Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 by Brad Wazlavek
There are several things that you will need to know if you want your crawlspace dry and clean. DryZone has simplified the process into four easy to understand steps.
Step 1: Get rid of the standing water
Standing water is harmful for many reasons. It creates a breeding ground for mold and insects by raising the humidity. Many times the HVAC and well pump are located under the house, water will rust the metal and damage any electronics in these kinds of machines. The way to get the water out is through a system of pipes and pumps. DryZone recommends that every 100 lineal feet of drainage pipe has a sump pump. That way the water farther away from the pump still has enough force to reach the sump.
Step 2: Isolate the home from the wet ground
Even if you think your crawlspace is dry, the dirt below the surface is always moist. After all, rain water doesn’t just disappear when it hits the ground. The moist earth will seep water vapor into the air. This will ruin fiberglass insulation and can lead to wood rot and mold. The best way to isolate the ground from the house is to install a quality vapor barrier, such as CleanSpace. CleanSpace is super thick and durable so you won’t need to worry about tears. It is hands down the best way encapsulate your crawlspace.
Step 3: Seal off the outside air leaks
Major air leaks like an old metal crawlspace door or leaky foundation vents are an excellent way for humid air to penetrate your crawlspace. The old way of doing things was to open the vents in the summer to let warm air circulate. The problem is that warm summer air is often times very humid. Leaving the vents open is no different than blowing humid air into your crawlspace for several months in a row. The best way to stop these leaks is to block and seal the foundation vents. Wet air cannot ruin your crawlspace if it has no way to get in. The doorway is another problem and can be solved with either an Everlast crawlspace door or a Turtl. The Turtl is a fantastic way to seal off both humid air and rain water.
Step 4: Dry the existing air
The crawlspace can never be sealed 100%, so you will need to address the issue of the existing air and the small unseen leaks. DryZone uses several air systems to achieve the level of dry air that every home needs. The best of the machines is called a SaniDry CX. It dries the air, sucks out small particles like mold, and then circulates the dry air with a massive fan. It does all of this with less electricity use than any other machine of its type.
It should be noted that steps 3 & 4 are best done at the same time. The reason behind this principle is that sealing off the vents will not only keep the outside air away, but also won’t let the existing humid air out. If you don’t dry the air immediately after sealing the vents and upgrading the door you could end up with a greenhouse under your home. Keep that in mind when the inspector comes out for your free estimate.