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Here are some common questions we encounter about moisture under your home and crawlspace work:
Why are my hardwood floors cupping?
How does a “dry” crawl space have a moisture issue?
Why is my crawl space dry when I go in it myself?
Well let’s answer that question with a question. Do you, like most people, only go in your crawl space when it’s nice, cool and dry outside? If so, you probably won’t be observing a seasonal moisture issue. Seasonal moisture occurs during the warmer months and is rarely seen (unless severe) from November to April.
Will adding foundation vents or fans help my moisture problem?
When should I open and close my vents?
This is a very common question and the unfortunate truth is there isn’t one hard and fast answer. There are a lot of strong opinions between home inspectors and county officials about when to open and close vents, which are usually given over the phone without seeing your home. The truth is every house is different. The studies on foundation vents were done a long time ago in an arid climate where it made sense to open and close them during certain times of the year. This science is not only irrelevant in a humid climate, but the theory itself in most cases is outdated. You may have a home that “breathes” easily and if it is working for you, don’t change it. Most homeowners do not benefit from having ventilation. But don’t take our word for it, ask advancedenergy.org.
Why would I need a dehumidifier?
If you have a crawl space that is full of humidity, you are in need of a dehumidifier. Condensation dripping from insulation, air ducts, floor systems and utility conduits, fungal growth and rusting of metal components under homes are all reasons for installing a dehumidifier. A wood moisture content reading above 19% is also cause for a dehumidifier. To know for sure if you need a dehumidifier, we need to see your home first hand. We will be happy to show you via video exactly what is going on under your home.
Should I buy a dehumidifier from a hardware store?
Can I sell my house without a dehumidifier?
What is the difference between a sealed or conditioned crawlspace and an encapsulation?
A sealed or conditioned crawlspace is a crawlspace that has a 100% ground cover vapor barrier only, the foundation vents and small openings sealed off and a dehumidifier installed. This installation will correct 95% of crawlspace humidity problems. An encapsulated crawlspace (a more thorough process) is where the vapor barrier runs up and is secured to the foundation walls and the support pillars. The liner is then taped at the seams throughout the crawl space to create a seamless barrier on the ground and up the support piers. A dehumidifier is then installed and either a sump pump or zero-to-daylight gravity drain must also be installed to meet code. There are varying approaches and workmanship qualities to this installation but a real encapsulation job does not only use tape or caulk to secure a vapor barrier to any wall. Instead the vapor barrier is secured to the wall with nails or screws and sometimes a bead of caulk to block out moisture. This installation usually takes close to a week to complete if it is done correctly.
Should I fully encapsulate my crawlspace?
The answer to this question truly depends on what is going on at your specific house.Iif there is a significant amount of standing water, high humidity and moisture wicking through the foundation, then you may need a full encapsulation. In addition to controlling the moisture, energy saving are also a huge bonus to this type of installation.
What will conditioning my crawl space do or fix?
What is the cost of conditioning my crawlspace?
What happens if I don’t fix the moisture problem in my crawlspace?
How long will the installation last?
The materials may last anywhere from 10 to 30 years or more for vapor barriers depending on the material used and the conditions of your crawlspace. Dehumidifiers can last a very long time if they are properly maintained. A dehumidifier that does not get serviced as required will probably not last as long compared to one that is serviced. Circumstances outside of our control can always negatively affect the lifespan of an install. However, with our lifetime warranty, there is no limit to the life of your conditioned crawlspace.
What is the warranty on your services?
Will a vapor barrier alone fix my moisture problem?
Possibly. Like we’ve said before. Every house is different. The solution to your home may be as simple as installing a vapor barrier. We are in the business of providing solutions, so if a vapor barrier is all you need that’s all you get! That’s all you get. Sometimes, it can be better to try a vapor barrier first and see if it works. In other cases, usually where the air unit is under the home, a vapor barrier alone will not be the answer.