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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to fix my crawlspace?

Most people don’t go in their crawlspace and some have never been. It’s the dark, dirty, ugly part of your home that no one wants to talk about. Truth is, the crawlspace is the foundation for your whole home. It’s more important than the pretty parts of your home. Half of the air you breathe comes from your crawlspace. If you have water, moisture, humidity, mold, wood rot, or settling in your crawlspace, it affects your whole home. Bugs and critters love to live in that type of environment. They thrive in it. For your home to be safe, clean, and healthy; the crawlspace needs to stay dry and mold-free. A water-free and moisture-free crawlspace will ensure your home is still standing for many generations to come.

I know I have some water in my crawlspace, but do I really need a sump pump?

The short answer is… probably yes. If you have water that is seeping in from around your foundation walls or up from the ground because of hydrostatic pressure, then absolutely yes! In fact, a sump pump alone will not take care of the water. You also need a complete drainage system installed along the inside perimeter of your foundation walls. Some grading of the dirt under your home will also need to be done. If the water is not remedied correctly, then it will be able to stand and flow freely throughout your crawlspace. Water will pool and stand in the low areas of your home if a proper drainage system is not installed. Pooling and standing water can cause your foundation piers to sink or lean, which will cause structural damage. Mold and wood rot will grow due to the excessive moisture which is due to the water.

Isn't a water problem and a moisture problem the same thing?

No. They are two different problems and how you deal with each of them is completely different. Water problems typically are caused by water seeping in from around the foundation walls in the crawlspace. A water problem requires a complete drainage system along the inside perimeter of the crawlspace and a proper sump pump to be installed. Moisture problems can be caused by water seepage, but they can also be caused by plumbing leaks in the crawlspace, condensation from your HVAC and sweating ductwork under your home, your foundation vents letting humid air under your home, fiberglass insulation under the subfloor in your crawlspace staying wet or damp. There are many different things that can moisture issues in your crawlspace. The only permanent solution for dealing with moisture in your crawlspace is our Doctor’s Choice Encapsulation System.

If I encapsulate my crawlspace, do I need a dehumidifer?

1000% YES! A true encapsulation system should include a dehumidifier. It should not be an option. When a crawlspace is encapsulated properly using the right products, it still is not 100% airtight. The encapsulation will seal off your crawlspace from the dirt ground and the outside humid air, but it doesn’t dry out the crawlspace by itself. A proper dehumidifier is necessary to dry out the wood and the contents in your crawlspace. A dehumidifier will filter out mold spores and keep your crawlspace dry regardless of how high the humidity is outside. To prevent mold from growing, the relative humidity needs to be less than 50% and that can only be achieved and maintained with the help of a proper dehumidifier.

Do I really need an encapsulation? Can't I just put some visqueen or a moisture barrier on the ground to take care of my crawlspace?

It depends on what you are wanting to achieve for your crawlspace. If you are wanting to completely dry out your crawlspace, treat for and prevent mold and wood rot, eliminate odors and smells, prevent moisture, high humidity, and condensation, have cleaner, breathable air in your living space, and an overall healthier home, then you need our Doctor’s Choice Encapsulation System. If you are not having any of these issues and want to have something cleaner to crawl on in your crawlspace, then a simple plastic barrier on the ground will be sufficient.

A barrier on the ground does not stop water, it does not stop humid air from coming in through your foundation vents and if you have any condensation or sweating of your ductwork, it will actually create a significant moisture problem. The water dripping down from your HVAC or ductwork will just sit on top of the plastic and pool up. Water can’t soak down through the plastic so it will sit there for years. Bugs and critters will love it.

I’ve always heard if you have foundation vents, they need to be opened so the crawlspace can breathe and be aired out. You’re telling me they need to be closed and sealed up. How do I know what to believe?

It’s a 100-year-old idea. Starting many years ago, when crawlspaces were built, builders believed you should keep the vents open in the summer and close them in the winter. You closed them in the winter to keep the cold air out and opened them in the summer so you could air out the crawlspace and keep it dry. This theory works in certain parts of the country. However, in the south, this theory is completely wrong! Over the past 25 years, there have been numerous studies done. There is now a Crawlspace Science. The building industry has changed its recommendations for building crawlspaces in the south.

They have realized that you don’t want outside airflow under your home in a humid climate. In Arkansas, for 8-9 months out of the year, we have a lot of humidity and moisture in our air. When your foundation vents are open, it’s that humid air that is blowing under your home. Over time, mold will grow and even wood rot (wood decay fungus). Once wood rot is growing, you will have significant structural damage. Once the mold is growing, this can cause significant health issues for you and your family. Once you apply science, it just makes sense.

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