Many commercial property owners struggle with the problem of how to create an efficient and effective 'crawl space'. Crawl spaces are not necessarily a bad thing - they provide a great deal of space for storage and utility provision - but they are often overlooked as an important part of any building's design. With careful planning, a properly sized and utilised crawl space can have numerous benefits for any property owner. A typical crawl space is usually an unoccupied, incomplete, dark, unenclosed space below the original ground level of a building. The word 'crawl' itself originally meant 'dirt' but has since been adopted to describe the wide, open area below ground level that can be used for storage, utilities, and more. The termites love to build their nests in these areas, creating huge holes and other structural damage that will continue to affect your building's ventilation, heating, and electricity. The worst type of structural damage caused by termites is rotting wood, which will mean you need to replace all of your damaged wood with new, treated hardwood. Unfortunately, the damage caused by termites isn't the only thing you have to worry about. Mold, mildew and other kinds of fungi can also cause major problems if you don't seal your crawl space. Mold and mildew can permeate the concrete slab on which your foundation is laid, and it will travel up through the concrete pipe on your outside wall. You may not notice it at first, but the longer it goes unnoticed, the harder it is to stop the spread of mold. In some severe cases, concrete can crack completely, allowing moisture, rain, and other conditions to get inside your home. A good quality crawl space foundation should include a leak proof system for the main structure of the house, including your foundation footer drains. If there are any cracks or openings in the footers or the foundation footer drain system, this will allow rain and other weathering conditions to penetrate your home and build up in the crawl space. An unheated crawl space can also increase your home's internal temperature, which will have an effect on your home's heating costs as well as your overall health. A leaky foundation slab foundation allows rain and other weathering conditions to penetrate your house, potentially causing rotting floors, rusted metal foundations, and other structural damage. The second thing you want to look at is your crawl space vent system. This includes your heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, as well as your plumbing. Many homes with crawl spaces do not have any type of plumbing system installed inside of them, so they must have plumbing vents in place. Leaks in your plumbing vents are a common problem and can cause unpleasant odors and water leaks. Your third consideration in improving your crawl space foundation is to make sure there aren't any structural integrity problems. One way to check for structural integrity issues is to note what kind of soil materials are used to fill in your crawl space. If the soil is packed hard, there may be no option other than to rip out the existing concrete and start from scratch. However, if the soil is loose, it may be possible to add some sand or gypsum to the soil, while also adding a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from getting inside. Adding a vapor barrier will also help keep mold from forming in your crawl space if mold has gotten in there through the cracks and crevices in the soil.
Author: Gerald Lewis
A crawl space is basically an unoccupied, unfinished, shallow ground area in a building, right below the upper level. The term 'crawl space' is also used when talking about unoccupied garages, storage buildings, attics and warehouses. The term 'crawl space' is usually reserved for this area and is not used elsewhere in the building. Crawl spaces are extremely useful in industrial settings, as they provide an efficient and safe working environment. They are also used for residential homes as a result of their small size, yet they can make any home safer and more secure. There are a lot of different reasons why a crawl space could become moist. Usually it's because the home or business is located in a place that experiences high levels of humidity or rain. In addition to the normal causes of moisture on the outside of the building (such as plumbing leaks, roof leaks, or burst pipes), water from rain or snow can cause the ground in the crawl space to swell, creating a wet basement environment. The moisture from the soil also can seep in from basements, above-ground pools or even from drainage pipes on the outside of the house. Any of these sources can lead to the formation of mold and mildew - both of which are very serious concerns that should be addressed as soon as possible. If the walls in the crawl space have not been properly insulated or contain insulation that is not rated for basement environments, the walls can absorb a great deal of heat and even freeze, which can create dangerous situations. Even if the walls are adequately insulated, the insulation may be missing entirely, which will allow a lot of heat to escape and can make a space uncomfortable to live in for a long time. If the heating and cooling systems are operating correctly, it is relatively easy to eliminate most (if not all) moisture problems in a basement by simply sealing off the area with a vapor barrier. It is important to note, however, that if this step is not taken, moisture will continue to seep into the walls, leading to a potential fire hazard in case of a ruptured pipe or leak. A vapor barrier is also