Crawl Space Repair Case Studies: Damp, Moldy Crawlspace in Charleston, MS
Client was referred to Redeemers Group originally, because he noticed there was mold growing inside of a wine room in his house. Other than addressing the mold in the wine room itself, the client wanted to ensure that all potential mold sources be addressed. The house did sit on a crawlspace, a typical culprit. Upon inspection of the crawl space several issues were found by System Design Specialist Wyatt Burford.
As supported by the photos shown, the major problems found were:
- high levels of moisture in the crawlspace
- a "vapor barrier" has been put down previously. Many homeowners believe the space is protected when a plastic barrier is put down, but as you can see from the photos this is never the case. Plastic vapor barriers with open seams, etc are no match for the amount of moisture that exists in a crawlspace. The pictures show black mold growing on the wet plastic barrier.
- chicken wire was used to "hold" insulation in place. The chicken wire itself isn't a problem per say, but it isn't addressing why the insulation would need to be held in place to begin with. Excessive moisture weighs the insulation down which causes:
-the insulation is falling from the weight of the moisture it is absorbing from the ground, despite the chicken wire efforts to hold it in place, and despite the plastic vapor barrier.
- Insulation has black mold on it, again, from the excessive moisture in the crawlspace
-Efflorescence, a chalky white residue, can be seen on the concrete block walls. This is the signature that water has worked its way through the concrete and stained it. It is also a sign that is has repeatedly been wet.
Your home is a system, and every part of that system plays a role that affects the rest of the structure. If your crawl space begins to rot, grow mold, or experience structural problems, this will extend to every part of your home.
The solution is to dry out the space, and then ensure the moisture cannot return.
The old plastic barrier was removed and the dirt in the space was leveled out. The insulation was fogged to kill the existing mold that was on it.
We installed airtight doors and vent covers. Sealing the crawl space doors and vents stops the cycle of cold, humidity, and moisture entering from the outside air. However, water can still enter the crawlspace in many ways.
We then removed any standing water sources. We eliminated any sources of flooding in the crawl space by installing a crawl space drain and sump pump system. This eliminates flooding water from the crawl space, but moisture can still enter directly through the concrete and floor in the form of water vapor. We install patented sump pump systems that have been developed by Basement Systems®, Inc. They include the best cast-iron sump pumps and longest-lasting battery backup pumps in the industry.
(Learn more about sumps and their purpose here on our website: https://www.redeemersgroup.com/sump-pump.html )
The entire crawlspace was covered with the CleanSpace encapsulation system (even the support beams). 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, and it'll transform your crawl space into usable storage space. This is also the best time to install crawl space insulation on your walls or floors.
(Learn more about the warranted CleanSpace system here: https://www.redeemersgroup.com/crawl-space-repair/vapor-barrier/moisture-barrier.html )
Then, a dehumidifier that was size appropriate for the space was installed. Our SaniDry CSB™ Crawl Space Dehumidifier has a unique heat exchange system that helps it achieve an ENERGY STAR® rating! Water can be removed at a cost of about 3.3 cents per pint. Our system removes four times as much water from the air at the same energy usage (6.3 amps). 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!
(Learn more about dehumidifiers are their purpose here on our website: https://www.redeemersgroup.com/crawl-space-repair/crawlspace-dehumidifier.html )
Here is the review we later received from this client: https://www.redeemersgroup.com/about-us/reviews/7210-charleston-ms.html
System Design Specialist: Wyatt Burford
Production Manager: Philip King
(Before) Chicken wire that was previously used to "hold insulation in place"
(Before) Insulation that is so damp that it is covered in black mold and falling through the chicken wire that was used to keep it in place.
(Before) Insulation that has fallen right off because of the weight of the moisture it has absorbed over time.
(Before) You can see that there was a plastic "vapor barrier" used. The problem is the moisture that can get through the open seams, etc.
(Before) plastic "vapor barrier" installed in crawlspace.
(Before) A closer look at the plastic "vapor barrier"- showing water that has gathered and mold has formed.
(After) CleanSpace system installed throughout crawlspace.
(After) Dehumidifier installed that is size appropriate for the size of the crawlspace.
(After) Sump installed.