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Ask Mr. Crawlspace

Should I plug up any holes between the crawl space and the house?

Yes, closing penetrations between the crawl space and living space prevents air contaminants in the crawl space from entering the living space. Use a caulking or expanding foam that is fire rated for sealing these voids to make sure you meet state and local building code requirements.

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What’s the best way to insulate my crawl space?

Most building codes allow for several options such as insulating the floor joist system or insulating the foundation walls. In my opinion, insulating the walls is more efficient and, in most cases, is less expensive. [...]

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Do I need to have insulation between the floor joists in my crawl space?

No, not unless it’s required by code. The best method of insulating the crawl space is to use a closed crawl space system with insulation on the inside of the foundation walls. Studies by Advanced Energy have shown savings of up to 18% on new structures using closed crawl spaces and wall insulation. (Be sure to check [...]

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What if my insulation is stringing down and has mold and mildew on it?

Stringing and falling insulation means the insulation has been wet at one time. Wet insulation offers no insulating values, so remove it and remediate the mold and mildew. Be sure to use insulation on the interior of the exterior foundation walls [...]

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What if I see mold or mildew on the floor joists in my crawl space?

Mold and mildew can be easily removed with appropriate cleaners. Some cleaners just clean the mold stains off the wood but don’t prevent future growth, so make sure you know which kind is being used. (Always follow product labels and directions.) [...]

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What should I do about plumbing leaks?

Get a professional plumber to correct any plumbing leaks before an enclosed crawl space is installed. But in addition to fixing leaks, make sure that condensation drains and pressure relief valves are plumbed to the exterior or to an appropriate drain within the crawl space. Your plumber can handle this, too.

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How do I fix water problems in my crawl space that are coming from the outside?

Correct the problem from the exterior if you can. Often you have to redirect the flow of water by installing gutters, improving grade around the house so the grade slopes away from the house, installing a foundation drainage system or installing an interior drain system. (Always check your state and local building codes and contact your local pest management, [...]

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What if I have water in my crawl space?

If you have a water problem that’s coming from the outside of your crawl space, the problem needs to be fixed before you can have a closed crawl space installed.

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Why should I close my crawl space?

Closing your crawl space has many benefits, such as reducing the humidity in your crawl space. That prevents mold growth and also reduces insect activity, as bugs like higher moisture levels. An enclosed crawl space also improves indoor air quality and saves energy.

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