Recently I got a call to a water damage event due to a frozen pipe. The flooded area was a crawl space under the house. Now, I’ve worked in crawl spaces before. Normally they have dirt floors and very little head room. They are very uncomfortable and can be dangerous if the right safety precautions are not taken. This was not that type of crawl space. It was the Cadillac of crawl spaces. It was clean with four feet of headroom and had very few contents cluttering up the area.

The homeowner had a vapor barrier installed. This vapor barrier system was a white vinyl membrane with foil backing to keep moisture out of the space. It was stapled and taped to create a clean dry space, and a small dehumidifier integrated with the HVAC system was working to dry any moisture in the air. That was, until a pipe burst flooding the space.

The extraction process was very straight forward, and with two people it was painless (or so we thought). Next, we removed the vinyl barrier from the water damaged areas and set up our air movers. We moved our dehumidifier into position above the access hatch ready to lower it in. However, we quickly discovered the dehumidifier was too large. It had to stay on the main level.

Not a problem. We added ducting to the exhaust of the dehumidifier and pumped dry warm air down into the space. We also positioned an air mover to blow the wet air up through the hatch. This process worked well and within 2 days the structure was dry. Within a week of the water damage, the crawl space was dry, safe, mold free, and restored to its original condition.

The most challenging part (from my point of view) was having to duck walk during the extraction process for two hours. My legs really felt it the next day. The highlight was helping a homeowner resolve a problem quickly and efficiently. The most satisfying part of my job is helping homeowner’s and restoring their most important possession, their home.