Case Studies: Burlington, NC – Nasty Crawl Space Transformation

Friday, March 4th, 2016 By Jaimie Hooker


The crawl space under this Burlington, NC home would become waterlogged after the slightest amount of precipitation. Due to the failing exterior drainage system that was installed when the home was built, the homeowner’s didn’t know when the problem had begun. The crawl space was so large in size, the homeowner’s lined the crawl space with (3) three separate 6mil vapor barriers and installed a crawl space fan to help control moisture. Unfortunately, the resolution was not a success. The open vents were allowing humidity to become sucked into the crawl space while the groundwater problem was causing the thin, plastic liners to deteriorate. After multiple attempts of fixing the problem themselves, the homeowner’s reached out to Tar Heel Basement Systems.


System Design Specialist, Geoff Keller, analyzed multiple problems the homeowners were dealing with in the space below their home. The water intrusion had taken over the majority of the area, preventing the homeowners from using the crawl space as extra storage. Geoff designed a solution that would correct all of the problems the homeowners were experiencing and allow them to take back their storage space without their belongings becoming ruined.

The Crawl Space team began the transformation by removing the wet 6mil vapor barriers and started the first step of creating a conditioned crawl space. In order to fix the groundwater leakage, the CrawlDrain drainage system was installed. CrawlDrain is engineered specifically to work in dirt environments, the drainage system is installed along a trench on the interior of the crawl space. When heavy rains occur, the water is collected through the footing/wall joint into the CrawlDrain system and released into the SafeDri sump pump. The water is then safely pumped out of the crawl space and away from the home through a secure discharge line.

Once the groundwater problem was addressed and fixed, the team was ready to isolate the home from the exposed dirt below by installing the CrawlSeal Encapsulation System throughout the entire crawl space. The previous vapor barriers were failing at keeping moisture from reaching the fiberglass insulation in the floor system of the home. The CrawlSeal 20mil crawl space liner was installed along the crawl space floor, walls and piers to ensure the crawl space was completely sealed off from the dirt floor below. The antimicrobial properties and polyester cord reinforcement in the CrawlSeal liner prevent the liner from becoming affected by mold, mildew or moisture.

Now that the moisture from the earth was addressed and properly fixed, the team began preventing outside air from entering the crawl space by removing the crawl space vent fan. Each vent was sealed with X-Grade Crawl Space Insulation panels. Tiny graphite particles in the foam insulation give off a silver glow allowing for heat to be reflected back into the crawl space instead of water vapor and humidity. X-Grade Crawl Space Insulation is made of inorganic materials that will not deteriorate if exposed to moisture.

Keeping the crawl space air dry was the last step in the dramatic transformation. In order for the homeowners to store their belongings in the crawl space, humidity levels had to remain below 55% to ensure mold would not grow. The Aprilaire self-draining dehumidifier was installed to condition the crawl space air and prevent mold growth.

This Burlington, NC crawl space has received a healthy transformation for years to come and the homeowners couldn’t be happier thanks to the dedicated team at Tar Heel Basement Systems!

Project Summary

Installing Contractor: Tar Heel Basement Systems

System Design Specialist: Geoff Keller

Products Installed: CrawlDrain, SafeDri sump pump, CrawlSeal Encapsulation System, Aprilaire dehumifidier, FreezeGuard, LawnSpace outlet

About the author
Jaimie Hooker is the Assistant Marketing Director at Tar Heel Basement Systems; authoring case studies, technical papers, creating and captioning photo albums and managing website content. She also oversees the organization of video testimonials, shows and events, Jaimie lives in the small town of Madison, NC with her husband, Paul, and 3 year old son, Franklin.