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Browsing Posts tagged crawlspace vapor barrier

A crawl space vapor barrier is a great addition to your home as it can help to solve moisture problems and other issues in your crawl space. A crawl space vapor barrier is, as the name suggests, a barrier that is applied to the crawl space in your basement. The barrier is made of a reinforced fiber membrane material that is applied to the crawl space walls with nylon fasteners. The area between the membrane sheets is secured thoroughly and ideally the membrane sheets should overlap each other by at least six inches before being secured. The membrane will then thoroughly cover the crawl space and prevent moisture from soil from entering into the home.

Crawl space vapor barriers can not only help solve water problems and other crawl space issues but they can also help to make your home more energy efficient by cutting down on the loss of heated and cooled air through the crawl space.

To learn more about the benefits of a crawl space vapor barrier or for an estimate regarding the cost of installing a vapor barrier in your home, contact StayDry today.

A crawlspace vapor barrier is a great way to keep your crawlspace from becoming a damp or wet area. The crawl space provides an important structural foundation for the house, but it is also susceptible to water damage due to its underground location and the closeness of the surrounding soil. A wet crawlspace can provide a home to mold, mildew, bacteria and insects, so investing in a crawlspace vapor barrier to keep it dry is often a very wise choice.

A crawlspace vapor barrier involves using a 21 Mil membrane that is reinforced with fiber to assure the membrane is strong and impenetrable by water and damp. A properly installed crawlspace vapor barrier will work to keep water out of your underground space for a very long time- in most cases, for life. Not only does the membrane help to keep the crawlspace dry, but it also helps you to minimize energy loss as well. With both increased energy efficiency and increased peace of mind that comes with a dry basement, it is no wonder that so many people turn to the experts at StayDry Waterproofing for help installing a crawlspace vapor barrier in their homes.

So you have finally decided to bite the bullet and encapsulate your crawlspace. Trust us when we say, you will not regret it. It’s a smart decision made by a savvy homeowner. You have realized that a home without a crawlspace vapor barrier is prone to:

  • Dirty, musty air
  • Insects and other pests drawn in by moisture
  • Mold and mildew
  • Structural damage

So now that you know you want a crawlspace vapor barrier, the question is: who is going to install it? Now at first you may be tempted to do the work yourself. After all, isn’t it just a tarp stapled to the sides of your crawlspace?

Please, do not make this mistake.

A crawlspace vapor barrier is much more than a simple tarp. And it requires much more care than simply stapling it in place. What you need is someone like Stay Dry Waterproofing to come in and make sure you have the right materials properly installed. Only then can you rest assured that your crawlspace vapor barrier will keep the moisture out.

A wet basement is a very frustrating thing to any homeowner. It means that your house is simply allowing water, usually from the ground, into your basement. It usually happens during heavy rains, when the ground is saturated the water seeps through cracks in the walls that are improperly sealed. But in can also happen when you least expect it. In bad cases, you will have several inches of standing water that takes days to subside. 

What can you do to remedy this problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again? Well, a sump pump is an extremely common fix for a wet basement. But it is not the cure-all. In many cases, you will need to fill cracks in poured concrete walls and maybe even install and interior or exterior drain system. 

We recommend that rather than trying to employ your own solution, you give us a call. Visit staydrywaterproofing.com for more information.

Once you have properly secured your home from the sources of humidity and moisture, building a crawl space vapor barrier is the next step that should be lingering on your mind.

A vapor barrier retards the movement of water vapor through a building element (that is to say; walls, ceilings, etc.) and prevents insulation and structural wood from becoming damp and metals from corroding. The crawlspace vapor barrier is made of a thick material that is resistant to tears, allowing it to hold up for quite some time.

Crawl space vapor barriers can help control moisture, which in turn will:

  • Keep insects such as cockroaches out of your crawl space and subsequently out of your home
  • Prevent mildew from growing in your crawl space
  • And more!

Effective moisture control in these areas and throughout a home includes air sealing gaps in the structure, as well as the use of a vapor barrier.

