How to Tell if Your Insulation is Installed Incorrectly

attic insulation | indoor air quality

Now that the winter is almost here, all homeowners should check the insulation in their home. Whether there’s not enough or it’s installed incorrectly, any problems with the insulation should be corrected before the cold weather kicks in. Otherwise, you’ll be enjoying a cold house, high energy bills, and possible damage to your crawlspace and attic.

Insufficient Insulation
First things first, every home should be equipped with the proper amount of insulation. If there isn’t enough or it is covered in mold and water damage, it will need to be replaced immediately. Have a professional come in to inspect the current insulation to see if it is installed correctly, if it’s in good condition, and if there’s enough of it.

Upside Down
When insulation is installed by non-professionals or the homeowner, it can sometimes be put into place upside down. The paper side of the insulation should always face the inside of the home. The paper side contains an asphalt adhesive that will prevent any moisture from passing through the insulation. If the paper barrier is installed backwards, the humid air from the attic can cause rot and mold to form.

Not Secured
A lot of the times when there is too much moisture in the attic or crawl space, condensation will begin to form on the insulation. This will cause the insulation to separate from its supports because it is now too heavy. A professional will have to inspect to see if the insulation can be reused or if it has to be replaced.

Insulation is the key to having a secure, dry, and warm home in the wintertime. When you need a professional to inspect your current insulation and recommend a plan of action, contact EnviroGreen Boston. To learn more, or to schedule a free estimate, give us a cal at (844) 775-7700.

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How to Handle a Flooded Crawl Space

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Sometimes when it rains, it really pours. Flooding is a common result of heavy rainfall and this is not good for those who have crawl spaces. When your crawl space experiences flooding, here’s how you should handle it.

Remove the Water
Standing water can seriously damage your home’s foundation, so it’s best that it be removed immediately. The most effective way to remove the pooling water is with a sump pump, but if your home doesn’t have one then you can use an external one. Place the pump itself away from the water, while one hose is in the crawl space and the other is outside of the house.

All of It
For any excess water that can’t be sucked up by the pump, use a wet vacuum. To effectively utilize a wet vacuum, use a push broom to collect all of the water into one area. Then suck the water up with the vacuum. It’s important to keep doing this until all of the water is removed from the crawl space before attempting to dry it.

Remove the Moisture
Just because the water is gone from the crawl space doesn’t mean the moisture is gone too. If the moisture is not removed from the crawl space within 48 hours, mold and mildew will begin to grow. A crawl space with mold and mildew is the single largest cause of poor indoor air quality in a residential home. Run a dehumidifier in the crawl space to effectively remove any moisture.

Even though the crawl space is out of sight, it should never be out of mind. When you need your crawl space cleaned and protected from moisture, contact EnviroGreen Boston. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (844) 775-7700.

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Slab or Crawl Space: Which Foundation is Better?

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Most homes are built with either a slab or crawl space foundation (basements are also another option). If you’re in the process of buying a new home, make sure you know which foundation will be right for you. Each foundation type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Slab – Since there is no empty space between a home and its slab, flooding is not as common. When there is a very low chance for flooding to happen, water damage and mold won’t be present. Therefore, the indoor air quality of your home won’t be negatively affected.
  • Crawl Space – While basements can drive up the price for buying (or constructing) a home, crawl spaces are the less expensive option. As long as the crawl space is dry and well-insulated, it won’t negatively affect your home’s indoor air quality. A well-maintained crawl space can also offer extra storage space.

Disadvantages

  • Slab – If the slab itself ever cracks or becomes damaged, repairs will be very costly. Slabs can be damaged by shifts in the ground beneath it, invasive tree roots, etc. Once the slab has been damaged and cracked, it can also be prone to house an infestation of insects.
  • Crawl Space – Having a damp crawl space that isn’t insulated and is poorly ventilated can have disastrous effects on your indoor air quality. No crawl space should ever be without a vapor barrier and insulation. If you live in a humid area, consider having a sealed crawl space without vents to prevent moisture from getting into the crawl space.

Knowing the pros and cons of each type of foundation will better help you purchase (or construct) the house you want. If your current crawl space needs protection from moisture, mold, and water damage, contact the pros at EnviroGreen Boston. To learn more, or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (844) 775-7700.

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Crawl Spaces: Open vs Closed

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There are many homes that are built over crawl spaces rather than the usual slab. Having a crawl space can provide homeowners with many benefits. There are two major types of crawl spaces, but which one is better: open or closed?

Crawl Space Problems
While crawl spaces do provide homeowners with benefits like protection from flooding, they can also come with a set of drawbacks. Moisture can become trapped, eventually leading to mold, mildew, and water damage. Any of these side effects of excessive moisture will result in a drastic cut in your home’s quality of air. These conditions also make a perfect environment for many pests to live in, so infestations are common.

Open Crawl Spaces
While flooding and moisture from underneath the dirt floor do affect crawl spaces, humidity is one of the biggest factors. Vented crawl spaces can see levels of up to 80 percent humidity during the warmer weather. Any enclosed area that experiences a humidity level above 60 percent is highly prone to develop mold or mildew.

