Check here peridocially for news and information related to sealed crawlspaces in North Carolina.
If you have a new house-congratulations. If you have a new house with a sealed crawlspace-even better. I often work with builders that have installed sealed crawlspaces in new homes and an odor is now present in the house. It is not uncommon for odors associated with construction to come from a sealed crawlspace. These can just be off-gassing from the glue and insulation board. The worst smell will emanate from TJI or engineered floor trusses. These are held together with wood glue and will off-gas for weeks, if not months after they are installed. As the house acclimates to you and your HVAC usage, the smell will dissipate. Usually airing out the sealed crawlspace with a fan for a few days will reduce the odor. In some extreme cases, the crawlspace may have to be switched from a supplied air to a dehumidifier to lessen the smell in the house. Please call RCS if you think the odor in your new sealed crawlspace is not what it should be. RCS can inspect the crawlspace and prepare solutions for you.
There is a debate about the benefits of a dehumidifier in a sealed crawlspace. The traditional way of providing humidity control in a sealed crawlspace is with supplied air from your HVAC system. In fact, that is the current building code. However, there is growing evidence that a correctly sized dehumidifier is better at regulating the humidity in the crawlspace. For example, if you go out of town for a weeks vacation, the chances are you have set your thermostat at a higher temperature than normal. That means the HVAC is not running which causes the humidity in the crawlspace to become elevated. A better choice would be to install a proper dehumidifier with a humidity gauge to regulate the humidity. With a dehumidifier in the crawlspace, you do not have to worry about running the HVAC to regulate the crawlspace.
RCS often gets asked if we repair wood rot. While not part of our daily activities, we have replaced rotted beams, seals, joists, and posts. RCS can repair/replace any rot discovered on the remediation job. If RCS finds rot, rest assured we can repair it at a reasonable rate.
This time of year, we get daily calls for moisture in the crawlspace that is caused by sweating ducts. Unless you have a sealed crawlspace, you should expect sweaty ducts this time of year. Even a confluent vapor barrier may not help, If the sweating is throughout the crawlspace, you may need to try a sealed crawlspace or at least a semi-sealed with a dehumidifier. However, if just the distribution box has condensation, we can insulate the box and reduce the condensation. RCS does not try and up-sell, we will find the best solution for you.
Most homeowners have at least a yearly termite inspection. While this is something we all should have done, I have noticed a trend with these inspections. Many people call after a termite inspection because the inspector has told them the crawlspace is to damp. While it is true that a wet crawlspace will draw termites, most of the time I believe the report of a wet crawlspace is an up sell by the termite company to get more work. Typically, they want you to install a vapor barrier and a dehumidifier. Most of the time they do not even close the vents. How well is that dehu you just paid $$$ working if it is dehumidifying the outside air? For the prices I see quoted by the termite companies, you could install a sealed crawlspace and never have to worry about moisture again. If you think you need a second opinion about moisture in your crawlspace, call RCS for a non obligation quote.
Many of the new homes built today have wood flooring installed on the first floor. Due to the rapidity of new construction, wood flooring sometimes does not have enough time to properly acclimate. If there is excess humidity in the crawlspace, the floors can cup. Cupping is where the ends of the plank are raised relative to the middle of the plank- making a u- shape. You can eliminate the cupping by controlling moisture in the house. The simplest way to ensure continued enjoyment of your hardwoods is to have the crawlspace sealed. Removing the excess moisture found in the crawlspace will reduce the cupping of the floors. Call today for a quote.
If a sealed crawlspace is not for you, maybe a good vapor barrier should be in your future. Current building code requires a vapor barrier. The vapor barrier should be 6mil. Please note this measurement is mil not millimeter. A 6mm vapor barrier would be about 1/4 inch thick. A good confluent vapor barrier will go a long way in controlling moisture in the crawlspace. RCS installs the vapor barrier wall to wall with overlaps. Call RCS today for a quote on vapor barriers. We have some of the most competitive prices around for vapor barriers.
There are several products in the big box store shelves that claim they will stop mold growth. If you are really interested in stopping future mold growth, the only way to really do it is to stop the moisture. No matter how much chemical you add to your crawlspace, unless the moisture is controlled, the mold has a chance to grow. The best way to control moisture is a a sealed crawlspace. The simple axiom is NO MOISTURE, NO MOLD. Call today for a free quote on a sealed crawlspace.
We often get asked if we use foam insulation. The simple answer is no. The reason we do not use foam insulation is that it will hold liquid water. Several times, we have inspected houses with foam insulation in the walls or cavities with extensive water and mold damage. The worst example I have recently seen was a house that had a wine cellar in the finished basement, The wine cellar was enclosed with foam insulation. The bathroom above had a small leak in the fitting where the pipe went to the toilet. The water dripped onto the foam insulation below and stayed there as a liquid for months. If there had been traditional fiberglass insulation in the ceiling of the wine cellar, a spot would have appeared on the ceiling and the leak would have been discovered quickly. Since it had foam insulation holding the water above the ceiling, the drywall never even got wet. The damage was discovered after the sub floor, which had been sitting on the standing water, started to sag. Now the flooring has to be replaced, the framing redone, and all the hardwoods on the first floor will have to be re-sanded. Without the foam holding the water, the repair would have been a minor patch job. Now the repair will be more than $30,0000.00. Be wary of foam insulation.
The answer may be no. If there is no history of major water intrusion in your crawlspace, why would you pay hundreds of extra dollars for a sum pump. All you are doing is adding another mechanical system plus electrical to solve a problem you don’t have. The truth is that almost all crawlspace will have a drian on the low end. This is called a positive drain. The sealed crawlspace can connect to this existing drain. Any water under the barrier will still flow into the existing drain. Any water that may enter the sealed crawlspace from a plumbing leak will also go into the drain.
We at RCS take pride in working with our customers to provide honest and cost effective solutions.