Sealed Vapor Barrier
Keeping your floor joists away from moisture is the key factor in preventing mold throughout your home. A dry crawl space not exposed to the open ground where mold originates from is a far healthier circumstance to live within.
The 3 different type of solutions
1. Replace your 6 mil plastic vapor barrier
2. Keep your current insulation in
Your next decision is:
Q. How long has your current insulation been exposed to a dewed crawl ceiling dripping on it during every warm season creating moisture on your beams thus producing a perfect environment for mold growth?
Q. Do you have camel crickets in your crawl?
Camel crickets are a tell-tale sign you have mold. Camel crickets eat mold. Frogs eat camel crickets. Snakes eat frogs, mice and squirrels …etc. A dry sealed crawlspace eliminates all these pests, and there waste they leave behind, immediately.
-What I find is the majority of every crawl space is nut shells on top of every duct and ac unit and AC junction boxes. Along with nuts are escriment and urine as well as thousands of shells. Snakes eat the mice and squirrels in your crawl.
Why do I mention this?
Because 50% of your homes air comes from your crawl space. This is not meant to scare you but to inform you. When people ask me:
Q. What should I do first …Seal my crawl or seal my attic?
Sealing the attics cost more which would benefit Sealed Solutions more but I tell them THE CRAWL. For immediate increase in your homes quality of air! plus sealing the crawl eliminates hot air coming into the crawl rising through the house out of your roof. This alone is a substantial energy saving solution.
Q. Should I spray foam seal my crawl ceiling or seal the crawl?
If you don’t have duct work in your crawl and all the duct work comes down from your attic where your AC is …
My opinion is to seal your crawl and not just spray foam your floor… but here are some things to think about:
Sealing your crawl with foam under your 1st floor usually costs slightly less than sealing your crawl space. If your spray foam job is a good one and the techs that day are “on point” its a good solution. But far too many times I have seen competitors who don’t check behind their teams and there are major leaks all throughout their floor spray foam. If there is one leak all the warm vented crawl air will rise through that crack or area where the foam did not seal. Just from one spot!
Things to be aware of spray foaming your crawl ceiling:
A. Your warm moist air that is still coming through your crawl vents is moistening your exposed floor joists and slowly rotting them away. (In a sealed crawl your joists are at the same temperature AND humidity as the rest of your home which makes your floor last significantly longer. I would guess 2 or 3+ times as long would be a safe bet!
B. Your joists act like a radiator grill to your 1st floor and will cool like your first floor is cooled and as your cooled joists stick out past the 3 1/2 inches of foam they will produce moisture dewing from the coolness of the board and the hot moist air from the outside coming through your vents. Some would say “I’ll just have them spray foam the entire joists” … you could…but that would cost considerable amounts of money due to the added foam costs. This moisture is no good for your joists that extend past the foam. Moist joist are also a molds dream having moist bio material to live on. So foaming your crawl ceiling wont stop mold growth and any poor sprayed areas would lead to moldy air infiltration … so one must MAKE SURE your spray foam contractor doesn’t miss a spot and that their foam is sprayed at the correct temperature so to not let the foam slightly shrink and pull away from the joists and therefore cause air gaps throughout. Air gaps in your sealing spray foam job TOTALLY defeat the purpose of the air sealing benefit that comes with spray foaming your floor.
Or its just a difficult crawl or a new tech and they don’t cover the floor evenly with the spray foam. Most assistant spray foam techs should be looking over the job to tell the spraying tech that the foam is too thin or separating from the beam due to low temperature of foam when spraying. But often enough this is missed.
At Sealed Solution we have our quality control team come behind our crews and look over ALL of our jobs for 110% performance.