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Ask Mr. Crawlspace

My crawl space is only 2 ft. tall, would I still benefit from a closed crawl space?

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That’s a good question! The answer is you will still benefit but clearance in the crawl space may present a challenge without the right tools and supplies. As you are considering a closed or encapsulated crawlspace, think about these advantages. When you’re ready for supplies, or have questions, give us a call. Crawlspace Depot has the experience and tools you need to get the job done right.

Why a closed crawlspace?

There are many advantages to closed crawl spaces, even if your space is low or small. Most of these are related to quality living conditions, cost, environmental impact, and maybe most importantly, peace of mind. A healthy crawlspace is important for a sound foundation and good air quality in your home.

Moisture management is a concern even in smaller spaces. Closed crawlspaces address this problem from both liquid water and water vapor. Moist environments promote mold growth. Spores, dust and other allergens escape into the living areas of the home causing musty odors, illness and discomfort. Short crawl spaces have even less opportunity for air circulation than higher ones, which means more seepage of poor quality air flowing into the living areas of the home.

Home maintenance – Moist outside air, allowed in through air-vented crawlspaces, contributes to headaches such as wood rot, condensation and mold growth. In the long term, damage to joists, floors and door frames, etc. may become extensive. Closed crawlspaces protect your home’s foundation.

Comfort – Closed crawlspaces improve air quality in the living areas of your home. You will also enjoy warmer floors.

Pest control is another big concern. Termites and other damaging pests thrive in the hospitable environment of a moist vented crawl space. A dry closed crawlspace provides a less attractive environment, thus reducing the problem of pests.

Closed crawlspaces use less energy – According to a study by Advanced Energy, in the Southeast you can expect an average of 18% savings on your HVAC energy costs. Investing in a closed crawl space is a green choice that is not only a win for you, but also a win for the environment.

Conversion to a closed crawlspace will require removal of debris and placement of a vapor barrier over all exposed earth/dirt. Next time you, or a technician need to crawl in…that closed crawl space, sans excess moisture, dirt and pests, will certainly make you feel a lot more comfortable. Need more information or ready to get started? Give us a call. Crawlspace Depot is your best source for information and quality closed crawlspace products. Hope this helps!

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How do I determine if I need a dehumidifier in my closed crawl space?

Closed crawl spaces mean less worry about excess moisture and the problems it brings. Still, it is impossible to remove absolutely all moisture, all the time. In some climates and seasons it may be necessary to add a dehumidifier in your closed crawl space. When do you need a dehumidifier? It may be hard to know, particularly if you [...]

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Before I install a vapor barrier, can I just cover up the debris in the crawl space?

No, all debris should be removed from the crawl space before you put in a vapor barrier.

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Why do my wood floors buckle and cup in the summertime?

If you have a crawl space and the cupping is upward, then hot, moist air from the outside is entering the crawl space. The wood floors then absorb the moisture from their underlying side, making the bottom of the boards expand and the boards "cup" upwards. Installing a closed crawl space will prevent any outside [...]

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What is causing the musty smell in my house?

Many things can cause a musty smell. You might need a ventilating fan in the bathroom. You could have poor indoor air quality. If you have a crawl space, then that odor is probably coming from high moisture levels in your crawl space [...]

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If my crawl space isn't level does it matter?

Yes. You need to level your crawl space to create positive drainage.

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What if I have cracks in my foundation walls?

Small cracks in foundation walls may be sealed with caulking, cement or expandable foam. If you can, monitor cracks to see if there's any movement or change in size, and consult a structural engineer if you see any evidence of such. In most [...]

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What about any around holes in my foundation walls?

Holes in foundation walls need to be sealed to prevent outside air from moving into the crawl space.  Use materials such as caulking, cement and expandable foam to seal the holes.  If any holes are larger than a quarter of an inch, you [...]

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I live on the coast. Are foundation vents required for a closed crawl space here?

In your area, installing a vent designed to relieve water pressure in the event of a flood is important. There are vents available that meet flood vent requirements for closed crawl spaces.  Check with your state and local building codes for the placement [...]

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What do I do with my foundation vents when I close my crawl space?

It is best to leave existing foundation vents in place and seal them with a foam insulation board. The insulation board should be cut to the size of the vent and installed from the interior of your crawl space. Once the insulation board is fitted, the edges should be sealed with a caulking and/or foam adhesive.

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