When installing a crawl space vapor barrier, it should be continuous and as close to perfect as possible, especially in very hot or very cold climates. Stay Dry Basement Waterproofing can provide information on how to correctly install and use vapor barriers. Find more information at staydrywaterproofing.com.

Living in a moist area such as Michigan, Indiana, or Ohio can spell disaster for the crawl space beneath your home. Failing to keep your crawl space dry and conditioned can eventually destroy your home and pose risks to your family’s health. While every home without a basement foundation can benefit from crawl space waterproofing, the following indicators demand your immediate attention.

  • Sagging floors- If you notice your floors randomly sagging, the cause might not be so random. Extended exposure to water can rot the wooden floor joists underneath your home. As a result, your floors will become uneven over time. Crawl space waterproofing can prevent moisture damage to your floor joists.
     
  • Musty odor in your home- Are you greeted with a stale stench upon entering your front door? That smell doesn’t just come out of thin air- it’s caused by moisture. As soon as you notice a damp or musty smell in your house, you need to find the source of the problem. When searching, don’t rule out the possibility that your crawl space could be the culprit. Due to a phenomenon called the stack effect, your home draws air up from your crawl space as part of the ongoing airflow. If you have a wet crawl space, your home is sucking up damp air, which can cause the musty odor.
     
  • Allergy problems- Do you find yourself sneezing often at home or rubbing your nose and eyes? This is probably due to allergies. If you have a damp crawl space under your home (and especially if you notice the musty smell inside), chances are you have mold growing. Because mold spores travel by air, the air being sucked up into your home is bound to carry minute particles of mold, not to mention other allergens. A home suffering from this problem may cause occupants to suffer from allergies while inside, but clear up when they leave the house for a few hours.  
     
  • High electricity bills- Rising electricity costs may indicate that your crawl space air is invading your home, causing your air conditioner or heater to run less efficiently. In this situation, homeowners traditionally point fingers at poor attic insulation and outdated single-paned windows. However, having established that your unsealed crawl space delivers air to the inside of your home, it’s logical to conclude that this may also lead to higher energy consumption. Crawl space waterproofing and conditioning will seal the walls and vents of your crawl space and will in turn cause your air conditioning or heating system to run more effectively. 
     
  • Insect invasion- Insects such as spiders, slugs and roaches thrive in humid areas, including under your home. These insects have a way of finding passage into your house where they wreak havoc. Before calling an exterminator, consider crawl space waterproofing and conditioning. Doing so might stop an insect invasion from below your home. 
     
  • Visual crawlspace damage- The primary indicators that you need crawl space repair are the visual signs beneath your home. Of course, this requires you getting on your hands and knees and venturing into the darkness of your crawl space. Once under your home, first look for standing water. If you find water, you likely have a problem. Next, look for any signs of wood rot. Also search for moldy spots and insect infestation. Any of these may signify your need for crawlspace repair. 

Whether you find any of the aforementioned symptoms or not, any home with a crawl space can benefit from crawl space waterproofing. By installing a crawl space vapor barrier, you insure a high quality of air in your home. Encapsulation also keeps your crawl space free from water and the damage it causes. Electronic humidity control systems also exist to regulate the level of moisture in the air beneath your home. 

If you notice any of the indicators listed above, or maybe you want to avoid them in the future, call a licensed crawl space repair contractor to inspect underneath your home. After a careful, free examination, they can provide you with a plan for your crawl space needs.

Why It’s Important

Everyone knows that water penetration will destroy your home. But did you know that water in your crawl space can also affect the inside of your home? Here’s a brief rundown of resulting problems:

  • The joists under your home may rot, resulting in sagging floors and eventual collapse.
  • The damp areas in your crawl space provide the perfect habitat for insects such as spiders and cockroaches, which inevitably enter your home.
  • The damp air negatively affects the air quality inside your home, causing your family to inhale dust, soil gases, and possibly mold spores.
  • Your family may develop allergy and other respiratory problems from breathing musty air.
  • The air intrusion from your crawl space causes your cooling and heating systems to work less efficiently, raising your monthly bills.

