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Enhancing Your Home’s Efficiency with Crawl Space Encapsulation in Raleigh, NC

Sealing your crawlspace offers numerous benefits, enhancing both your home’s health and indoor air quality. Our tailored solutions, including CrawlBarrier®, closed-cell spray foam, and Bora-Foam® Rigid Foam Board, ensure a sealed, clean environment, safeguarding against mold, pests, and odors while enhancing your living space’s comfort and health.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality: Crawl Space Encapsulation Solutions

Encapsulating a home’s crawl space makes the home a healthier place to live and breathe

Sealed Crawlspace Option #2: Closed-Cell Spray Foam

This option starts with removing and hauling away the existing fiberglass insulation. We then air-seal the subfloor which separates the living space above from the crawlspace by sealing all penetrations with foam spray. New polyethylene vapor barrier (options for 10-mil, 10-mil reinforced, 12-mil reinforced, or 16-mil reinforced) is installed on the crawlspace ground; set it in place with heavy-gauge galvanized liner staples, full roll-ups on the foundation piers, roll-ups on the perimeters walls (will be subsequently sealed sealed to the walls with the Spray Foam), and vapor barrier tape on all foundation piers and panel seams.

 

We then seal with crawlspace with 2″ closed-cell spray foam applied to the crawlspace exterior wall and rim joists. The still plate and 3″ below the still plate remain exposed for future termite inspections.

 

Once sealed, we install air induction, a dehumidifier, or a combination of both in order to extract residual air moisture from the crawlspace.

 

Spray Foam is needed for very uneven foundation walls or foundation walls that are only single-brick width (which can be damaged by insulations requiring mechanical fasteners). It does, however, cost more than CrawlBarrier and does use chemicals which require the home occupants to vacate the home when the spraying begins and for 24 hours after the spraying is completed.

Sealed Crawlspace Option #2: Closed-Cell Spray Foam

This option starts with removing and hauling away the existing fiberglass insulation. We then air-seal the subfloor which separates the living space above from the crawlspace by sealing all penetrations with foam spray. New polyethylene vapor barrier (options for 10-mil, 10-mil reinforced, 12-mil reinforced, or 16-mil reinforced) is installed on the crawlspace ground; set it in place with heavy-gauge galvanized liner staples, full roll-ups on the foundation piers, roll-ups on the perimeters walls (will be subsequently sealed sealed to the walls with the Spray Foam), and vapor barrier tape on all foundation piers and panel seams. We then seal with crawlspace with 2″ closed-cell spray foam applied to the crawlspace exterior wall and rim joists. The still plate and 3″ below the still plate remain exposed for future termite inspections. Once sealed, we install air induction, a dehumidifier, or a combination of both in order to extract residual air moisture from the crawlspace. Spray Foam is needed for very uneven foundation walls or foundation walls that are only single-brick width (which can be damaged by insulations requiring mechanical fasteners). It does, however, cost more than CrawlBarrier and does use chemicals which require the home occupants to vacate the home when the spraying begins and for 24 hours after the spraying is completed.

Frequently Asked Questions On Radiant Barrier in Raleigh, NC

What is the best insulation for crawl spaces?

The best insulation options for crawlspaces are ones that both insulated and air seal (prevent convective heat transfer), such as rolled insulation (such as CrawlBarrier), closed cell spray foam, or rigid foam board (such as Bora-Foam). Fiberglass insulation does not air seal, so it is by far the least performing type of insulation for a crawl space

What is the best way to insulate a crawl space?

The best way to insulate a crawl space is by sealing the foundation vent openings and installing a product that will both insulate and air seal the foundation walls. This is best achieved with rolled insulation (such as CrawlBarrier), closed cell spray foam, or rigid foam board (such as Bora-Foam). This insulates the crawlspace itself and expands your home’s thermal and pressure boundary to encompass the crawl space, which provides the best environment to moderate crawl space temperature and relative humidity.

What is the average service life of crawl space insulation types?

Fiberglass insulation will, on average, provide an effective service life of about 10 years before needing to be repaired or replaced. Fiberglass insulation deteriorates naturally over time and the deterioration is exacerbated in a crawl space that is subject to high relative humidity, heavy particulates in the air, and rodent / critter activity.
Insulation types that are designed to seal or encapsulate a crawl space are impermeable and made with materials that do not deteriorate over time. These include rolled insulation (such as CrawlBarrier), closed cell spray foam, or rigid foam board (such as Bora-Foam). These products will generally last the life of the crawl space and quality installers usually provide lifetime warranties against degradation or delamination.

Should I encapsulate my crawl space?

If you live in a humid climate, crawl space encapsulation offers many benefits:
- Prohibits mold growth
- Improves indoor air quality
- Improves energy efficiency by lowering the cost to heat / cool your living space
- Protects the home’s structural integrity
- Extends the service life of crawl space installed utilities (e.g. HVAC, water heater)
- Improves your home’s resale value.