Closed Crawl Spaces
A closed, or encapsulated, crawl space can also develop mold and mildew if moisture is present since there is no air flow. However, if the crawl space is properly cleaned and insulated, there will be less moisture and overall humidity present in this space. Therefore, choosing to have an encapsulated crawl space can be better for your home’s air quality and improve the chances of avoiding pest infestations.

Crawl spaces can be a fantastic addition to a home, but you have to know which crawl space to go for. When you need your crawl space insulated, contact the pros at EnviroGreen Boston. To learn more, or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (844) 775-7700.

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How to Prevent a Wet Crawl Space

crawl space cleaning | air quality

When moisture enters your crawl space, mold has the chance to grow. A wet crawl space can be the largest source of poor air quality in the house. In order to breathe easy, you’re going to want to prevent your crawl space from garnering moisture.

Maintain Gutters
The gutter system is meant to drain rainfall from the roof and redirect it away from your property. Gutters that leak, become disconnected, or do not properly drain water won’t be able to prevent the property from flooding. Prevent the crawl space from flooding by inspecting, clearing out, and maintaining your gutters multiple times per year. Add a splash block or an extra drain spout to help direct water away from your home.

Look For Slope
The next time it rains, inspect your property and see if water begins to pool anywhere. If your property doesn’t have a one inch slope away from your home then your property could easily flood. Look to have your foundation adjusted to prevent flooding within your crawl space.

Finishing Touches
Finishing your crawl space is a great way to keep it from hoarding moisture. Adding insulation and a vapor barrier will prevent any moisture from entering in the first place. You can also add a sump pump to remove water if there are emergency weather conditions and massive flooding. If the ductwork for your HVAC system runs through your crawl space, you’ll also experience savings on your energy bills due to the added insulation.

Preventing the crawl space from getting wet can be done with just a few simple steps, otherwise, you run the risk of having poor air quality in your home. When you need your crawl space cleaned and insulated, contact the pros at EnviroGreen Boston. To learn more, or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (844) 775-7700.

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What to Do with Water Damage in Your Crawl Space

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The crawl space is an area of your home that you rarely see due to the fact that, well, it’s underneath your house. Even though you don’t see it or go there often, it serves multiple purposes for the betterment of your home. Unfortunately, the crawl space can become filled with moisture or worse, a flood!

From Above
If water is entering your crawl space from the ceiling above there is most likely a plumbing leak. It can either be from a broken pipe, or from a leaky water line when you use a fixture. Sometimes leaks won’t occur until you take a shower, flush the toilet, or load up the washing machine. Call a plumber and have any broken plumbing lines repaired.

Moisture, but No Leak
Gravity doesn’t need to take control of water and bring it down to the crawl space. Instead, water can come up from the soil beneath your feet. If it rains constantly or there was flooding on your property, the soil will retain a lot of this water. The moisture coming from the soil can begin to take shape onto the walls and structure of the crawl space, leaving you with a very serious problem.

Avoid Disaster
When there is pooling water or a lot of moisture in your crawl space, mold will begin to grow. This mold, in combination with the water damage, can weaken the structure of your home and significantly lower the air quality throughout the entire house. Avoid being affected by water damage and mold by having a professional come and inspect your crawl space. Once any mold has been removed, proceed with adding insulation and a vapor barrier to keep moisture out. Look to also install a sump pump to prevent total flooding.

Having any form of water or moisture in your crawl space can seriously affect your home and your health. When you need a professional to remove water damage and protect your crawl space, contact EnviroGreen Boston. To learn more, or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (844) 775-7700.

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Why is There Condensation in the Crawl Space

The crawl space is an overlooked area in your home that should be monitored frequently. Why should this uninhabitable area be watched closely? Condensation can build up which can lead to mold growth and a lower quality of air throughout the rest of your home. If your crawl space has condensation, here’s why:

  1. Lack of Vent Space – Just because you have ventilation in your crawl space doesn’t mean that there’s enough of it. When installing vents in your crawl space make sure there’s at least one square foot of vent space for every 150 square feet of crawl space.
  2. Vapor Barrier – Even if a crawl space has been cleaned and insulated, it still needs a vapor barrier to keep out moisture. This plastic sheeting is meant to go over the soil to prevent moisture from coming out of the ground and into your home.
  3. Bad Ductwork – In some homes ductwork travels underneath the house throughout the crawl space. When the ductwork has air leaks or is uninsulated, condensation can form on the outside of the metal. This frequently occurs in the warm weather months when cool air is being forced through the ductwork.
  4. Lack of Fans – If your crawl space has a vapor barrier, insulation, and no ductwork present, moisture can still exist. Look to have vent fans installed to help control the moisture during high humidity days. Syncing these fans with a humidistat can allow these fans to turn on when the humidity level gets too high.

Condensation in the crawl space can promote mold growth which can lead to a significantly lower quality of air in your home. Don’t allow your crawl space to become a hazard to your home and your health. Instead, contact EnviroGreen Boston for crawl space cleaning and vapor barrier installation. To learn more, or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (844) 775-7700.

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