The Gaines Group

Is your crawl space working properly?

Is your crawl space working properly?

Is your crawl space working properly? In our area the crawl space is popular and a popular place for problems. From critters to wet insulation these spaces are almost never right. Here are some posts that might help you get your crawl space in order.

Your crawl space is impacting your home comfort.

Frozen pipes in your crawl space is a problem, but pipes that did not freeze might be a bigger problem.

Keep the critters out of your crawl space by encapsulating it.

Green term defined: Encapsulated Crawl Space.

Should you vent your crawl space?

Crawl Space moisture problems

 

 

Your crawl space is impacting your home comfort.

Your crawl space is impacting your home comfort.

If your crawl space looks like this

vented crawl space vented crawl space vented crawl space

or this

DSC05039

your indoor air quality is suffering. You are also paying too much to heat and cool your home. A vented crawl space usually has insulation located in the joist spaces. This insulation gets pulled away from the heated surface by moisture in the crawl space opening up air gaps and reducing any insulation value at all. The space usually has high humidity levels promoting mold growth. The heating and cooling vents running in that space usually has minimal insulation allowing for condensation to occur in the ductwork, again impacting indoor air quality and efficiency of the HVAC system.

Instead of a vented crawl space in our mixed humid climate, you should have a conditioned crawl space – like this one. This is a properly insulated and sealed crawl space.

DSC07760Triple C Camp - NEST Rebuild, 2010 encapsulated crawl

Should you vent your crawl space?

IMG_0729

If your home has a crawl space with plastic laying loosely on the floor and insulation above your head inside the floor joists – you are wasting energy, have poor indoor-air-quality, and could be growing mold.

In our mixed-humid climate, we should seal and condition our crawl spaces. There should not be insulation inside of the floor joist, but should be on the walls and on the floor if possible. There should be a small supply from your heating and cooling system to create positive pressure. These strategies reduce your annual energy use, protect your indoor-air-quality pushing moisture and radon out, and protects against critters getting into your home.

encapsulated crawlTriple C Camp - NEST Rebuild, 2010

Crawl Space moisture problems

I am helping this home owner fix a problem left for them by the previous owners of a newly purchased home. In our mixed humid climate, crawl spaces should not be vented, but it has been done for years by builders that do not understand building science. This home had the added feature of a fan pulling in warm moist air into a cool crawl space. What you can see in this picture below is water pulling the insulation apart as it actually is raining in the crawl space from moisture condensing on the cool surfaces. While not every vented crawl space is wet, almost all have enough moisture to allow for mold growth. A vented crawl space in a home with a forced air HVAC system usually pulls the make up ‘fresh’ air from that crawl space into your living space. Do you know if your indoor air quality is healthy? Based on my experience, if your attic or crawl space is vented, you probably could improve your living environment through some simple steps.

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