The Dirt On Crawl Spaces

The majority of homes in central Virginia are built over crawl spaces. Most of us don’t want to think about our crawl spaces, and why would we? A crawl space that has not been retrofitted has a dirt floor, is likely damp, may show signs of rotting wood, mold, mildew, critter infestation, radon–all kinds of unpleasant things. Like most unpleasant things, we want to block our crawl space from our mind. But, there are some very important reasons why you shouldn’t.

The Top 3 Reasons You Should Care About Your Crawl Space

Crawl space air is bad. It’s cold in winter, it’s humid in summer, and if it’s damp, it’s likely filled with mold spores, fungus, and rot, which means it smells. This air seeps into your living space one of two ways, through the “stack effect” (warm air rising through all the small holes and cracks in your floor and pulling new air in behind it) and through your duct work if it is located in your crawl space. This means you and your family are breathing bad air–unhealthy air that can lead to respiratory illnesses.

Radon. In December, we posted a blog about the dangers of radon, the second leading cause of cancer. As with unhealthy air, radon is a radioactive gas that can get sucked into your home through your crawl space.

Higher energy bills: damp air takes more energy to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. And, again, if your duct work is located in your crawl space and shows any signs of loose joints or crimpled seams, then you’re likely losing a lot of the air you’re paying to heat or cool to your crawl space. To add insult to injury, your return ducts are also sucking in the bad crawl space air.

The Truth about Vented Crawl Spaces

According to Larry Janesky of Basement Systems, Inc., “Venting just doesn’t make sense unless the outdoor air is 70 degrees and 45% relative humidity day and night, year round.” In other words, vented crawl spaces in our area don’t make sense, and yet most of them are. While the vents are meant to allow air to flow through the crawl space from front to back or vice versa, in reality the air flows up—into your living space.

There Are Solutions, and Weatherseal Has Them

Fixing your crawl space is a home repair you can’t afford not to make. Controlling the air infiltration in your home is crucial to your family’s health, comfort, and your home’s energy usage. Encapsulating your crawl space and bringing your duct work into conditioned space, remediating any mold, and mitigating radon if you have high levels are all services that Weatherseal provides. We also have moisture prevention services such as sump pumps, dehumidifiers, and gutters.

Foundation Waterproofing

Using Mar-flex 5000, we can waterproof any structure with an adhesive seamless barrier that coats your foundation with a high-quality membrane.

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Spray Foam Insulation

The spray application method allows for continuous insulation and an air sealing barrier on walls, roofs, in tight corners, and all contoured surfaces.

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Cellulose Insulation

Made of 75-85% recycled paper, cellulose is the most environmentally friendly and efficient way to insulate your new or existing residential or commercial buildings.

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Green Remodeling

Beyond energy efficiency, we’ll work with you on a number of eco-friendly building improvements that help you qualify for certifications such as LEED for Homes or ENERGY STAR.

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Fiberglass Insulation

Made of up to 40% recycled materials, fiberglass is available as blown-in loose fill, rolls, or batts, and is one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills.

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Radiant Barriers

In a climate such as Virginia’s, radiant barriers or “foil insulation” can be used in tandem with other materials to reduce cooling bills in the summer.

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Energy Audits

We’ll find the leaks and shortfalls of your current insulation, then provide a cost-effective plan that works for you and your project.

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Optimizing your building’s energy efficiency is one of the best investments you can make for comfort, lower bills, a reduced carbon footprint, and air quality.

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Crawl Space Encapsulation

Vented crawl spaces are no longer the way to go. Reduce excess moisture and prevent mold growth by isolating the crawl space from outside moisture.

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Mold Remediation

From the lab test to the mold removal to prevention systems, our whole-home approach to air quality ensures comfort and safety for your family.

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