Thursday, October 4, 2018

Indiana Crawl Space Vents


Crawl space ventilation in Indiana was based on the idea that installing foundation vents around the perimeter of the crawl space foundation would allow for outside air to flow through crawl space, which in turn would allow the crawl space to dry out by allowing more air to circulate through the crawl space. But here in Indiana, the opposite is true and here’s why.

During the spring and summer months in Indiana, the outside air tends to be very hot and humid. Humid because of the relative humidity or the moisture that this outside air has in it. Your crawl space on the other hand tends to be relatively cool year round due to it basically being a large hole in the ground. Crawl space vents allow this hot and humid outside air to flow into your crawl space carrying with it the high levels of moisture that is already in the air. This alone introduces your crawl space to additional moisture by allowing the wet, hot outside air to flow into your crawl space. Additional moisture is also created in the crawl space due to the fact that this wet, humid outside air is now mixing with the cooler air in the crawl space.

Outside air mixing with the cooler air in the crawl space causes additional moisture due to the fact that for every (1) degree that warm air is cooled, the relative humidity increases by 2.2 percent. When the relative humidity of the air in your crawl space exceeds 100%, the moisture is released from the air in the form of actual water or condensation. Examples of this can be seen in the crawl space on duct lines and pipes in the form of condensation.

Based on these facts, we can now take a look at an example of an average size Indiana vented crawl space and how wet, humid outside air can affect the moisture levels. Let’s assume the outside temperature in the air is 80 degrees with a relative humidity of 80%. And we will assume the air temperature in the crawl space is 65 degrees. The difference in the temperature of the outside air versus the crawl space air is 15 degrees. We now know that for every degree the warm air is cooled, the relative humidity increases by 2.2%. If the outside air is cooled by 15 degrees, that creates an additional 33% increase in the relative humidity of the outside air once it makes it way into the crawl space. Which increases the overall relative humidity for the outside air to 113% which is impossible because once the relative humidity reaches 100%, moisture is released from the air in the form of water or condensation.

For these reasons, foundation vents that allow outside air into crawl space will not help in reducing the moisture levels of the crawl space. In fact, more ventilation of the crawl space will only increase the moisture problem of a crawl space. For more information click here or visit www.swaincollc.com 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Crawl Space Insulation And Indiana Cold Weather

As winter approaches, many Indiana homeowners start to consider ways to save money on energy and reduce heat loss. One of the best places for a homeowner to look at energy savings during the winter months is the crawl space, which then raises the question as to what is the proper way to insure your crawl space contributes to your homes energy savings and not the other way around.

To properly answer this question we must first understand a little bit more about Indiana crawl spaces in general. Most vented Indiana crawl spaces tend to be very wet, damp environments. The dirt floor of these crawl spaces also continuously has moisture escaping out of it and moving in an upward motion into the crawl space and up into the living areas (Stack Effect). Because of this, just simply installing fiberglass insulation in your crawl space without address any of the moisture issues can actually lead to more problems down the road and here's why. Fiberglass insulation installed in the crawl space between the floor joist will tend to act like a sponge for moisture that is escaping out of the dirt crawl space floor and working its way up through the house. This in turn allows the fiberglass insulation to absorb that moisture. Many times this makes the fiberglass insulation much heavier and runs the risk of falling out from between the floor joist and on the damp crawl space dirt floor. Fallen insulation in your crawl space can then become a problem for possible mold growth. The other, and sometimes more severe issue with fiberglass insulation holding moisture, is if the fiberglass insulation does not fall from between the floor joist. If the insulation remains installed between the floor joist and continues to hold moisture, then that moisture will eventually begin to effect the structural wood on the floor joist. Prolonged high moisture levels in the floor joist will eventually lead to costly issues such as mold growth or wood rot.

Because of these possible issues the real question becomes whether or not you should use fiberglass insulation in your Indiana crawl space at all? My answer to that would be a cautious yes, just as long as the homeowner has had the crawl space inspected for any excessive moisture issues that may effect the fiberglass insulation. If the crawl space is found to have issues with excessive moisture than the following solutions should be considered prior to any installation of fiberglass insulation in your crawl space.

