In our area, it is recommended that the r-value of your attic insulation be R38-R40. R-value is the metric used to measure the insulation’s ability to keep heat in or out. A good rule of thumb is to take a look in your attic, if you can see the rafters or joists that make up your ceiling then you need to add some attic insulation. If you find that you need more insulation, give us a call a 757-499-1078. The federal energy tax credit ends 12/31/10, don’t miss out. Or check out our site at Attic Insulation Hampton Roads
Archive for the ‘Moisture Control’ Category
We now know how the moisture made it’s way into your crawl space. What will happen next?
The first negative result of high moisture will be insulation destruction. Fiberglass insulation will start to “string” or separate from it’s paper backing. It will then fall away from the sub-floor of the home. At this point, your utility bills will start to rise because the insulation can no longer do it’s job. Insulation that has separated from the backing will need to be replaced if the home is to regain it’s efficiency.
The next result will be the formation of non-wood decay fungus or mold. This step actually begins when the insulation starts to string but will become more noticeable the longer the moisture situation remains unresolved. This fungus/mold can cause you to have allergy and/or sinus problems and people with asthma might have more trouble controlling the condition. These fungi don’t destroy the foundation of the home.
Wood decay fungus forms next. This fungus creates enzymes that destroy the wooden foundation of your home. Wood destroying fungus can damage the foundation in as little as a few months. Health related issues are similar to the ones mentioned before.
As the wood is destroyed by the fungus, some subtle signs will start to show around the rest of the home. You may notice that doors are sticking, floors squeaking, cabinets won’t close, or someone falls through the floor (while this has happened, its rare). At this point, we are looking at having to repair the foundation’s wooden components. This can be as simple as providing some extra support or something more difficult such as lifting the house. The longer the problem persists the more costly the repair.
It’s important to have regular inspections from experienced inspectors. Give us a call at 757-499-1078 if you’d like a free, no obligation crawl space inspection.
Next time: How a crawl space encapsulation corrects the problem, other moisture control solutions, and what not to do.
There’s no doubt that if you live in Hampton Roads, you have heard about crawl space encapsulation but might not know exactly what it is. Recently, it has become the go-to solution for crawl space moisture issues. But is it for you?
Lets start by describing the process. Encapsulation is the process of sealing your crawl space to prevent humid, outside air from entering. The majority of humid air normally enters through vents, the crawl space floor, the foundation wall, and the crawl space door. So to complete an encapsulation these areas have to be addressed. How?
The foundation vents: A plastic or a Styrofoam type product is most common. These are held in place with a silicone or similar sealant.
The foundation wall:6mm plastic is sufficient here. It is attached to the wall with sealant or fasteners. Some companies recommend Styrofoam on the foundation walls before the plastic. This is an unnecessary expense that won’t significantly increase the effectiveness of the system. Caution: There should be a 6 inch gap between the sill plate and plastic on the foundation wall. This will allow accurate future termite inspections.
The foundation floor: 6mm plastic also works well here. 6mm will withstand annual termite inspections, occasional plumbing repairs, or any other repair work. Upgrading to 8-10 mm plastic can be a good option but not always necessary. Some companies offer 20mm which is extremely strong. It is also extremely expensive and will add $1000′s in extra and unnecessary costs. The plastic should cover 100% of the ground, be overlapped by a foot or more, and stapled to the ground.
The crawl space door: If your door fits correctly now, it can probably be reused. But if it is loose, falling, or in otherwise bad shape you will need it replaced.
Well that’s the what of Crawl Space Encapsulation, next time we will talk about the why.
If you’d like a free moisture inspection give us a call at 757-499-1078 or contact us here moisture control specialist.