 While the above list only scratches the surface of what a damp crawl space can cause, it’s undeniable- a wet crawl space will only lead to trouble. Fortunately, crawl space waterproofing and conditioning can help mitigate all the potential risks.

What Not to Do

Traditionally, experts thought your crawl space needed to breathe. Therefore homes commonly came equipped with vents in the crawl space. However, contrary to popular belief and older building code recommendations, recent studies show this line of logic to be flawed. The fact is, vents allow humid and moist air to flow into your crawl space which first causes humidity fluctuation and then condensation on air ducts and floor joists. This can eventually create structural problems and also a number of air quality problems, including mold and mildew. Venting of the crawl space is now known to be very detrimental to solving a moisture problem.

The Stack Effect

The stack effect is the process of constant air circulation throughout your home. Basically, as hot air in your home rises, cool air rushes in through your crawl space vents. Your house then sucks the cool, damp air up inside through various cracks and crevices. Unfortunately, the air from your crawl space isn’t pure. Instead it’s likely packed with soil gases, dust, allergens, and maybe even mold. In order to prevent your family from breathing the impurities, you need to condition and control the humidity and moisture in your crawl space.

Crawl space Vapor Barrier

In order to properly condition your crawl space you need to have a professional install a crawl space vapor barrier (sometimes referred to as a vapor diffusion retarder) to encapsulate the area underneath your house. Using a thick, fiber-reinforced material, unlike the thin plastic Visqueen used very often, minimizes the amount of water vapor that finds its way into your home. However, the vapor barrier will not serve its purpose unless it is properly installed. Correct installation includes multiple strategically placed fasteners and overlapping seams to ensure that the crawl space is completely sealed off from the soil underneath. That said, it’s probably not a good idea to take crawl space vapor barrier installation on as your next do-it-yourself home improvement project.  

Electronic Humidity Control Systems

An electronic humidity control system can be installed to regulate the quality of air in your crawl space. It works by first expelling the damp air from underneath your home and then reclaiming the warm air that has risen into the upper levels. This warmer air gets repurposed to dry out your crawl space. The end result is a home that is dry from top to bottom, with clean, comfortable air that won’t put your family at risk.

Where to Begin- Free Inspection

It’s easy to get started. Simply find an experienced contractor with ample references to visit your home and give you a free inspection. Then you’ll know exactly what you need and how much it will cost. Don’t let dollar signs scare you off- a quality crawl space repair company offers convenient financing options, making it affordable for any budget. And don’t worry; finding the right contractor means you’ll never have to worry about your crawl space again because they offer warranties.

So don’t hesitate, call a professional for crawl space repair today.

Painting your bedroom, refinishing kitchen cabinets, planting a flower bed- these are a few home improvement projects you might consider taking on by yourself one weekend when you’re feeling productive. However, when it comes to something as important and involved as crawl space repair, you should consider finding a reputable contractor to do the hard work for you. Of course, the thought may cross your mind that you could save your hard earned cash by squeezing under your house and sealing it yourself. The following should convince you otherwise.

1.       You might miss bigger problems- If water has stood under your house for long periods of time, installing a crawl space vapor barrier might only mask the problem.  Before engaging in crawl space waterproofing, it’s important to inspect your crawl space for signs of damage. You may find that the water has rotted the joists that support your entire home, requiring you to replace some of them. Another serious problem you could overlook is mold. Mold spores love damp areas such as your crawl space. Crawl space waterproofing alone will not rid your crawl space of mold. Before installing a vapor barrier, proper drying and cleanup must occur. Luckily, a professional will crawl under your house and thoroughly examine the area before beginning your project.