1. Drainage/Sump Pump-If excessive moisture in your crawl space is being caused by standing water in your crawl space then the first step would be to install a proper sump basin and sump pump. Depending on the amount of standing water that the crawl space gets, a complete crawl space drainage system may need to be considered as well in order to keep the crawl space free of standing water permanently.

1. Vapor Barrier-Installing a proper vapor barrier across the entire dirt floor of your crawl space should be the first consideration when dealing with excessive crawl space moisture that is not being caused by standing water. A proper crawl space vapor barrier works by trapping the moisture escaping out of the dirt floor, keeping it from moving up into the crawl space and becoming absorbed by the fiberglass insulation.

2. Crawl Space Encapsulation System-Sometimes a vapor barrier alone may not reduce the moisture levels in your crawl space to an acceptable level. This tends to be the issue when there are other factors contributing to the excessive moisture other than just the dirt crawl space floor. These other factors can include foundation block seepage or excessive moisture being caused by outside air coming into the crawl space from the crawl space vents. If these other factors are playing a part in the excessive moisture issues of your crawl space then a complete crawl space encapsulation system may need to be considered. A crawl space encapsulation system works by sealing the crawl space off from all of the outside environments, which in turn creates a barrier from all areas that are contributing to the excessive moisture rather than just the dirt crawl space floor.

For more information about crawl space insulation or any other crawl space issue please click here or visit www.swaincollc.com

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Indianapolis Crawl Space Water Problems?

Now is the time that many Indianapolis homeowners are forced to take notice of their crawl space. Spring time in Indiana can be great. The weather starts to get warmer and the snow is finally gone. But spring time in Indiana also brings with it heavy rains. And for those of us who live above a crawl space or basement in Indiana, heavy spring rains is not always a welcome surprise. The recent heavy amounts of rainfall that has taken place over central Indiana has had many homeowners on edge due to their crawl space or basement flooding. But it doesn't have to always be this way. Their are many steps a homeowner can take to limit the amount of water that enters their crawl space or basement. Some of the best steps to take include making sure your gutters remain clean and free of any debris. A clogged gutter system will allow water run off from your roof to dump over the gutters and right next to your homes foundation. This increases the likelihood of that water making its way into your crawl space or basement. Extending any downspouts away from your homes foundation can also go a long way in helping keep excessive water out of your crawl space and basement. But as many Indiana homeowners already know, sometimes these steps are just not enough to keep you crawl space or basement dry permanently. In those cases, an interior crawl space or basement drainage system along with a sump basin and sump pump would more than likely need to be installed. A properly installed drainage system around the inside perimeter of the crawl space or basement can give many Indiana homeowners piece of mind knowing they will maintain a dry, healthy crawl space or basement during these times of heavy rains. Additional benefits of these types of drainage systems include being able to have a usable space in your basement free of any water problems, a dryer and healthy living space above the crawl space and basement, and makes for a much easier selling process if indeed you ever decide to sale your home. At SwainCo. Crawl Space and Basement Repair we understand the headache that comes from living above a crawl space or basement in Indiana. We are central Indiana's most trusted crawl space repair contractor. Our crawl space and basement drainage systems will keep Indiana homeowners dry once and for all. If you think your crawl space or basement has a water problem or to find out more about how SwainCo. Crawl Space and Basement Repair can transform your wet crawl space or basement into a dry, healthy crawl space or basement than click here or call 317-407-1868.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Indiana Crawl Space Mold Remediation

SwainCo. HydroSafe Crawl Space Mold Remediation 

100% Safe Mold Remediation Process

What is HydroSafe Mold Remediation
Most crawl space mold remediation services are not only costly, but they are also performed by using an array of potentially harmful chemicals. In face, some of these mold remediation techniques require homeowners to vacate their house during the process and can leave long lasting odors in the upstairs living areas. SwainCo. HydroSafe Crawl Space Mold Remediation process eliminates much of the health concerns that are posed by using other mold remediation techniques. This is accomplished by using a much less toxic application applied to the areas of mold growth. The product used is an 8% strength hydrogen peroxide and 92% water mixture. This process is also known as the Carolina Protocol.

