wanted to find a permanent solution to the moisture that’s causing the mold growth. I’ve done some research on the subject and have come to the conclusion that the best solution for our part of the country is encapsulation.
There are lots of alternate options with pros and cons but overall, an encapsulated space with adequate dehumidification is the best option. We live in a climate that is naturally fairly humid and open crawlspaces allow too much moisture to get inside.
Whenever there are ducts running through the crawlspace there will be condensation and high relative humidity. It’s a function of the dew points of the air in the crawlspace vs. the air that comes in from outside. Once inside, the hot humid air often cools in the crawlspace and reaches saturation (dew point). This is where you may see sweating on ducts, or even small drip lines below them on the ground or vapor barrier.
The other issue that happens is the moisture in the outside air disperses throughout the crawlspace and because the temperature of the crawlspace is generally lower than outside (in the summer) the relative humidity (RH) increases. If the RH is above 60% for very long, mold will begin to grow on wood and possibly on other porous materials.
Controlling moisture is the only way to prevent this from happening. That’s why we look at all the areas of the home. We check the grade of the lot, downspouts and signs of moisture penetration. Sometimes we have to install a sump pump or French drain system, sometimes there’s nothing additional that needs done. Once bulk water issues are corrected, then encapsulation with a high performance vapor barrier can be effective. We’re pretty good but no matter how good any company claims to be with encapsulation, you’ll also need a high quality dehumidifier to remove the extra water vapor that will get into the space.
When you’re ready to talk about how we can help just give us a call at (336) 203-0739.