The crawl space is one of the most avoided areas in a home by owners. However, the crawl space is highly susceptible to moisture, and combating the humidity is one of the most significant challenges an owner faces. It is recommended that homeowners regularly check the crawl space like they maintain the remainder of the home.
Controlling moisture can be a difficult task. Moisture problems arise due to rainfall, damaged roof, faulty drainage, and vapor formed due to soil exposure trapped in the crawl space. Moisture presence in the crawl space can cause severe issues if not cured in a timely manner. A crawl space vapor barrier installation will solve the moisture issue in your crawl space and maintain the structural integrity of your home.
Problems Caused Due to the Presence of Moisture in the Crawl Space:
Moisture remains one of the biggest foes of the structure of the home. It gives way to potential issues like damage to the foundation structure, spoils the house’s air quality, and decays the lumber and other materials. Since the crawl space makes contact directly with the ground, moisture is high here. Unfortunately, the owners fail to see the damages caused by the humidity.
MOLD AND MILDEW
Molds, mildew, and fungi are some of the common issues caused by moisture. Getting rid of the matter is complex, and also the remedies to cure the problems are expensive. The molds and mildew grow in the crawl space because of limited light and ventilation.
ROTS, RODENTS, AND OTHER VERMIN
A few of the house’s structural elements, like beams, sills, posts, etc., are made of wooden material. Since it is an organic material, the wood will rot when it comes in contact with water. As a result, pests like ants, rats, mice, snakes, etc., are drawn to water. These pests are responsible for infesting your home.
How Crawl Space Vapor Barriers Work
Vapor barrier installation will help control the crawl space moisture. The crawl space vapor barrier installation is a straightforward and inexpensive process. The process involves using a plastic vapor barrier on the crawl space floor, which reduces the humidity caused by the wet soil in the surrounding area.
According to waterproofing experts at HydroHelp911, in Hickory, NC, the vapor barrier installation in the crawl space will help offer remedies only when there is a vapor creation due to the wet soil around the basement. When water is found pooling from different sources, the installation of vapor barriers do not offer much support.
Water pooling can happen from two sources:
Rainwater runoff and high-water tables can cause the water to pool in the crawl space and basements. Under this circumstance, you may contact a waterproofing company to solve the water pooling issue in the house.
Leaky and faulty pipes are also responsible for the water pooling in the basement. Therefore, before installing the vapor barrier, the leaky pipes or drain must be fixed so that the water does not pool or flood in the basement.
Crawl space vapor barrier installation by experts will control the humidity of the crawl space, which will work to prevent the ongoing problems caused due to the presence of moisture in the room. Installing the vapor barrier is not an expensive task, but it requires a lot of hard work.
Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Installation Steps
LOCATE THE CRAWL SPACE ENTRANCE
The entrance to the crawl space is not always easily noticeable. The entry can sometimes be from inside the house, like a pantry, closet, or any other interior area; Or it may be from outside of the home, along the exterior perimeter of the crawl space.
DRY THE CRAWL SPACE
Before the installation of a vapor barrier in the crawl space, the area needs to dry out. The space is dried by using a dehumidifier, setting up vents or fans, removing wet material present in the room, and discharging the dripping water with the help of a pump.
CLEAN AND LEVEL THE CRAWL SPACE
After completing the construction, the workers leave behind all the waste and debris in the crawl space. Next, the crawl space encapsulation team will clean up the area and eliminate all the trash in the room. After the space is cleaned, the team will level up the ground to an even level. Any objects on the ground that could puncture or threaten the integrity of the plastic barrier should be removed.
ROLL OUT AND CUT THE PLASTIC BARRIER SHEETS
Starting from one side of the crawl space area, roll out the polyethylene sheet, a barrier over the entire crawl space. Attach the sheets to one another with PVC tapes.
ATTACH THE PLASTIC SHEETS TO THE WALLS AND PIERS
Seal all the gaps and cracks in the room from the exterior and interior side to ensure full barrier support. Extend sheets on the wall around the perimeter of the crawl space at least at the height of 6 inches.
Schedule a Free Inspection Today
Contact us today to schedule a free crawl space inspection! Give us a call at 704-741-9737.
Frequently Asked Questions:
DO I NEED AN EXHAUST FAN IN THE CRAWL SPACE?
We usually do not recommend installing the exhaust fan in the beginning. Installing an exhaust fan every time won’t always help you. The exhaust fans will be helpful in homes where there is a constant odor in the room. Otherwise, installing an exhaust fan will be useless.
DOES A MUSTY ODOR INDICATE DAMAGES IN THE CRAWL SPACE?
The moisture present in the crawl space can decay the wooden material and the walls’ structure and provide ideal conditions for the growth of fungus, molds, and other types of bacteria. Due to this, the decaying and rotting of material creates musty or different types of unpleasant odors in the room. So, a stale scent or any unpleasant smell in the crawl space may indicate damages in the area.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE OLD VAPOR BARRIER AFTER INSTALLING A NEW ONE?
After installing a vapor barrier in the crawl space, our waterproofing expert team recommends leaving the old vapor barrier in place, and the new vapor barrier will be installed over top. This is recommended because the old barrier will add an extra layer of protection overall, in addition to protecting the new barrier and help it from getting dirty during the installation. However, if the owner wants the old one to be removed, the team will remove it.
WHY IS A STRONG ODOR COMING FROM MY CRAWL SPACE AFTER SEALING IT?
When the crawl space is sealed, the microbes present in the room die and start decaying under the vapor barrier. It creates an odor, and the smell begins spreading in the crawl space. The unpleasant odor can either be temporary or will continue for a longer time. In such cases, our waterproofing experts recommend the installation of exhaust fans to throw the smell out.
WHY IS A STRONG ODOR COMING FROM MY CRAWL SPACE AFTER SEALING IT?
Advantages of installing a vapor barrier in crawl space is:
- Controlled room temperature
- Control in moisture level
- Prevention of mold, mildews, or any other types of bacteria
- Protection of crawl space pipes
- Energy-saving benefits