French drains are an outstanding method of managing ground water and even rain water in some instances. The keys to a successful french drain are proper system design and installation. There’s a right way to design a drainage plan and theres a wrong way, just like there’s a right way to install it and a wrong way.
If your HVAC is in the crawl space then most likely, the answer is yes! When warm humid air comes in contact with a cool surface, moisture forms as condensation droplets. These droplets continue all throughout the summer forming continuous puddles under many homes.
It’s the middle of Summer 2015 here in Chesapeake, VA and the weather is beautiful! We’ve got sunshine, great beach weather, and summer storms. But of course, as the storms are stirring up, the water isn’t always kind to home owners!
Here we are in the middle of summer. It’s a hundred degrees outside and the humidity is almost unbearable… so what is going on under your house in the crawl space?
As the hot humid air enters through the foundation vents into the cool crawl space, the relative humidity is rising and rising. Think about the hot air on a cool glass of iced tea or the mirrors in your bathroom after a hot steamy shower. Condensation begins to form on just about everything.
Moisture typically comes from a three different sources in a crawl space:
1. The Earth. The Earth constantly releases moisture into the air which results in a higher relative humidity. This is why, at a minimum, you should have a 6-mil polyethelyne plastic liner covering 100% of the ground. This can prevent the need for remedial measures in the future.
It’s up to you but we recommend it! You could save THOUSANDS! But be aware, getting estimates can be confusing. A novice inspector or an ineffective explanation can leave you confused or unsure of the right thing to do. Old methods of crawl space thinking can be outdated and simply wrong. Let the science, testimonials, and proven results do the talking. That’s why it’s important to DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
Unlevel floors and doors occur because of movement. Movement occurs because the amount of weight that the floors are holding is more than the amount of weight that the structure can hold in that area. This is known as the load bearing capacity. All sagging and unlevel floors is caused by inadequate load bearing capacity whether it is due to the wood framing of the floor weakening from moisture and wood destroying fungi or from weak footings that supports the piers. Settlement in a home at any age is not good and while it may be somewhat common for older homes, it is not good for the health and value of the home.
1. Quality of Products
The three main products involved in crawl space encapsulation are the:
A. Encapsulation Floor Liner
B. Wall Liner or Insulation
C. The Dehumidifier
As discussed previously, an encapsulation system has many benefits… Here are the top 10 benefits you can expect when your crawl space is encapsulated:
1. Encapsulation leads to consistently desirable moisture levels! The dehumidifier dries the crawl space.
2. Dry framing keeps your floors nice and strong. Moisture weakens wooden floor framing so when we keep it dry, your house will stay strong.
Crawl space encapsulation is a “remedial” treatment for the common crawl space symptoms of high wood moisture content, mold and fungal growth, high relative humidity, poor energy efficiency, and cold floors in the winter. It is the only tested and proven, long-term solution to remedy these problems and prevent future problems. Anything else is a bandaid approach.
Every home can benefit from a professionally installed encapsulation system but the million dollar question is… “Is the benefit worth the investment?”