an excellent method of controlling the amount of heat that escapes from the home, which can be a problem during the winter months when the heat escapes through windows and walls. When considering the safety of a crawl space, there are a number of other things to consider besides moisture issues and mold and mildew growth. For instance, space heaters can be installed in these spaces without any additional insulation, leading to a situation where the space can rapidly become very warm when winter temperatures are in the single digits (or even lower). If the space becomes too warm, it can encourage people to stay longer indoors, which can create health risks (including rises in blood pressure and heart rate) for all of the occupants. Additionally, spaces that are left unventilated can lead to a lack of ventilation (which can lead to an increased risk of developing mold and mildew) and a building collapse due to high humidity. As you can see, there are a number of safety factors to consider when designing and implementing a complete crawl space waterproofing strategy. Not only do these spaces eliminate the health risks associated with ventilated and poorly ventilated spaces, they also help prevent the structural integrity of the home. Many basements are located below grade concrete slab on the surface, and this slab can severely limit the amount of concrete that can be used to build a finished basement. In order to seal off the interior of the crawl space and keep it dry, the foundation must be thoroughly waterproofed. This includes the footer drains and main sewer line, which must be sealed to prevent sewage backups and water damage to the foundation. Once this line is properly sealed, the floor slab and walls will need to be given additional water resistant materials to prevent rot and moisture penetration. If the foundation is not properly waterproofed, it will lead to the cracking of interior concrete slab floor slab. All in all, proper planning for an effective waterproofing of a crawl space should be initiated prior to construction.
A crawl space (also called a cellar) is an unfinished, unenclosed, usually lower level area within an apartment or house, somewhere between the first floor and the ground. The word 'crawl' was first used in 1855, referring to the drawers and boxes used by workers in the then-new elevator systems. Today, it refers to any unoccupied space that is below ground level. In architectural terms, a crawl space might also be called a shaft. One of the most important characteristics of a crawl space, other than its typically uninviting and often damp conditions, is that it is below the earth's surface. Because it is below the earth's surface, it is at the same time above and exposed to rain, snow, and general soil erosion. When water seeps into a basement, for example, it expands to the point that it overgrows - and can start to cause structural problems for the foundation. By nature, all soils are acidic; therefore, anything that adds an acid base to a basement will increase its propensity to erode, causing subsidence. Ground water, rain, ice, etc...Have the combined effect of gradually raising the level of soil along the base of the foundation. In a crawl space, this means that moisture from these natural processes can percolate into the structure through gaps and cracks in the concrete and stone walls. If the walls are not reinforced sufficiently to keep water out, then the water can percolate to the floor and throughout the house. In addition, standing water can cause structural damage to the foundation, leading to leaks and a range of other problems, including settling of the house and structural weakening. Therefore, waterproofing your crawl space basement really is a very serious matter. A vapor barrier is the key to protecting crawl spaces from water vapor. It works by creating an airtight seal over the area of the space, both above and below the foundation. There are several types of vapor barriers available, and there are several different approaches to installing them. The most common method is to install a vertical line of vapor barrier - this is referred to as a trench drain system. Other approaches include installing channels along the base of the foundation or a sheeting membrane across the entire perimeter. Moisture is another issue with crawl spaces. Not only does it increase the risk of mold growth, it also increases the risk of electrical and/or thermal problems. Indoor air contamination of a basement is a major health issue that often results in allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and other health problems. By sealing off the space from outside air, you can effectively prevent this contamination from occurring. In addition, by providing ventilation to a basement, you can eliminate the need for a vapor barrier. Ventilating a crawl space will eliminate the need for mold removal or repair as well as provide the necessary air circulation to eliminate moisture buildup. If you're looking to seal off crawl spaces, moisture, mold, and air, you need an HVAC professional. There are many benefits to having an HVAC contractor seal your crawl spaces, such as insulation, ventilation, and vapor barrier. This will help ensure that your home or business remains safe and secure. By sealing and insulating your crawl spaces, you'll be reducing the amount of energy that is used in the home as well as lowering your heating and cooling costs. Your heating and cooling bills will be much lower if you seal and insulate your crawl spaces properly, instead of just hoping that they stay warm.
