Crawl Space Encapsulation: Keep Foundation Walls Dry

DON’T BUY THE LIE…there is a better way to fix your crawl space.

Crawl space encapsulation only works if there isn’t any moisture within the crawl space.  By moisture, we mean, water.  In this case, the homeowner paid over $7,000 because the company installing them said it was the best way to rid the crawlspace of the mold and mildew that had formed on, and rotted, out their floor joists.  They also guarantee a clean and dry crawlspace after installation.  So, why is there water standing in the crawlspace?  Simply put, the tape that holds the seams of the plastic together will never be watertight.  And, given there is a high water table in this area, the water forced it’s way up through the seams and, well, there it sits…causing more damage to the joists because it cannot escape.  “Wait, Mr. Grout Tech Man, why can’t it escape,” you may be asking.  Because when you encapsulate a crawl space you seal off the ventilation holes.  “So, that shouldn’t be a problem, right?”  Wrong.  No ventilation means that any moisture that gets in only has one way out…upwards, though the flooring and the house.

The number one complaint we receive about a crawl space which has been encapsulated to prevent moisture in that space is…it’s not working.  Standing water or moist wood is the tell-tale sign of this issue.

The second most common complaint is the smell.  Yes, the smell.  Gases from the plastic, as well as natural gases rising up from the earth, get trapped in the encapsulated crawl space.  Without ventilation they can only go up, just as the moisture.  Most people believe it smells like cat urine.  I’m not sure.  I’ve never really put my nose up to a cat urinating to see what it smells like.  I just take their word for it.  When we tell them we can fix this, but it will involve creating ventilation, they are usually horrified to find they spent several thousands of dollars on something that doesn’t work as advertised.  What?  WAIT A MINUTE…. There’s something out there which is being advertised that doesn’t work as advertised to work???  Yep.

The third likely complaint is the home now feels damp.  I reference you back to the fact that the water/moisture only has one exit now…upward through your home.

Oh, wait.  You can always add a dehumidifier into the crawl space if you have a minor moisture problem.  But, really, that should be a last resort (as well as a sump pump), and then only used if in combination with a REAL fix for the problem…ATMOX ventilation systems!  Here’s a secret the encapsulators don’t want you to know:  You can install the ATMOX system yourself if you’re a bit of a handy ma—errrr, person!

5 Steps to a Happy & Healthy Crawl Space

5 Steps to a Happy & Healthy Crawl Space

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Many Alabama crawl spaces suffer from water intrusion and because of that, their home is introduced to mold, mildew, and other dangerous allergens. Since a majority of the air we breathe inside of our homes originates from our crawl space, it is important to keep it clean and healthy from the inside out. If your home is suffering from a wet and damaged crawl space, here are the steps you need to take to get it back to normal.

1. Seal it up

For many decades, building codes and conventional wisdom have prescribed ventilation with outside air as the primary method of moisture control in crawl spaces. However, ventilation with outside air only makes moisture problems worse. Cold or humidity from the outside will create a wet environment in your crawlspace, promoting mold and moisture. The first step in repairing your Alabama crawl space is to seal off all vents and doors that lead outside.

2. Eliminate the source

Does your crawl space consistently flood when it rains? If so, you will need to install a drainage system before moving forward. It is important to get rid of direct water sources to keep your crawlspace clean and dry and finish the repair process. Nichols/Grout Tech can install a sump pump and sump pit or a french drain tile system in your home to direct water away from your crawl space.

If you have water seeping through your foundation walls below the grade, we can install a polymer membrane coating and dimple board. This will stop soil moisture from coming in through the base of your foundation, and it will also work to direct any incoming water into your drainage system, whether that be a French Drain or sump pump.

3. Repair the damage

Crawl spaces that have been damaged by water will grow weak over time, and experience wood rot, sagging beams, and weak floor joists. We have certified installers that can repair your crawl space structure with crawl space jacks and other support systems. These steel piers will keep your crawl space strong for years to come.

4. Install a vapor barrier

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Nichols/Grout Tech offers crawl space vapor barriers to prevent soil moisture from entering your home. These barriers are made of puncture resistant 10-20 mil thick high tensile material. By installing the vapor barrier on the ground and up foundation walls, you will create a permanent vapor barrier against moisture, creating a healthier home environment. Our crawl space encapsulation services will transform your crawl space into a clean and usable storage space.

5. Purchase a dehumidifier

To ensure that your crawlspace remains dry for years to come, consider purchasing an energy efficient crawl space dehumidifier. These systems will get rid of debris from the air and keep your crawl space clear of mildew, mold, and dirt mites.

Certified Crawl Space Repair Specialist in Birmingham, ALcrawl space repair alabama

Call Nichols/Grout Tech for an estimate on crawl space repair today. We can take your damaged crawl space and completely transform it into a clean and healthy storage space for years to come.

We offer inspections to our customers in Alabama and surrounding states including Mississippi, Tennessee, Southwest Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle.