Crawl Space Drying >> How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space

A properly sealed, moisture-protected, and insulated crawlspace will increase comfort, save on energy costs, improve the durability of the home, and reduce entry of moisture, radon, and other potential irritants or pollutants into the home. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Whichever design is followed, the keys to an effective crawlspace are: 

Moisture control using a water-managed foundation system to drain rainwater and groundwater away from foundations. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Airtight construction sealing all air leaks between the conditioned space and the outside prior to insulation installation. 

Complete insulation coverage properly installing the correct insulation levels and making sure the insulation coverage is continuous and complete. 
WATER-MANAGED FOUNDATION SYSTEM. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space A crawlspace is susceptible to moisture and deterioration problems because of contact with the earth. 

The best approaches for preventing these problems will depend on the local climate and style of construction, but the following general rules apply to most crawlspace designs.  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Keep all untreated wood materials away from the earth. 2. Provide rain drainage, such as gutters, to conduct rainwater away from the house. 

Slope the earth away from the house for at least 5 feet at a minimum 5% grade (3 inches in 5 feet). Establish drainage swales to direct rainwater around the house.  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space  Add a sill gasket to provide air sealing. Technology Fact Sheet OFFICE OF BUILDING TECHNOLOGY, STATE AND COMMUNITY PROGRAMS ENERGY EFFICIENCY  

RENEWABLE ENERGY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 5. Install a protective membrane, such as an EPDM-type membrane, to serve as a capillary break that reduces wicking of water from the masonry wall. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space This membrane, in addition to metal flashing, can serve as a termite shield.  

Dampproof the below-grade portion of the foundation wall to prevent the wall from absorbing ground moisture by capillary action.  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Install drainage plane material or gravel against the foundation wall to relieve hydrostatic pressure and channel water to the foundation drain. 

Provide a foundation drainage system at the bottom of the footing, not on top, when the foundation floor (interior grade) is below the exterior grade. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Surround a perforated 4-inch drain pipe with gravel and cover them with filter fabric. 9. Install 6-mil polyethylene across the crawlspace floor to prevent soil moisture from migrating into the crawlspace. 

Overlap and tape all seams by 12 inches, and seal the polyethylene 6 inches up the crawlspace walls. For years, standard building practice was to insulate underneath the floor over a ventilated, unconditioned crawlspace. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space A better approach is to build a well sealed, unventilated crawlspace (i.e., build the crawlspace like a basement) by sealing.

Insulating the foundation walls rather than the subfloor. Advantages to insulating the crawlspace walls are: Problems associated with ventilating the crawlspace are avoided. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Less insulation is required (around 400 square feet for a 1,000-square-foot crawlspace with 3-foot walls). 

Piping and ductwork are within the conditioned volume of the house so they do not require insulation for energy efficiency or protection against freezing. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Air sealing between the house and crawlspace is less critical. Disadvantages to insulating the crawlspace walls are: The insulation may be damaged by rodents, pests, or water. 

A radon mitigation system will require ventilation of the crawlspace to the exterior. Not planning for radon-resistant construction may necessitate air sealing the floor in order to mitigate the radon through ventilation. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space The crawlspace must be built airtight and the air barrier must be maintained. 

The access door to the crawlspace must be located inside the home through the subfloor unless an airtight, insulated access door in the perimeter wall is built and maintained. STEPS FOR INSTALLING CRAWLSPACE WALL INSULATION  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Review plans for this method of foundation insulation with pest control and local building officials to ensure code compliance. 

Eliminate or seal the foundation vents. 3. Ensure that combustion furnaces and water heaters located in the crawlspace are sealed-combustion units equipped with a powered combustion system.  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space  Seal all air leaks through the exterior wall during and after construction, including the band joist. 

Locate the crawlspace access inside the home or install an access through the perimeter that will remain airtight after repeated use.  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Select insulation levels in accordance with the International Energy Conservation Code or the DOE Insulation Fact Sheet. 

The Insulation Fact Sheet (DOE/CE-0180) can be ordered from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse or accessed from the Internet at www.ornl.gov/roofs+walls.  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Install rigid or batt insulation using one of three options (exterior foam, interior foam, or interior batt) to achieve complete insulation coverage. 

Insulate the band joist with batt insulation, and the crawlspace access if it is located in the wall. Install a continuous termite shield between the band joist and masonry foundation wall that covers the wall insulation and How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space extends completely outside, or leave a 2- to 4-inch insulation gap at the top for termite inspection. 

Install a supply outlet in the crawlspace, relying on the leakiness of the floor to provide the return air path. STEPS FOR INSTALLING UNDERFLOOR INSULATION  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space During the early phases of construction, meet with the mechanical subcontractors (plumbing, electrical, and heating/ cooling) to inform them of the importance of keeping the space between floor joists as clear as possible. 

Run drain lines, electrical wiring, and ductwork below the bottom of the insulation so that a continuous layer of insulation can be installed. For protection against freezing, supply plumbing may be located within the insulation. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space The best approach is to run supply plumbing together in a few joist spaces. The insulation can be split and run around the piping. 

Seal all air leaks between the conditioned area of the home and the crawlspace. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space High-priority leaks include holes around bathtub drains and other drain lines, plenums for ductwork, and penetrations for electrical wiring, plumbing, and ductwork (including duct boot connections at the floor). 

Select insulation levels in accordance with the International Energy Conservation Code or the DOE Insulation Fact Sheet.  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Insulation batts with an attached vapor barrier are usually used to insulate framed floors. Obtain insulation with the proper width for the joist spacing of the floor being insulated. Complete coverage is essential leave no insulation voids. 

The batts should be installed flush against the subfloor to eliminate any gaps that may serve as passageways for cold air to flow between the insulation and the subfloor. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space The batts should be cut to the full length of the joist being insulated and slit to fit around wiring and plumbing. Insulate the band joist area between air ducts and the floor as space permits. 

Use insulation hangers (wire staves) spaced every 12-18 inches to hold the floor insulation in place without compressing the insulation more than 1 inch.  How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space The orientation of the vapor barrier depends on the home’s location. In most of the country, the vapor barrier should face upward. 

However, in certain regions of the Gulf states and other areas with mild winters and hot summers, it should face downward. 6. Insulate all ductwork in the crawlspace. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Insulate all hot and cold water lines in the crawlspace unless they are located within the insulation. 

Close crawlspace vents after making sure the crawlspace is dry and all construction materials have dried out. How To Kill Mold In A Crawl Space Instead of batt insulation, a better approach is to install netting or rigid insulation to the underside of the floor trusses and filling the space created between the netting or insulation and subfloor with a loose-fill insulation.

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