If you have a crawl space in your home, there are a few things you need to know about it to make sure it's safe for you and your family. A crawl space (often called a cellar) is an uninviting, unused, unfinished, narrow area inside an apartment, house or other structure, usually between the second floor and the ground. Most homeowners choose to have a crawl space installed when their property is being built. If your property already has a subsoil basement, most likely you will also have a crawl space. You may think it's not important, but it can be a major health hazard. The primary reason to get a crawl space sealed is to prevent mildew and moisture from getting inside your home. If there's any moisture at all in your crawl space, it can cause your walls and wood framing to rot and become vulnerable to water damage and mold/mildew. Your walls and floors can also trap heat and cold air, contributing to mould and mildew growth. Any time there is excess moisture or heat in your home, you are inviting mould and mildew into it. Even if your crawl space does not have any visible or detectable moisture, it is still advisable to have a professional test it to check for moisture. Remember: moisture kills! So while you're looking to seal your crawl space, you should also consider sealing surrounding areas such as around vents, radiators, plumbing and outside air vents and exhausts. A professional can find any leaks and seal them using high-quality silicone caulking. While it may seem like a good idea to keep your crawl space dry by opening the windows and doors every time a slight moisture level appears, this isn't always an effective solution. When you seal your crawl space, you prevent moisture from getting inside. However, it is equally important that you let outside air in when needed. Excess humidity and warm air present a very attractive growing environment for mildew and mold, which are some of the most hazardous types of indoor air pollutants. In order to protect your home from mildew and mold, sealing and encapsulating your crawl space will provide ongoing protection. It will reduce moisture by up to 40%! It will also keep your heating and cooling costs down, which is especially important during the winter months when those two elements can be very expensive. If you already have a vapor barrier on the interior of your home but want to seal the perimeter, you can easily apply one to your crawl space. This will stop moisture from entering your crawl space and is a great option for people who live in hot, humid climates. Sealing your crawl space will also protect your wood flooring from damage due to dampness and water damage. The floor must be sealed with an encapsulation product between the soil and the baseboard to ensure full protection. Wood floors are at a higher risk of moisture damage due to their porous nature, so it is critical that you seal them. Not only will this help to protect your floor, it will also protect your home in the long run, reducing the amount of structural damage that occurs due to dampness and water damage. The cost of protecting your crawl space will be far lower than the structural damage that it may cause to your home.
There are many benefits to installing a quality sealed and waterproofed crawl space. Crawl spaces are typically unfinished, uninsulated rooms above the ground level of a commercial building. The term 'crawl space' is typically used in association with basement developments, but can actually be found in retail outlets, warehouses and other retail facilities where the floor space to be enclosed may be shorter than that of the floor of the building. A dry, ventilated crawl space makes the risk of mold and mildew much more likely. Installing a finished basement or crawl space requires careful planning and inspection. The initial step is to eliminate all existing floor conditions that present a health or safety risk. This includes a thorough investigation of the structural foundation, which may reveal problems with plumbing venting system. Other critical issues are the presence of water pipes or fixtures, the condition of the concrete slab and walls, and the presence of any vents or exhaust system (e.g. chimneys). Once the foundation is deemed safe, the next step is to identify the location of the new foundation. In many cases, concrete slabs are set on top of the soil or on top of a pad, but it is also possible to dig straight into the soil. In most cases, once the foundation is excavated, soil is pulled away from the house, but in some instances root extensions may be required to position the slab on the correct spot. Once this is completed, the dirt is leveled and compacted and a trowel is used to apply the new base concrete. In most Canada homes, basement finishing involves two processes: wet fixing or dry fixing. Wet fixing is the construction of the foundation and wall cavities, including the floor, while dry fixing is the actual waterproofing of the crawl space. Wet-fixing projects can include the addition of a concrete slab, which forms the base of the structure. On the other hand, dry fixing simply means sealing the existing concrete slab. There are two primary reasons why the crawl space can become damp and mold-filled: natural ventilation and structural conditions. Natural ventilation is usually controlled by strategically placing windows and doors to allow air movement while dampness and mold accumulation can be managed through effective drainage. Poor condensation and humidity control can result in a combination of structural problems, including deterioration of the building envelope, damage to the foundation and walls, as well as the growth of harmful organisms like black mold, lichens, molds, and fungus. The effects of these conditions on the occupants of the crawl space can range from mildew to damage to the building envelope and walls. Mildew and molds are known to create allergens, allergies, and respiratory irritations, while mildew can create unbearable warmth and a need for air-conditioning or dehumidification. In addition, molds can be linked to health problems such as asthma and allergies. And if dampness or moisture is present, mold spores can be released into the air, which can prove harmful to your health and that of your family. Thus, it is important to repair or prevent water infiltration into the crawl space.
