Case Studies: Abingdon, VA – Nasty Crawl Space Transformed Into Dry Environment

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 By Jaimie Hooker


Musty odors and a damp crawl space had become the normal sight and scent for this Abingdon, VA home. After inclement weather, the crawl space would experience moisture intrusion around the interior perimeter. Over time the 6mil polyethylene vapor barrier was unable to keep up with the destruction water vapor had caused in the space. As the musty odors became relevant in the living area, the homeowners had to have the problem fixed, immediately.


Tar Heel Basement Systems transformed the nasty, damp and musty crawl space into a dry, conditioned storage space by installing the CrawlSeal Encapsulation System.

The deteriorating 6mil polyethylene vapor barrier and debris were removed from the crawl space so the team could evaluate the extensive damage from the moisture intrusion. A shallow trench was dug along the interior perimeter of the foundation walls, directly where the moisture was intruding. The CrawlSeal Drainage System was installed in the trench. Engineered not to clog when sitting in the dirt, the CrawlDrain will not fail over time like most exterior french drains. As water is collected into the CrawlDrain Drainage System, it is then drained into the SafeDri crawl space sump pump. The reliable Zoeller pump and air tight lid ensure moisture will be pumped out of the crawl space and safely away from the home.

As the ground water leakage problem was eradicated, the team began sealing off the home from the exposed dirt and humidity below using the 20mil CrawlSeal Encapsulation System. Unlike the previously failed vapor barrier that was deteriorating along the crawl space floor, the CrawlSeal System is installed along the entire floor, interior walls and each pier. Drastically reducing humidity, the home is now completely and permanently separated from the dirt below.

Eliminating the ground water leaking and water vapor was only one culprit to the overall problem. The open vents were also allowing 80% relative humidity to enter the crawl space, attaching to the floor system of the home and creating the musty odors lurking in the living area. Each vent was sealed using the X-Grade Crawl Space Insulation panels that are resistant to damage caused by mold or moisture.

While relative humidity had been drastically reduced, the crawl space was in need of a commercial grade, self-draining dehumidifier that would prevent mold and wood rot from ruining the floor system. The Aprilaire dehumidifier was installed, keeping humidity levels below 55%, creating conditioned, dry air and eliminating the unpleasant musty odor.

The once damp and nasty crawl space is now a dry and conditioned storage space for the Abingdon, VA homeowners.

Project Summary

Installing Contractor: Tar Heel Basement Systems

Products Installed: CrawlSeal, X-Grade Crawl Space Insulation, SafeDri, Aprilaire

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.