Case Studies: Madison, NC- Saturated Crawl Space Now Dry and Conditioned

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 By Jaimie Hooker


Damp, nasty and unpleasant described the typical sights of this Madison, NC crawl space. The homeowners bought the previously constructed home with a basement and dirt floor crawl space next to one another with no wall separating the two. Both areas filled with humidity, mold, and an unwelcoming musty smell. However, the crawl space was suffering far worse than the basement. Being the main culprit of moisture intrusion and vents allowing the water vapor to enter the space, their belongings stored in the crawl space become constantly ruined by intruding water and mildew.

After several attempts at fixing the crawl space problems themselves, resulting in little to no success, the homeowners reached out for professional help and guidance. Several companies came out to check the problem, but only one could offer a lasting solution to their ever-growing problem.


System Design Specialist, Ryan Arnett, conducted a thorough inspection of the homeowners concerns regarding their crawl space. Noticing the open vents and moisture intrusion were not only negatively affecting the space below the home, but the long-term exposure to the humidity was now affecting the living area of the home as well. Ryan proposed a solution that would eradicate the intruding water, humidity, mold and allow the homeowners to have their belongings safely stored under their home again. 

Tar Heel Basement Systems began creating a healthy crawl space by eliminating the intruding water problem. Fixing the ground water leakage was of the most importance for the homeowners. A shallow trench was dug along the interior perimeter and the CrawlDrain drainage system was installed. CrawlDrain’s custom design allows intruding water to be accepted and drained into the SafeDri Triple Sump Pump System. Due to the amount of water intruding into the crawl space, the homeowners needed a reliable sump pump to keep water out, permanently. The SafeDri sump pump system is fully equipped with two Zoeller pumps to pump water out of the crawl space and away from the home. A third pump was installed as a battery operated back-up to make sure the crawl space would stay dry during a power outage. 

Now that the ground water problem had been corrected, the team focused on isolating the crawl space from the home above. The main goal was to not only cover the exposed dirt but also to prevent water vapor from the earth to flow throughout the crawl space. In order to make this goal a reality, the team installed the 20mil CrawlSeal Encapsulation System. CrawlSeal is extremely durable, being as thick as a pool liner and made of antimicrobial liners, preventing mold and mildew from becoming present. Each pier was wrapped along with the entire interior perimeter to ensure moisture could not reach the home above.

With two of the four major problems being corrected, the team began sealing off outside air leaks. All five vents that were allowing humidity to flow into the crawl space were sealed using the X-Grade Crawl Space Insulation panels. Unlike fiberglass insulation, X-Grade Crawl Space Insulation is made of inorganic material and will never harvest mold spores. Sealing each vent allows the crawl space to have an airtight seal.

The last step was to condition the crawl space and basement air using a self-draining dehumidifier. The Tar Heel Dehumidifier is the anti-mold machine, keeping relative humidity below 55% at all times. By installing the Tar Heel Dehumidifier, this ensures all moisture from the air will be removed allowing the homeowners belongings to be safely stored in their crawl space. 

A nasty, damp, exposed crawl space is a thing of the past for these homeowners! They’re excited to have reclaimed the space below their home and save on their upcoming energy bills. 

Project Summary

Installing Contractor: Tar Heel Basement Systems

System Design Specialist: Ryan Arnett

Products Installed: CrawlSeal, Wallie, CrawlDrain, Tar Heel Dehumidifier, SafeDri Triple Sump Pump

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.