If you are building a new home or renovating an existing home you may have heard of a 'crawl space'. But what is a crawl space? A crawl space is a vacant unfinished, narrow area in a house, usually between the first and second floors. The word 'crawl' is derived from the Latin word 'capuit' meaning hand. There are several reasons for having a 'crawl space'. One reason is that it was originally created to give easy access to a cellar, hence the name 'crawl'. Another reason is the construction of houses with all-sided walls, which were considered difficult at the time; in order to create a flat roof with no overhang on one side, foundations were poured below the existing walls. This is called pouring the foundation. If the walls are poured to level the roof then you are in a position of having a foundation, but without the overhangs that provide good ventilation to a crawl space. A concrete floor provides good ventilation but does not allow much outside air to come in, unless there are large openings in the walls. The air that comes in can easily be trapped by the concrete, therefore mold and mildew can grow very quickly. It is these black or dark colored molds that mold loves. They are the perfect growing environment for mold, and it takes very little moisture to cause mold problems in a concrete slab. If you are building a new house, make sure that you have plenty of space to add in crawl spaces underneath your finished basement walls. This can provide the perfect amount of room for expanding into a crawl space, if desired. If your house has two levels, or some rooms are on higher levels than the others, then there is no problem with putting in crawl spaces underneath your finished basements. You may choose to just use some drywall between the floors and walls as a transition from one level to another. It is not recommended to use actual brick or stone blocks in this area, just put in cinder blocks. You will also want to look for insulation in your crawl space. The walls should have insulation applied to them, or the space could have loose, damp insulation throughout. This allows moisture to get in and does not provide good insulation. Exterior walls in the crawl space should also have insulation applied. If you are getting this type of insulation, make sure it is fairly rigid and tightly applied, because the air circulation is important. Another issue that many people do not consider when they build their basement are the foundation footers. Often, these are not finished properly and can allow moisture and water to get underneath the finished concrete slab. Once the floor is finished, then the only real problem left is standing water on the outside of the finished floor. You may also run into problems if you do not have any kind of water control system in place for the crawl space, which allows the water to drain.
