Don’t put up with a damp, nasty crawl space! These conditions can cause mold to grow and wood to rot, resulting in structural damage as well as harmful airborne mold spores.
Basement Waterproofing Solutions has pioneered the field of crawl space repair and encapsulation. We’ve developed the specialized products and industry-leading training programs to transform any “problem” crawl space into a clean, dry foundation that’s an asset rather than a liability.
A crawl space is a type of basement in which one cannot stand up — the height may be as little as one foot, and the surface is often soil. They offer a convenient access to pipes, substructures and a variety of other areas that may be difficult or expensive to access otherwise. While a crawl space cannot be used as living space, it can be used as storage, often for infrequently used items. Care must be taken in doing so, however, as water from the damp ground, water vapor (entering from crawl space vents), and moisture seeping through porous concrete can create a perfect environment for mold/mildew to form on any surface in the crawl space, especially cardboard boxes, wood floors and surfaces, drywall and some types of insulation.
Health and safety issues must be considered when installing a crawl space in the Northeast. As air warms in a home, it rises and leaves through the upper regions of the house, much in the same way that air moves through a chimney. This phenomenon, called the “stack effect,” causes the home to suck air up from the crawl space into the main area of the home. Mold spores, decomposition odors, and fecal material from dust mites in the crawl space can come up with the air, aggravating breathing problems (such as asthma) and creating a variety of health-related problems.
On the East Coast, it is best to finish a crawl space with a plastic vapor barrier that will not support mold growth or allow humidity from the earth into the crawl space. This helps insulate the crawl space and discourages the habitation of insects and vermin by breaking the ecological chain in which insects feed off the mold and vermin feed on the insects, as well as creating a physical inorganic barrier that deters entrance into the space. Vapor barriers can end at the wall or be run up the wall and fastened to provide even more protection against moisture infiltration.
Condensation and Air Circulation in Your Basement
For many years it was thought best to introduce fresh outdoor air into your basement or crawl. But not all outdoor air is healthy for your home or basement. When air with high humidity levels are introduced into your basement or crawl, the higher humidity stalls in the cooler areas and sometimes can cause basement walls to condensate (just like a cold glass of water on your table in summer months). If elevated humidity levels are present for an extended period of time, they can create musky odors and eventually mold will grow. Sometimes condensation can run down the walls and pool up on the slab. This type of activity should not be confused with a leaking foundation and can be remedied with a quality dehumidifier and making sure all basement windows and doors remain closed during extreme humid weather. In the perfect world, you would open all basement windows as the exteriors humidity dips below 45% and close them up every evening and every day the humidity rised above 50%. Most of us are too busy with our lives to be plagued with this daily routine. Not to mention if your home is built on a crawl, climbing in through a hatchway to perform this task is even more of a burden. If you live in a basement or have a basement apartment, opening and closing widows becomes a daily routine as it would if you resided on the upper level of your home.
High humidity is more of an issue in summer months. Most homes with forced hot air heating systems have humidifiers installed to introduce additional humidity into the home during winter months.
Basement Waterproofing Solution installs quality dehumidification units that are specifically designed for basements and crawls. These unites are much more efficient than traditional store purchased unites, can run in much cooler temperatures and provide years of service.
Make sure prior to turning your dehumidifier on all exterior doors and windows are closed.
Crawl/Basement Complete Encapsulation
Basement Waterproofing Solution has transformed many basements and crawls with a complete encapsulation system.
We have converted areas with dripping condensation from ceiling to floor into comfortable living space.
Santa Fe Dehumidifiers
Studies have shown that as much as 50% of the air in your home comes up from your basement or crawlspace. This air is often higher in moisture content and carries with it various allergens and musty odors. When conditions linger above 60% relative humidity for extended periods of time, mold, mildew, and bacteria growth is stimulated.
The American Lung Association, American Medical Association, and the EPA recommend maintaining relative humidity levels in the 30% – 50% range. Ventilation and air conditioning alone cannot provide the protection offered by a high capacity dehumidifier like the Santa Fe Dehumidifier. Protecting your family and your biggest investment is worth the best.
Consequences of High Humidity
- The ground in a crawlspace or under the basement slab remains at a near constant temperature of 50-60ºF year round. These cool surface temperatures create micro-environments where the relative humidity of the air approaches its saturation point (100%RH) and condensation (or sweating) can occur. These conditions support mold/microbial growth and cause musty odors.
- Crawlspaces and basements are a major source of air infiltration that permeates up into the living area, transmitting odors, carrying moisture, and creating an environment conducive to molds, pests, and dust mite infestation.
Wet crawlspaces and basements contribute to the cupping of wood floors and the deterioration of floor joists, beams, sub-flooring, insulation, and electrical-mechanical systems.
- Excess moisture encourages mold growth on wood and on any other organic material in a crawlspaces.
If you are interested for information on how to keep a healthy environment in your home and basement please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Staten Island 718-761-3698 / Central NJ 732-721-4900
Southern NJ 609-918-1100 / Northern NJ 973-577-8588