Crawl Space Drying >> Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home

Most building codes require crawlspace vents to aid in removing moisture from the crawlspace. However, many building professionals are now recognizing that an unvented crawlspace (or closing crawlspace vents after the crawlspace has had time to dry out after construction) is the best option in homes using proper moisture control and Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home exterior drainage techniques for two reasons. 

First, ventilation in the winter is undesirable in order to keep crawlspaces warmer. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home Second, warm, moist outdoor air brought into the crawlspace through foundation vents in the summer is often unable to dehumidify a crawlspace and, in fact, can lead to increased moisture levels in the crawlspace. 

For example, a crawlspace kept cool by the ground in the summer may have a temperature of 65°F and 90% relative humidity (RH)—the dew point temperature of the air is 62°F. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home The dew point of outdoor air at 90°F and 60% RH is about 74°F. Thus, outdoor air brought into the crawlspace will actually increase the moisture level until water condenses out on cool crawlspace surfaces such as floor joists, foundation walls, and air-conditioning ducts. 

As framing stays moist, mold grows and dry rot develops. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs in some soils. It can enter a home through the foundation and floor system. If it occurs in significant concentrations (greater that 4 pico-curies per liter), it may pose a severe health risk to the home occupants. 

To guard against radon problems: Install a sealed, continuous layer of 6-mil polyethylene over the crawlspace floor. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home Install a plastic tee below the polyethylene that protrudes through the polyethylene. Install a vertical 3-inch plastic pipe from the foundation to the roof through an interior wall. Connect the tee to the vertical 3-inch plastic pipe for passive mitigation. 

Have an electrician stub-in a junction box in the attic. Test the bottom conditioned room for radon with an EPA-listed radon test kit, or hire a qualified technician. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home If the house has a high radon concentration, install an active radon mitigation system by attaching a small blower to the plastic pipe in the attic to expel the gases to the outside. 

If radon levels are especially high (over 25 picocuries per liter), consult with local radon experts. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home The following construction practices will prevent excess water in the form of liquid and vapor from infiltrating the crawl space. These techniques are shown in Figures 3-3, 3-4, and 3-5. 

Manage exterior ground and rain water by using gutters and downspouts and by grading the ground around the perimeter at least six inches of fall over ten feet of run. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home Install a foundation drain (if applicable) and apply water-proofing to the foundation walls. Locate the access door at least four inches above the ground (Dastur et al. 2005). 

Add back fill material or a drainage mat around the foundation that is free draining to allow ground or rain water to drain down to the perimeter drain installed at the base of the footing. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home There are a variety of approaches to footing drain design that are discussed in the next section. 

Add a capillary break (a closed cell foam sill sealer or gasket) between the top of the concrete and the sill plate to prevent moisture migration between the concrete foundation and the floor structure above. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home Similarly, to limit the amount of ground water absorbed through the footing, install a capillary break between the footing and the concrete wall (BSC 2006). 

If the floor of the crawlspace is above the top of the footing, soil will be in contact with the foundation wall above this capillary break, allowing moisture to be introduced into the wall via capillary suction. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home Install waterproofing to eliminate this capillary connection. 

Prevent evaporation from the ground to the interior by covering the entire ground with a poly vapor retarder, lapping seams at least six inches and sealing them with duct mastic. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home The ground vapor retarder material should be extended up onto the wall. 

The vapor retarder material should be structurally attached to the wall using a batten strip termination at the top edge, and sealed. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home For vented crawlspaces, the entire wall should be covered, leaving only a three inch termite inspection gap between the top of the wall and the sill plate (Marshall 2008). For insulated foundations, a lower termination is feasible. 

For cases where the vapor retarder will be the final finished floor surface, a 20-mil, fiber reinforced material is recommended. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home Such a vapor retarder makes for an effective crawl space liner because it is durable and tear/puncture resistant, making it possible to walk or crawl on it while keeping moisture in the ground from diffusing into the crawl space (Marshall 2008). 

Where applicable, include a four-inch deep, 3/4-inch diameter (no fines) stone bed above the ground and right below the vapor retarder. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home This functions as a granular capillary break below the vapor retarder, a drainage pad, and a sub-crawl space liner air pressure field extender for the soil gas ventilation system. 

Even after employing an effective crawl space drainage and vapor retarder system, it is still possible for moisture to find its way into the crawl space. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home In a vented crawlspace, cooler temperatures may cause moisture in humid air to condense on the walls, ceiling, and on the ground. Another possible source of moisture accumulation inside the crawl space is pipe leaks. 

These sources can create pools of water that need to be evacuated. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home This can be achieved by grading the crawl space floor and by installing a drain or sump pump at the low point. (Dastur et al. 2005). It is important to complete the internal drainage system early in the construction to prevent moisture buildup that can occur before the roof is completed. 

Concrete foundation walls contain water from when they were poured which needs to be dissipated by allowing them to dry. In cases where the majority of the wall is below grade, it can only dry to the interior. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home The insulation material and the wall covers placed on the walls during the construction of the crawl space act as vapor retarders, not allowing the walls to dry to the interior. 

For this reason, it is recommended that these wall coverings be installed near the end of construction to allow for as much drying of the concrete as possible (BSC 2006). Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home In unvented crawl spaces it is important not only to have an effective vapor retarder, but also to have a complete air barrier. 

For this reason, all gaps between the foundation wall and sill plate, sill plate and band joist, and band joist and subfloor should be sealed. Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home All gaps and penetrations in the foundation wall also need to be adequately sealed. A tight air barrier will prevent the influx of humid outside air through air transport, creating an interior space that is independent of outside moisture conditions. 

To further separate the conditions in the crawl space from those of the outside, mechanical drying systems such as a stand-alone dehumidifier should be used (Dastur et al. 2005). Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew In The Crawl Space Under A Mobile Home Alternately, the ductwork system can include the crawlspace in the supply / return cycle to effectively treat it as an  interior space.

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