A crawl space can be an unused, unfinished, concrete-filled area inside an establishment, between the first floor and the earth. The term 'crawl space' is also used for unheated storage rooms, such as basements and attics. The term crawl space has also been used to describe a part of a room that is below grade, usually because it connects two or more other areas, or a part of a building which is below normal constructional levels. The term 'crawl space' is often used in connection with the phrase 'crawlspace,' which is a common type of term used in the construction industry. Although it might sound strange, crawlspaces are actually used quite often. The majority of crawl spaces are connected to another part of the building by means of a man-made foundation, known as a crawlspace sill. The sill is placed on the soil so that water and/or soil can seep through and away from the foundation and drainage pipes and vents. The moisture will eventually cause mold and mildew to grow, which is a health risk for anyone living or working in the building. The mold and mildew will create a danger to those who are allergic to mold and mildew, as well as damaging furniture, appliances, ceiling and floor tiles, ceiling and floor materials, and finishes. A soil or concrete slab will be installed over the finished floor of the crawl space, and a level base poured to fit around the perimeter of the opening. A sloped concrete patio, with a radius of about three feet, will be cut into the opening. A sidewall will be then erected over the patio, and skids will be fitted to the sides of the sidewall to contain the openings in the concrete slab. The openings are designed to allow excess water and soil to drain away from the foundation and to a level beneath the patio. The soil should be moistened with a light mud or loose soil mix that will retain moisture and prevent mold and mildew from growing. Moisture will also attract ants and other vermin to the crawl space, so it's important to keep it well watered. After the perimeter has been sealed, a skidwall will be erected to contain all of the openings in the perimeter. The sidewall is constructed from lumber that has been cut into four-foot by four-foot sections and then joined at the corners to make it strong and sturdy. It will be buried between the walls and the concrete, and then the edges will be stapled onto the sidewall. Once the construction is complete, there will be a space large enough to walk through. A wooden door will be built into the center of the sidewall, and it will be lifted open by a steel frame. The door is designed to swing outward, so that the outside air can flow through the space. Another option for ventilation is a metal door at the top of the slope leading to the interior of the crawl space. Another option is a concrete-lined pit dug into the floor of the basement which can be sealed off with polyethylene sheeting. In this manner, the concrete can be lined with insulation to keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer. Crawl spaces are not always dry. Moisture will build up in these spaces from soil and leaking pipes, so it's important to make sure that the space is properly ventilated to eliminate moisture problems. This will prevent mold and mildew from growing and will make the flooring and walls of these spaces more durable. By following the proper ventilation procedures for crawl spaces, homeowners can help to make sure that they are kept in a comfortable home for as long as possible.
A crawl space, also known as a finished basement, is an unfinished, empty, narrow unoccupied space in a construction, usually between the basement floor and the first floor level. The word 'crawl' is derived from the fact that it is difficult to walk through a crawl space, with the walls and ceiling acting as steps. A crawl space may also be described as an unfinished basement, as it is not always finished basement that people refer to, but may only be a part of a completed home. This type of space does not necessarily have sub-roomification, as it is a part of the construction and not necessarily part of the living area of the building. When a crawl space becomes too full of humidity, mildew and mold, it becomes a breeding ground for mould, dust mites, termites, radon gas, water damage and moisture-causing organisms. A damp crawl space may also contain harmful chemicals and waste materials such as asbestos, lead paint and discarded automobile tires. It is easy to tell if a crawl space has problems with water infiltration or excessive moisture. Check for signs of subsurface drainage and find water-logged drywall or damaged masonry around the ceilings, walls and floors, especially in the foundation. Excessive moisture can cause warping, buckling and rotting of the building materials, and this will make the foundations more susceptible to failure, especially in earthquakes. An effective solution for crawl spaces is encapsulation. The process of encapsulation involves spraying a water-resistant coating of polyethylene onto the walls and floor, as well as sealing the seams between the walls and ceiling using rigid foam tape. The rigid foam tape is then connected to a water-proof membrane attached to the ceiling above the liner system. A water-resistant, odor-free encapsulation membrane is another method of insulating a crawl space by using a vapor barrier. This membrane will keep most smells out of a space, which is especially important when a building is being constructed and is adjacent to an occupied home or other occupied space. Condensation is a problem with basements because of the relative humidity and temperature. Basement walls are often sealed with mineral wool or insulation board. These products prevent moisture from penetrating the surface of the wall and condensation from occurring. Moist air tends to rise so the water in the basement flows upward into the attic or crawl space. This process causes the relative humidity to increase. When basement walls are sealed, the increased relative humidity is replaced with indoor air. Air ventilation is another problem with basements that cannot be remedied with typical materials for walls and roofs. Many basements in commercial buildings are poorly ventilated and suffer from condensation and mold buildup due to inadequate ventilation. Even when ducts and plumbing are using to provide ventilation to the crawl space, the typical materials used (cement, tile, sheet rock) do not filter enough air for good ventilation. Mold, mildew, black mold and wood rot are all symptoms of moisture problems in a crawl space that must be cleaned up and repaired. If your crawl space has the potential to hold water and is unventilated, you need to find a solution now. By sealing and encapsulating your basement, you can stop the growth of mold and pests, and also provide a healthier living environment for you and your family.