2.       Proper Materials- A professional crawl space waterproofing company will have the proper materials and products to permanently seal, waterproof and condition your crawl space. Most do it yourself homeowners use thin plastic Visqueen to line the ground of their crawl space thinking that they are doing it right. Professional crawl space waterproofing companies now use thick 16 – 21 mil fiber reinforced vapor barriers to properly seal the crawl space floor and walls from the home above. These vapor barriers are held in place with heavy duty 4 inch nylon tape, glue and nylon fasteners. To properly waterproof a crawl space sometime a drain tile system is buried along the walls of a crawl space and a sump pump and crock is installed. Do you have all these materials to do the job right? 

3.       It’s difficult- Have you ever actually crawled under your home? With only a few feet of room to maneuver, you’re not exactly free to move around as you wish. With so little room to work, crawl space repair proves a difficult and time-consuming task especially when digging and installing a drain tile system. Besides the limited work space, it’s important to properly set up, seal and secure your crawl space vapor barrier so it doesn’t leak. And you certainly don’t want to accidentally tear your new vapor barrier along the way. Do you really want to take a chance on spending days getting a stiff neck under your house only to find out that you didn’t do it correctly and it is still wet?  

4.       You have no guarantee- Imagine this scenario: 5 or 6 years after you sealed your own crawl space, you notice your living room floor sagging in several spots. The problem continues to grow worse and finally you break down and bring in a contractor. Almost immediately, the contractor diagnoses your problem as rotten support beams caused by prolonged exposure to moisture. Maybe you sealed your crawl space correctly- maybe you didn’t. Maybe you failed to dry it properly before you closed it up, or maybe you failed to replace joists that were already rotting. At any rate, you’re now looking at tearing out all your hard work, and having someone rebuild your support system. Not to mention the interior floor work you’ll need to repair cracked wood or tile. Think this scenario doesn’t occur in real life? Think again. But if you hire a reputable crawl space repair company, you’ll get a warranty, typically for 25 years. Also that warranty is transferable to the new owner if you should ever sell the home. That means once you pay your contractor, you’re secure for the long-term that your crawl space will be moisture free and sealed tight.  

5.       It’s not that expensive- Maybe money is holding you back. Don’t let it. The right crawl space waterproofing company will surprise you with how inexpensive the job actually is. Of course you don’t want to hire the cheapest guy on the block because the quality of work will probably drop with the price, but you don’t have to spend your life savings either. And if you find you can’t come up with the money right away, never fear. Reasonable financing options exist that can spread out your payments over 6 – 12 months with no interest.

With so much at risk, don’t take such an important job into your own inexperienced hands. Call a professional for a free estimate today.

Water may quench your thirst and offer loads of summer fun, but it’s also your home’s biggest enemy. More specifically, water in your crawl space can harm you and your home in multiple ways. Luckily, you can avoid these problems with one phone call to a crawl space repair company. In case you still aren’t convinced, here are a few reasons to seriously consider crawl space waterproofing.

1)      Mold- Did you know that the air in your crawl space always finds its way into your living area? That means you and your family breathe your crawl space air on a daily basis. This poses a risk to your family’s health if you have water under your home. 

Damp areas in your crawl space offer ideal breeding grounds for mold. And if you have mold growing, then the mold spores traveling in the air are finding their way into your family’s lungs. These spores cause a wide array of health problems, from asthma to headaches. Hiring a professional for crawl space waterproofing offers the only long­-term solution to this moisture problem. 

2)      Pests- Mold isn’t the only unwanted guest your wet crawl space invites into your home. Pests such as spiders, slugs, and cockroaches thrive in wet, dark environments. Perhaps you’re okay with these pests occupying your crawl space, but you certainly don’t want them in your home. Unfortunately, similar to your crawl space air, the pests will eventually find their way into your house through vents and cracks.  You can hire an exterminator for pest control, but what you really need is moisture control. If you notice more insects than usual running around in your home, consider checking beneath your house. Crawl space repair might fix your problem and permanently rid you of your unwelcomed visitors. 