How Does It Work
The SwainCo. HydroSafe Crawl Space Mold Remediation utilizes a relatively new and effective proven method of mold remediation called the Carolina Protocol. The Carolina Protocol involves the use of an 8% strength hydrogen peroxide as the cleaning agent. The 8% strength hydrogen peroxide is applied to the areas of mold growth on the structural wood in the crawl space, causing the mold to be destroyed by a process called oxidation. This is the same process that takes place when, like many of us have, applied hydrogen peroxide to a small cut on our hand. After hydrogen peroxide is applied to a cut we see a bubbling action take place shortly after. This bubbling action is the bacteria in the cut being destroyed by oxidation. Although the hydrogen peroxide used to clean cuts is of a less strength, the same oxidation process that destroys the bacteria in the cut is the same oxidation process that destroys the mold growth.

Crawl space mold remediation does not need to be so time consuming, costly, or unhealthy for the homeowners. SwainCo's process of crawl space mold remediation is done is in 3 easy steps. SwainCo. also provides additional services to treat the underlining issues that caused the mold growth in your crawl space to begin with. Some of these additional services may include crawl space drainage systems, crawl space vapor barriers, or crawl space encapsulation systems. To find out more about our crawl space mold remediation process click here. If your Indiana crawl space is a problem crawl space click here to find out how SwainCo. Crawl Space and Basement Repair can transform your unhealthy crawl space into a dry, mold free, healthy crawl space.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Crawl Space Encapsulation Systems In Indiana

The crawl space encapsulation system, is a vapor barrier system designed to seal the crawl space off from the outside environment. Excessive moisture in the crawl space can cause many problems, such as mold growth, wood rot, musty smells, and foundation issues. A crawl space will typically get excessive moisture or water from the following three main areas. 

1. Floor-The crawl space dirt floor, much like the soil around the house, contains moisture. This moisture is constantly trying to evaporate, and when it does, it makes its way up through the house with a process called stack effect or the natural airflow of the house, which is from bottom to top.


2. Foundation Walls-Moisture or water seepage from the exterior foundation walls of home and into the crawl space also increase the moisture levels in the crawl space. Many times stopping foundation wall seepage can prove to be very difficult. Trying the stop the seepage involves excavating around the entire perimeter of the home to the depth of the footer and re-waterproofing the foundation itself. Many times this is not possible due items that have been built around the home, such as slab porches, garages, sidewalks, additions, ect.

3. Crawl Space Vents-The idea behind having a vented crawl space was to allow air flow into the crawl space to reduce moisture. In reality what crawl space vents can actually do is dramatically increase moisture levels in a crawl space. This is especial true during the summer months. During hot humid summer days, the outside air flowing into the crawl space from vents contains a large amount of moisture in it. This moisture is brought into the crawl space through the vents. The hot, humid air will also come into contact with cooler air, pipes, and duct work and create condensation which also will increase moisture levels in the crawl space. This is even more so true for Indiana crawl spaces due to the type of summers that we have. 


Because of these reasons, a complete crawl space encapsulation system is installed along the dirt crawl space floor and up the foundation walls. Sealing off areas that cause excessive moisture in the crawl space. Part of a complete crawl space encapsulation system is to also seal off all crawl space vents. If the crawl space vents are not sealed off in a crawl space that has a complete encapsulation system, it will actually work again the encapsulation system by causing more moisture. Vents that remain open will allow hot, humid air that contains a great deal of moisture to enter into the crawl space. For this reason, it is never recommended to open the crawl space vents when a complete crawl spaceencapsulation system is installed.  

