Sealed Crawl Spaces – A Better Crawl System
A properly sealed crawl space, also known as conditioned crawl space, is a great way to save money and improve the air quality inside your home. In addition to controlling moisture and energy loss, a conditioned crawl space can help you avoid foundation and health issues due to moisture accumulation.
Most homes built over the last 30 years were built with vented crawl spaces. The wood framing sits on a concrete block foundation that lifts the home about 2 feet above the dirt below. Vents are added to the block foundation and the sub-floor of the house is insulated with fiberglass batt insulation.
This common construction routine is filled with problems.
Firstly, fiberglass insulation does a poor job stopping air infiltration, so cold outside air continues to seep through your floor in the winter and humid outside air seeps in during the summer. This typically leads to an uncomfortable home, higher HVAC bills, or both.
Secondly, most homes have HVAC and ductwork in the crawl space. All this ductwork is carrying air of the opposite temperature from outside which causes the ductwork to sweat. This buildup of moisture leads to mold, mildew, and wood rot. Since up to 50% of household air can flow through the crawl space, a vented crawl space can inevitably lead to your family breathing in the moldy air without knowing it.
This combination of air leakage and poor air quality can cause numerous issues for homeowners – all of which can be avoided with a sealed/conditioned crawl space.
Benefits of a Sealed Crawl Space:
- Lower utility bills to heat and cool your home
- Prevention of mold growth and wood rot
- Elimination of drafts which cause cold floors
- Improved indoor air quality
In a sealed crawl space, moisture and energy loss is controlled by creating a tightly sealed mini basement beneath your home. A heavy-duty vapor-retarding ground cover is installed to prevent air leakage. The next step is to condition the space by using the earth’s consistent temperature. Much like an unvented attic, this ensures that any duct leakage stays within the home rather than leaking to the outside.
Not only does this increase the effectiveness of your HVAC system, but it also helps eliminate unwanted moisture collection and control relative humidity, which improves the indoor air quality of your home.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our team of professionals are happy to make recommendations specifically for your home.
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