3)      Structural damage- It doesn’t take a professional to figure out that allowing water to sit under your home will inevitably lead to structural damage.  Eventually the moisture will soak your joists, causing them to rot- and rotten joists lead to soft, saggy floors. In extreme cases, rotten joists could even cause your floors to collapse. So you not only have a risk to your investment, but also a safety risk. 

Let’s not forget the pain of replacing rotten joists in your crawl space. That’s certainly not a job you will want to take on yourself, so you’ll have to hire a professional contractor. As a result, you’ll find yourself emptying your bank account to fix the effects of your moisture problem. After that you will still need to find someone to seal underneath your house with a crawl space vapor barrier. Why not avoid the moisture problems altogether by investing in crawl space waterproofing now?   

4)      Won’t pass inspection- When it’s time to sell your home, your potential buyer will hire a licensed home inspector to pick apart your home, searching for any potential problems. If you think the inspector isn’t going to examine your crawl space, think again. A competent home inspector will sound the alarm at the first sign of moisture underneath your home. He won’t stop until he can find evidence of water damage- be it a speck of mold or a patch of rotten wood. At this point, you can count on one of two things happening. Either you will lose your potential buyer due to failed inspection, or the buyer will demand you reduce your selling price to pay for crawl space repair.    

The message is a simple one: crawl space waterproofing will save you lots of trouble in the long run. By delaying, you guarantee that problems will brew under your home. The moisture won’t leave on its own. Why not search for a trustworthy crawl space repair expert today?

A crawl space is defined as a type of basement that is so shallow you cannot stand up. Specifically, it is the area between the ground and the floor of the structure above. It may or may not be sealed off from the outside by a cinder block wall or other framing; generally there is a perimeter wall for the sake of appearing more finished. The distinguishing feature, and the one that causes problems is that the floor of a crawl space is earth. 

Crawl space waterproofing presents unique problems within a residential home. In order to keep ground moisture vapor from rising up into the home and creating structural damage you must seal it off. Short of the very expensive solution of creating a finished basement beneath an existing house, how do you “seal” the ground while at the same time permitting it to serve as usable storage space? 

In the past, a layer of Visqueen (a trademarked brand of polyethylene sheeting) was simply placed over the earth to serve as the crawl space vapor barrier. This is effective in the short run, preventing water vapor from rising into the structure of the house to some degree. Inevitably though, it develops cracks and is dislodged due to foot traffic and item storage. Another method that was often utilized was to build vents into the crawl space walls. The thinking was that air circulation would force the moisture in the crawl space air to end up outside. Testing proved this to be wrong; in fact, lower humidity levels were achieved in a closed environment that had utilized proper crawl space repair techniques than one that was vented. Obviously, winter temperatures are also more easily controlled without the openings. 

Without question, much of the remedy is a floor and wall vapor barrier. Crawl space dynamics have resulted in fiber reinforced membrane materials that effectively contain soil moisture. If this membrane is installed properly, it will be attached to the walls with overlapping seams of at least six inches. Also, due to the “stack effect”, warm air in a home rises and then leaves through the upper walls and attic. The home then replaces that warm air with cooler air sucked up from the crawl space below, which penetrates from the earth and crawl space walls. So, sealing the walls in addition to the floor keeps the moisture and soil gases from entering the home in the first place. 

There are many other benefits to crawl space waterproofing. Moist air provides the perfect breeding environment for dust mites, roaches and spiders, not to mention molds and bacteria. Ultimately, larger vermin are also discouraged as they feed on the insects that in turn, feed on the mold and mildew. Your home is not the ideal place for the food chain to proliferate! 

Aside from the “ick” factor, the negative effects on the structure of the house can get expensive and dangerous. Flooring boards expand and buckle, rot permeates beams and joists, condensation occurs on insulation, water pipes and ductwork, humidity increases in living areas raising heating and air conditioning costs and electrical-mechanical systems deteriorate. All of this decreases the value of the home. 

If your crawl space is not presently sealed, contact a fully insured and licensed foundation waterproofing and repair company. The best ones will generally come out to the house and perform a free inspection and prepare an estimate for the repairs.