Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Installation & Moisture Control
Creating a dry, protected crawl space
When you think of a crawl space you probably imagine a mold, foul-smelling boarded-up space beneath your floorboards. It is filled up with debris from floods, drooping insulation, and probably a critter or two.
Unfortunately, this is an accurate image of most crawl spaces. The end result is cold floors, mold & mildew, high energy bills, and pests. At Tar Heel Basement Systems we fix these issues by encapsulating the crawl space with a vinyl vapor barrier. The area is sealed, insulated, and protected leaving you with warm floors, clean air, and lower energy costs.
Benefits of Vapor Barrier Installation
For years it was a building code requirement that crawl spaces be vented. This mistake is the reason warm, humid air can enter your crawl space resulting in condensation, moisture, and mold damage. In the winter frigid air fills the space making your floors cold. Sealing the vent covers, adding proper insulation, encapsulating the area with a heavy-duty vapor barrier, and installing an energy-efficient dehumidifier is the answer.
By sealing the open vents and encapsulating the space with a heavy-duty vapor barrier the crawl space is protected from moisture. The crawl space insulation helps keep your floors warm. Add an energy-efficient dehumidifier into the sealed space and the relative humidity is controlled preventing moisture and mold. You end up with warmer floors, lower energy bills, and no mold or moisture problems.
- Mold and Moisture Control
Mold needs warm air, organic material, and moisture to grow. Vented, dirt floor crawl spaces provide all three. Mold grows well between 60- 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Fighting the temperature in the crawl space would require blowing treated air into the space. Why would you pay to heat or cool air only to blow it into an area no one lives in. What a waste of time and money; so attacking the temperature is out.
Mold can grow on wood, drywall, and paper because they are all organic materials. Mold cannot grow on inorganic materials like plastic or vinyl. Chances are your floorboards are made of wood, not plastic. You are not going to tear out the entire base of your home to replace it with inorganic material so this idea is out as well.
That leaves us with moisture, something mold needs to grow. This we can control. We seal all the open vents in the crawl space walls. This prevents humid air from easily entering. We then encapsulate the area with a vinyl vapor barrier which stops any air or water from seeping in through the ground. The final step is installing an energy-efficient dehumidifier (designed for the crawl space) that controls the relative humidity of the air in the space. If the relative humidity is kept low enough and no water can enter the crawl space your crawl space will be mold-free!
The end result is a moisture-controlled crawl space protected from mold and rot. No need to worry about musty smells or structural damage resulting from humid summer air. No more Mold or Moisture Problems.
- Comfort and Energy-Efficiency
An open, vented crawl space will make your home uncomfortable and raise your energy bills. Crawl spaces often have poor fiberglass batt insulation installed on the bottom of your floorboards. These batts droop over time and get wet destroying any benefit originally provided. Tack on the open flow of air into the space and your home has no chance.
By sealing the vent covers airflow into the space is prevented. We also install a layer of rigid foam insulation along the crawl space walls and in the floor system band. No air leakage along with proper insulation to prevent heat flow means a more comfortable home. No more cold floors or drafts coming up through the crawl space.
With the crawl space sealed you are also not paying to heat or cool air that is leaking outside your home. This can drastically lower the cost of your utility bills.
- Reduce Odors and Pests’ Interest in Your Home
Open crawl spaces provide excellent homes for pests. If you are a rodent, insect, reptile, or larger animal, you need shelter to survive. Homeowners have unintentionally been very kind in providing their open, warm, humid crawl spaces as homes for these pests.
By closing the entrance and vents to the crawl space, it will be very difficult for pests to enter the crawl space. The vapor barrier and dehumidifier keep the moisture low so it is not a desirable environment for termites, so your chances of having insects or rodents in the crawl space are much lower. This also means no smells rising into the house from feces, nests, or dead animals.
Steps to Installing A Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
- Install Airtight Doors & Vent Covers: Sealing your crawl space doors and vents keeps the cold air, humidity, and moisture from entering the space from the outside air, but water can still get into the crawl space.
- Remove Any Standing Water Sources: The next step is to eliminate any sources of flooding in your crawl space by installing a crawl space drain and sump pump system. This eliminates flooding water from your crawl space, but moisture can still enter directly through the concrete and floor in the form of water vapor.
- Repair The Structure: If your crawl space is sagging or damaged by prolonged mold and rot, the next step is to install crawl space support jacks to help restore your structure. This will help your floors stay even and stop any structural sagging upstairs.
- Encapsulate & Insulate The Crawl Space: To stop moisture from passing through your floors and porous concrete walls, a crawl space liner should be installed. A durable liner will allow for servicemen to use the space without damage while transforming your crawl space into usable storage space. This is also the best time to install crawl space insulation on your walls or floors.
- Install A Dehumidifier: Installing an energy-efficient, self-draining crawl space dehumidifier will keep your space dry. Our crawl space dehumidifier system includes a filter that removes particles from the air as small as 2 microns. This ensures that your crawl space is protected from mold, dust mites, and mildew damage — permanently!
Why Choose Tar Heel Basement Systems for Vapor Barrier Installation?
So now that you know you should install a vapor barrier in your home the question is why should you choose Tar Heel Basement Systems to do it. Here are some reasons:
- Fast, Clean Installation
- Patented, warrantied Products
- 15+ years of experience
- More than 3 Million Square Feet of CrawlSeal™ Vapor Barrier Installed
- Installed Vapor Barrier in over 3,000 homes
- Backed Warranties
We serve North Carolina and Virginia including Greensboro, Winston Salem, High Point, Lexington, Lenoir, Mount Airy, Statesville, Bristol, Boone, Taylorsville, Abingdon. If you would like a free estimate for vapor barrier installation give us a call. 888-333-1322. We are headquartered in Winston Salem, NC.
For a free, no-obligation crawl space repair quote, contact us by phone or e-mail today!
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