Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Crawlspace Encapsulation - Quality



Crawlspace Encapsulation - Quality

Your Crawlspace, Inc. is always looking innovative ways to improve the crawlspace encapsulation process. With more than a decade’s experience developing materials and installing those materials, Your Crawlspace, Inc.’s innovation has always been driven by four factors: safety, quality of installation, ease of installation, and profitability. We addressed safety in our last post.

Your Crawlspace, Inc. offers a 25 year warranty on the material it sells and the company stands behind its installations in the Charleston, SC area. Call-backs due to seam tape failure, brittle and cracked vapor barriers, or wall material falling off the wall are very expensive problems that are easily avoided.
Our company’s crawlspace encapsulation materials are manufactured to the highest standards. Our vapor barriers are woven and then coated so they're strong, puncture resistant, and stay flexible. Our tapes and adhesives are time-tested in the construction industry. Our materials have been field-tested and they have been laboratory-tested in specialized aging and weatherization chambers to assure that they will perform in the way we claim they will. Your Crawlspace is constantly testing new materials and it is only after extensive testing that we are confident enough to sell our materials to the public or install them in our customer’s homes.

Our company’s crawlspace encapsulation materials are manufactured to the highest standards because they have to be. We install what we sell in the Charleston, SC market and we stand behind and guarantee our installations. It is not enough that the Your Crawlspace materials are the best materials available in the marketplace. Because we install them in the Charleston market, they must install safely, easily, and permanently. With a 25 year warranty, our materials must perform and our installations must last for decades.   

If you’re looking for highest quality crawlspace encapsulation materials available, visit https://yourcrawlspace.com, send us an email https://info@yourcrawlspace.com, or give us a call, (877) 442-7295. Since our system installs in a fraction of the time of any system using mechanical fasteners, you’ll save money in the process.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Crawlspace Encapsulation - Safety



Crawlspace Encapsulation - Safety

Your Crawlspace, Inc. is always looking innovative ways to improve the crawlspace encapsulation process. With more than a decade’s experience developing materials and installing those materials, Your Crawlspace, Inc.’s innovation has always been driven by four factors: safety, quality of installation, ease of installation, and profitability.
The expression, “First, do no harm.” is commonly (and incorrectly) attributed to the Hippocratic Oath. Regardless of where it came from, the expression could be part of the Your Crawlspace commitment, too. Safety is our number one concern. It permeates everything we do, every decision we make.

When considering safety, we always consider three factors. Most importantly, the homeowner will be living in their home long after the crawlspace contractor and installation crew has packed up its tools and left. To that end, all of the Your Crawlspace, Inc. materials, from the adhesives we use to the vapor barrier on the walls and ground, are nonflammable, nontoxic, and low VOC (volatile organic compounds). They are absolutely safe for the homeowner, the homeowner’s pets, and the environment.

That brings me to the second safety factor. Any construction site is inherently dangerous. Your Crawlspace, Inc. wants to sleep well at night knowing their crawlspace installation crew has not been exposed to any unnecessary risk. There are no crawlspace encapsulation materials safer than the Your Crawlspace system. We take all the normal precautions (Face masks, Tyvek suits, etc.) but we look for the safest installation materials available, too.
 
Finally, while the safety of our customers and contractors is paramount, damage to the structure is also always a concern. Somehow, it has always seemed counterintuitive to shoot or drill holes in the foundation that you’re trying to seal. Studies in our offices and in the field have proven that installation systems that shoot or drill holes in the foundation not only add hours to the installation but also can damage the foundation. With structural safety always a concern, the Your Crawlspace, Inc. system attaches to the foundation without any structural damage. 

If you’re looking for safest crawlspace encapsulation materials available, visit https://yourcrawlspace.com, send us an email, or give us a call. And since our system installs in a fraction of the time of any system using mechanical fasteners, you’ll save money in the process.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Your Crawlspace Crawl Space Encapsulation System



If you get three general contractors together and the discussion turns crawlspaces and moisture control and other crawlspace problems, you will probably hear six opinions. Folks, seem to have different and often conflicting opinions about what tack is the best to take. The idea of crawlspace encapsulation (sealing) has been around for a while now. Your Crawlspace Inc. has been sealing crawlspaces for a decade and follows the recommendations of Advanced Energy http://www.advancedenergy.org/portal/crawl_spaces/pdfs/Home%20Energy%20January%202005_low%20     res2.pdf  and the US Department of Energy http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/downloads/building-america-top-innovations-hall-fame-profile-unvented-conditioned-0 http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/building_america/29238.pdf   Here’s our take on the subject.

There has been much research on crawlspace encapsulation during the past decade. The US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Energy, the ZEBRAlliance at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and a research organization called Advanced Energy have all done excellent and groundbreaking research in the area of crawlspace encapsulation. Their research findings were instrumental in the last revision of the International Building Code and the recommendations of many state energy offices. They all agree in a few, very important areas.

