When it comes to the health and safety of both a home and it’s occupants, often the symptoms of a problem appear first. In this case, Amber, the homeowner, had previously added crawl-space humidity mitigation solutions. Unfortunately, they weren’t a match for what her home really needed.
Discovering crawl-space mold & humidity issues
Amber was no stranger to investing in her Omaha home to make it clean, safe and comfortable. She had recently completed a remodel of her home due to a house fire.
Soon after, she started having issues with mold, and so she added dehumidifiers in the crawl space and on the main level. She found that she was emptying the dehumidifiers three times a day to keep the moisture at bay. Her brand-new wood floors started having issues, and the flooring installer said it was due to the humidity in the home. He delivered the verdict that the flooring would continue to buckle if the homeowner did nothing.
Amber called Thrasher to preserve all that she had invested in her remodeled home.
Completing the crawl-space inspection
Thrasher System Design Specialist Shane McClintic met with Amber and did a complete inspection of her home to determine what was happening and how Thrasher could fix it. He found that a large amount of the excess moisture was coming up through the ground in the crawl space area. The homeowner had attempted moisture mitigation before, but the quality of the products used and the way they were installed wasn't enough to keep the humidity below an acceptable level in the home.
Understanding why humidity and moisture can cause hidden problems
Excess humidity and moisture may be the single leading cause of a poor internal environment in the home. Yes, it creates that "damp smell" and can lead to mold issues, including the highly toxic "black" mold, but it also invites dust mites. Like mold, dust mites are major contributors to asthma and allergy problems. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the real problem with dust mites is their waste, which creates negative skin reactivity for 90% of patients.
Quality home dehumidifiers for your basement or crawl space are designed to ensure that the humidity level in your home stays below 60%, which significantly reduces the ability for allergens and mold to survive. Home dehumidifiers also filter the air circulating in your basement or crawl space to help remove any dust mites or other allergens that may sneak in through open windows, access openings or improperly sealed gaps in your foundation.
Determining the right crawl-space solution
To fix Amber's problem, the Thrasher team removed the ineffective plastic liner from the crawl space because it wasn't sealed and had developed multiple holes. We then properly encapsulated her crawl space with drainage matting and CleanSpace?. CleanSpace is a hefty 20-millimeter-thick liner — similar to a pool liner. It is manufactured in a seven-layer blend of high-density polyethylene for puncture resistance, low-density polyethylene for flexibility, and polyester cord reinforcement for brute tear resistance. This combination is why CleanSpace comes with a 25-year warranty against rips and tears. The white finish brightens the space and easily allows customers to see a mold, insect, and dirt-free area.
Next, we installed SilverGlo™ crawl space insulation, an expanded polystyrene insulation infused with graphite for ultimate wall protection, on the walls and in the rim joist to create a thermal boundary and regain control of the temperature from outside conditions.
We installed a SuperSump? sump pump system to pump out any groundwater that may get in and accumulate under the liner and contribute to the humidity challenge. The single pack comes with a Zoeller sump pump, which can pump 2,650 gallons/hour. The pump is more than enough to keep up with Amber's need to empty the dehumidifiers and discharge excess moisture outside the home.
Finally, we installed a SaniDry™ Sedona to dehumidify and purify the air. This unit self-drains to the sump pump, so Amber does not have to worry about constantly emptying her unit like she had to for the existing dehumidifier. The SaniDry Sedona has a whopping 100 pints per day capacity and will move over 300 cubic feet of dry air per minute around your basement or crawlspace. This high-performance fan, paired with a replaceable MERV 8 Filter, removes mold spores, dust mite droppings, dust, and other particulates with ease. It dries the contents of your home and building materials, making that damp feeling and funky basement smell go away. The SaniDry Sedona will keep relative humidity throughout the entire crawlspace under 50% (after the encapsulation and insulating,) which will protect Amber’s wood floors from swelling and buckling too.
Enjoying a properly sealed and maintained crawl space
Following Thrasher's completion of the project, Amber texted Shane a picture as soon as she could see her new crawl space. Her caption was "Taa-daa - I love it!!!". Additionally, she praised the crew, saying they were "very friendly to work with." Most importantly, she reported that the system was already making a difference in how her home smelled and felt.
Like Amber's project, crawl space repair is the perfect solution to help you save money on utility bills, avoid unnecessary repairs, and create a healthy living space in your home. With crawl space encapsulation, you will gain valuable space for storage and protect your home once we have sealed your crawl space with a durable vapor barrier. The crawl space encapsulation treatment separates and protects the crawl space interior from outdoor conditions, keeping the area clean and dry.
Are you ready to learn more?
Whether your crawl space is wet and moist, needs winterization, or has foundation repair issues, our team will conduct a complete in-home inspection, professional consultation, and free crawl space repair quote that details the perfect solution.
Call us at 800-827-0702 to talk to a Customer Care Representative.