For more information on crawl space encapsulation systems or crawl space vapor barriers in the Indianapolis, Indiana or the surrounding areas click here. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Top 5 Crawl Space Waterproofing Tips

Spring time in Indiana is known for bringing some big rains, which can also bring some big headaches for Indiana homeowners who live above a crawl space. Waterproofing your crawl space is one of the most important things a homeowners can do. A wet crawl space can have an extreme negative effect on a home. Water in your crawl space can lead to expensive structurally wood damage, foundation failure, musty smells, and mold growth. All of which can lead to an unhealthy environment in the upstairs living area. This is because much of the air in the upstairs living area comes from the crawl space itself. This air moves up from crawl space and into the living area, carrying with it moisture, musty smells, and mold spores. A dry, waterproofed crawl space will protect your home from costly repairs and create a much healthier living area. Below are some of the more important steps to maintaining a dry, healthy crawl space.

1. Gutters - Spring time is a great time to make sure your gutters are cleaned from all debris. Clogged gutters will prevent water from your roof to flow freely through them. When gutters are clogged the water from your roof has no where to go but over the gutters and down right next to your crawl space foundation. This allows excessive amounts of water to run down next to your homes foundation increasing the chances of foundation issues and/or water in your crawl space.

2. Down Spouts - After the gutters are check and working properly, it's very important to make sure the down spouts from these gutters are installed far enough away from your homes foundation that the water from your roof is not dumping right next to your homes foundation. On a 1200 sq.ft. roof every 1" of rain will produce about 750 gallons of water. That is an extreme amount of water to just let dump right next to your homes foundation. Extending down spouts away from your home can help prevent costly foundation issues and unnecessary amounts of water in the crawl space.

3. Grading - Negative yard grading or yard grading that slopes toward your house instead of away from house can also lead to a wet crawl space. Ensure that your homes yard is graded in a way that any water runoff will run away from your homes foundation.

4. Sump Pump/Drainage - In many cases a homeowner can do all 3 steps listed above and still have a problem with standing water in the crawl space. These can be caused by a high water table and the type of soil around the house. In Indiana this is an all too common problem. To help reduce the chance for standing water in the crawl space a sump basin and sump pump may need to be installed along with proper drainage in the crawl space. If your crawl space has a sump pump, it's a good idea to check it multiply times throughout the year to ensure its working properly. If your sump pump is very old but still working, it may not be a bad idea to have it replaced anyway.

5. Vapor Barrier - A properly installed vapor barrier is also key to reducing excessive moisture in your crawl space that can lead to costly problems. Even if the crawl space has no signs of standing water, a vapor barrier is still a must. Moisture is consistently escaping up out of the dirt floor of your crawl space. A properly installed vapor barrier on the dirt crawl space floor will greatly reduce the amount of moisture coming up out of the dirt floor and into the living area.

For more information on maintaining a dry, healthy crawl space click here or visit www.swaincollc.com

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wet Basement Problems In Indiana

Waterproofing your basement in Indiana can be tricky at times, but there are also many great benefits to having a dry, waterproofed basement.
If you have a basement and live in Indiana than you more than likely already know the kind water problems that a basement in Indiana can have. This is even more true in the spring and summer months when Indiana tends to get more rain that at other times. Because of this, many basement homeowners end up with an unusable basement due to the fact that every time it rains, the basement gets water. And worse than that is a finished basement that starts to get water. Water in a finished basement tends to ruin just about everything, from mold issues in the dry-wall to wet carpet in the living area. There are numerous reasons for why a basement gets water. Ranging from older drainage systems that no longer work, to water seepage through the foundation wall. That being said, Indiana basement homeowners should understand that it is possible to get and keep your basement dry permanently. This can be done by various basement waterproofing methods. To get a better idea on which methods would work best for your basement water problems, a basement waterproofing inspection is needed. At SwainCo. Crawl Space and Basement Repair, we provide free basement waterproofing inspections for Indiana homeowners. This allows us to inspect and evaluate your situation and provide you with the best possible solutions to keeping your basement dry forever. If your basement gets water than now is the time to schedule a free basement waterproofing inspection by clicking here. We can help you transform your wet basement into a dry, usable basement. To find out more visit www.swaincollc.com or call 317-407-1868 to schedule a free basement waterproofing inspection.