When building scientists consider your home, they think of it as a single system. Your HVAC system, insulation, windows, attic, living space, and crawl space all work together. All of these building components need to be optimized and balanced to achieve maximum comfort, performance, and energy efficiency. Your crawlspace is an important part of this system.

Your house is like a giant chimney. By natural convection, air is drawn in through crawlspace vents and air leaks. Because warm air rises, the crawlspace air is drawn through the living space (along with mold spores, odors, and moisture) and exhausted through the attic. This phenomenon is called 
 the “chimney effect” or “stack effect.”
 

In the summer, your crawlspace is naturally cooler than the ambient outside temperature. So when the warm, humid outside air reaches the cooler crawlspace surface areas, the moisture condenses on framing, plumbing, wiring, insulation and especially HVAC ductwork and “sweats”, just like an iced tea glass sweats on your kitchen table in the summer. In the southeast it is not unheard of for crawlspace humidity to approach 100% and actually rain inside the crawlspace!


The moisture in your crawlspace creates an ideal environment for wood destroying organisms, mold, and mildew. It can saturate and destroy the effectiveness of your insulation and promote wood rot. And because of the chimney effect, the humid crawlspace air, full of mold and mildew spores and nasty odors, eventually finds its way into your living space creating an unhealthy environment and causing your air conditioning to work overtime to dehumidify the air. Just a vapor barrier might help a bit, but most of the moisture is coming from outside through your vents, not your dirt, crawlspace floor.

So, the alternative to a vented crawlspace is an encapsulated (sealed) crawlspace. Crawlspace encapsulation involves sealing all outside vents, installing a high-performance vapor retarder on all exposed wall and floor surfaces, insulating the walls and rim joist, and conditioning the air.

The prevailing research claims that by insulating the walls and rim joist, it is unnecessary to insulate the floor. However, if you have existing floor insulation and it is in good condition, leave it in place. We generally recommend spray foam or a rigid foam board insulation that is fire-retardant, low VOC, and offers an R-13 value or greater. Foam board cuts easily and can be used for sealing existing crawlspace vents too. The sill plate should be caulked and spray foam insulation or paper-faced fiberglass insulation is used to insulate the rim joist.

The building codes in most areas require the air in an encapsulated crawlspace to be conditioned. That generally means adding a dehumidifier or using the existing HVAC system to condition the air. The EPA and the Department of Energy recommend using the existing HVAC system at a rate of one cubic foot per minute of conditioned air per fifty square feet of crawlspace area. That’s a small fraction of the conditioned air it takes to condition a typical bedroom. A qualified HVAC contractor can add one or two 4” or 6” vents to a system for a nominal cost. The vents are usually equipped with a butterfly valve that can be adjusted to get the desired air flow.

An alternative to the installation of the vents is a crawlspace dehumidifier. Sometimes HVAC ducts are in the attic and a dehumidifier is the only choice. And sometimes humidity is such a major problem that it is necessary to add a dehumidifier and an HVAC baffle vent. A remote humidistat is inexpensive and an invaluable tool for determining the correct amount of dehumidification. Remember that you’re not trying to heat and cool your crawlspace; you’re just adding a small amount of conditioned air. A relative humidity target of 60% or lower is a good place to start. Mold and mildew will not grow below 60% relative humidity.

Your Crawlspace Inc. installs the Your Crawlspace Inc. vapor barrier system. It is the highest quality and safest system available. Your Crawlspace Inc. pioneered encapsulation in the southeast and sells innovative crawlspace products throughout North America. You can learn more about the system at their website,
www.yourcrawlspace.com.
All of the experts agree that when you seal a crawlspace or add a high performance vapor barrier, the vapor barrier should be firmly attached and sealed to the crawlspace foundation wall. Most reputable crawlspace contractors use some sort of mechanical fastener to accomplish this. Even after being attached, the vapor barrier needs to be sealed the foundation. Some contractors use flammable and potentially explosive mastic. This approach is dangerous, labor intensive, and can even damage the foundation wall. We install the Your Crawlspace Inc. system because it is the safest system for our installers, the homeowner and their pets, and the home’s foundation.

In addition to dramatically increasing indoor air quality and protecting the structure of your home, several research studies from Advanced Energy indicate that crawlspace encapsulation can actually lower energy usage. These studies were done in several parts of the country with varying climates. A link to their study results is below.

www.advancedenergy.org/buildings/knowledge_library/crawl_spaces/pdfs/Closed%20Crawl%20Spaces_An%20Introduction%20for%20the%20Southeast.pdf

Your Crawlspace Inc. is a full service crawlspace installation contractor and the manufacturer of the highest quality encapsulation materials available. With offices in Charleston, SC, the company markets its materials nationwide and installs its materials in South Carolina. Visit our website and see for yourself what makes Your Crawlspace Inc. the homeowner’s choice for first rate home improvements and the professional installer’s choice for top quality materials. www.yourcrawlspace.com