Crawl Spaces – Recommendations & Guidelines

Dirt crawl spaces are usually damp from water evaporating from the ground below and from water flowing into the crawl space. Ground soil has a very high humidity level. In a dirt crawl space or dirt floor basement, water vapor is constantly leaving the ground and entering your home.
Crawl spaces with a concrete floor and cinderblock foundation walls are also prone to moisture from porous blocks, especially if there is not a functioning drainage system.

Typical homeowner mistakes are:

* Improper drainage
* Lack of an effective moisture barrier
* Improper installation of insulation
* High humidity levels
* Allowing uncontrolled mold growth

Basements and crawl spaces are more prone to fostering mold growth than any other level in the home.

In basements and crawl spaces, periodically examine these areas for any evidence of dampness and mold growth that might be taking place in the building materials. A mold infestation in the framing can spread to other parts of the home, or lead to the weakening of beams and other bearing walls that are crucial in the stability of the structure.

Airborne mold spores from the crawl space can travel in air currents or in heating and cooling ventilation systems (or air ducts) and cross-contaminate your entire home.

Even crawl spaces  with concrete floors are spaces that typically have very high humidity levels which should be reduced to  prevent unwanted mold growth. The best way to control humidity levels is with a proper sized dehumidifier that has a built in humidistat that allows you to set the desired level of humidity and has a direct drain port to evacuate the collected water.

A proper moisture barrier or encapsulation such as Ameri-Cover, combined with a sub-floor drainage system, sump pump and dehumidification unit will help to prevent and eliminate crawl space mold.

Insulating and encapsulating your crawlspace with a “conditioned closed space design” will reduce your overall energy consumption and pay for the transition in no time, especially if your heating/cooling ducts run through the  currently unconditioned space.

Ameri-Cover is a fiber-reinforced flexible membrane used to create a continuous, permanent barrier from external moisture and earth gases in crawlspaces and basements. Ameri-Cover transforms a dirty, damp crawlspace into a clean, dry storage space. Ameri-Cover is strong and durable enough to be walked on.

Ameri-Cover exceeds all ASTM E-1745 requirements for a vapor and moisture barrier and is required when constructing closed or conditioned crawlspaces.

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