What is guarantee and warranty on TRB’s encapsulated crawl spaces?

With a dehumidifier installed, TRB guarantees the performance of its encapsulated crawl spaces in terms of the ability to moderate the relative humidity and ensure against any future mold growth. TRB also offers a ‘No Mold’ Guarantee to those Customers who subscribe to TRB’s Annual Service Plan.
TRB provides a limited lifetime warranty installed CrawlBarrier insulation, closed cell Spray Foam insulation, and Bora-Foam insulation as well as on all 10-mil Reinforced or better vapor barriers. The warranty covers the costs of both labor and materials to repair or replace any degraded or delaminated products for as long as you own your home. The lifetime warranty is transferable to a buyer if on TRB’s Annual Service Plan.

Will encapsulating your crawl space improve HVAC efficiency?

Encapsulating your crawlspace will provide moderate improvement to HVAC efficiency but substantially less than you’ll achieve by improving your attic’s air sealing and insulation. The benefits of crawl space encapsulation are most notable in terms improving your home indoor air quality, protecting your home’s structural integrity, and extending the service life of your crawl space-installed utility systems (e.g. HVAC, water heater).

If your primary concern is energy efficiency, you should consider improvements in your attic before your crawl space.

Is air induction or a dehumidifier better for moderating crawlspace relative humidity?

Air induction uses a small amount of conditioned air from your HVAC system to help moderate crawl space temperature and relative humidity. It is lower in cost to install than a dehumidifier and is sufficient in some crawl spaces. However, air induction’s performance may be hindered by the variable conditions unique to each crawl space and is also limited to only operating when the HVAC system is running. Air induction is most challenged during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall when there may be high relative humidity in the air but the temperature is too moderate for your HVAC system to be on.

A crawl space dehumidifier costs more to install but its performance is not subject to any conditional variables or on the HVAC system. A dehumidifier will provide much more assured and consistent performance than will air induction.
Air induction may be run in conjunction with a dehumidifier as well. This will provide the assured and consistent performance of the dehumidifier as well as the air induction providing better temperature moderation and decreasing the workload on the dehumidifier which, in turn, will increase the dehumidifier’s service life.

Why do I have mold in my crawl space?

Mold will grow in any space that has relatively high air moisture, warm to hot air, stagnant airflow, and no direct sunlight. All of these are present in crawl spaces in humid climates and why vented crawl spaces in humid climates are so susceptible to mold.

Does mold in my crawl space impact my indoor air quality?

Yes. In homes with vented crawl spaces, up to 40% of the breathing air in a living space originates in the crawlspace. The is due to stack effect (the natural movement of air ‘upwards’ through your home) as well as leaks in return HVAC ducts in the crawl space.

Will mold in my crawlspace cause long term damage to the structure of the home?

Once mold is present, it will continue to be present and grow until it is remediated and the environmental negative conditions rectified. Mold consumes organic matter, such as wood framing in homes which will increasingly compromise the structural integrity of the home, if left unchecked.

How do you remediate mold in a crawl space?

Crawl space mold remediation is generally conducted in two ‘phases’: 1) killing the mold and 2) removing the visible, accumulated mold growth on the treated surfaces and potentially the mold staining embedded in the surface as well.
Killing mold requires the application (typically spraying or fogging) of a chemical fungicide or using a specialized process such as Dry Ice Blasting (killing mold with extremely cold temperature).

Removing the visible, accumulated growth from the treated surface is typically done with HEPA Vacuum Scrubbing, Soda Blasting (pressure cleaning with high pressure baking soda), or Dry Ice Blasting (pressure cleaning with high pressure dry ice).

Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory. A HEPA Air Scrubber, sometime assisted by ventilation fans, is needed for all but very small remediation jobs. Any crawl space installed HVAC equipment should be turned off and left off for the duration of the remediation process.

What is the best mold remediation method in a crawl space?

Dry Ice Blasting offers the most effective performance for crawl space mold remediation in terms of not only killing the mold and removing the visible, accumulated mold growth on the treated surfaces but also in removing the staining that the mold left in the treated surface. Dry Ice Blasting can typically remove about 90% of staining from wood surfaces such as crawl space joists and subflooring. Dry Ice Blasting is also chemical free and residue free.

Soda Blasting (with fungicide pre-treatment) is fully effective at killing mold and removing the visible, accumulated growth on treated surfaces, and will typically remove about 70% of the staining from wood surfaces. Soda Blasting does leave a fine white dusting of soda residue in the crawl space with does help as a deodorizer but may leave you wanting for aesthetic wipe cleaning.

HEPA Vacuum Scrubbing (with fungicide pre-treatment) is fully effective at killing mold and removing visible, accumulated growth on treated surfaces. It will not remove any staining embedded in wood surfaces.

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