Underneath 107 Marsh Street
When you have a cold, it is often easy to tell because you have symptoms. Your nose runs, your eyes hurt, you cough, How do you know when your home is sick? What symptoms do you look for, and what are the treatments?
Recently, the owners of 107 Marsh Street had a feeling that their house was sick. They were smelling u usual smells, the air quality inside was not what they hoped it would be and the big tell-tale sign was when her wood floors in her kitchen started buckling. They knew something was wrong, and after talking to flooring contractors and builders, Carolina Crawlspace Solutions was recommended to them.
They met with Leonard Farrugia (owner of Carolina Crawlspace Solutions) and together they went under the house. The problem was apparent. The moisture level under the home was significantly higher than it should be, and there was a large amount of mold present on the wood that supports the house.
When most folks think of moisture under the house, they think of water flowing in during a flood or water pooling from an HVAC system. Most crawlspaces have a moisture level that varies throughout the year as temperatures and relative humidity levels change. Over time, this can cause mold to build up, fungus to grow, and deterioration of wood that can cause floors to change shape, sag, and buckle.
In a nutshell, this was what was happening under the floor at 107 Marsh Street. This home was originally built in 1910, and a hundred years is a long time for moisture to be hanging out under a home. While the rest of the home had been lovingly maintained the crawlspace had not been addressed in many years.
Carolina Crawlspace Solutions assessed the problems and began with mold remediation work. They installed interior french drains and a sump pump to get rid of the ground water present. They then sealed the holes in the foundation with cement and epoxies. The next step was to insulate the foundation wall, not the floor, as many people expect.This allows the floor to 'breathe' and dry out.
Once the moisture level was down to the correct level, they wrapped the floors, piers, and walls in 90-mil thick liner which not only encapsulates the space, it also works as a mold and mildew barrier. Many other crawlspace companies use thinner material, but Carolina Crawlspace Solutions has learned over time that the better the barrier, the better the crawlspace. The additional benefit to using that particular narrier is it comes with a 25-year warranty.
In certain situations, a dehumidifier is necessary to maintain the correct balances, but in this situation, it was not required. They were able to tap into the existing HVAC system to climate-control the space, drying out the floor system and keeping the wood moisture content down.
Long story short, the work that Carolina Crawlspace Solutions did stopped all the outside air from coming in, they cleaned out the existing mold, mildew, and rot, they repaired the damage caused over the years, and they sealed and climate controlled the space, achieving a low wood moisture content.
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the stack effect
Stack effect refers to a common physics phenomena that explains why everything happening in the crawl space has a direct impact on your home's indoor air quality and energy efficiency.
As heated air rises inside a building, it exits the structure from any openings in uppermost levels: attic vents, windows, and wall and ceiling gaps. As that happens, the indoor air supply is consistently being replenished with air sucked in from the lowest levels of the building: the basement and crawl space. Therefore, at least one third of the air breathed in a home is coming from the home's crawl space or basement.
If the crawl space is moldy and rotten mold spores and dust mite waste pellets are being consistently sucked in with that air. Most spores and dust mite pellets re the two main indoor allergens, known to cause mild to severe upper respiratory allergy symptoms in sensitive people, the elderly and small children.