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Crawl Space Remediation

This type of construction is an old European method which was mainly intended for food preservation during the long winter months. This humid and cold environment was very useful when in absence of electricity and refrigerators. This was mainly a survival issue at the time. As modern services and equipment came along, this humid and cold environment became more of a nuisance than an advantage.

Crawl space problematics

As years went by, serious problems were noticed to the buildings because of these crawl spaces. For example:

  • Lack of proper insulation
  • No heating
  • No dehumidifier
  • No ventilation
  • No vapor barrier
  • Wood or organic materials in contact with the ground
  • Etc.

Once decontaminated and remediated, the crawl space becomes easy to heat and allows better control of the humidity. It can even become additional storage in the property.

In order to proceed with the proper crawl space remediation, we need to stop the continuous income of humidity which is mainly arriving from the ground. No property should have a ”garden” in their basement. Bare soil exposed is a constant source of humidity and mold, since mold is found in a natural fashion in the ground.

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Humidity control of the crawl space

Before thinking of insulating your crawl space, the constant flow of humidity has to be stopped, if not more problems will appear. The method which was used at the time was ventilation openings on the surrounding walls. This method was the only method before modern services. For example, in winter no ventilation from the outside can be made because of water pipe freezing. In the summer months, humid air is brought in the crawl space. In conclusion, we have no control of the outside air so no humidity control can be properly managed from outside.

It will, therefore, be necessary to have barriers in place to prevent humidity from entering the crawl space and subsequently have in place the proper equipment in order to have control of the humidity level. The vapor barrier in place and the dehumidifier well in function, the crawl space becomes now an easily heatable and manageable environment.

The steps to a crawl space remediation

Many steps are involved in order to have long-lasting crawl space remediation.

Here are some examples:

  • Removal of all debris from the ground.
  • Removal of all organic materials (wood) in contact with the ground.
  • Removal of all heavily contaminated materials.
  • Installation of concrete bases to support the metal jack posts.
  • Indoor drainage system if required
  • Installation of a vapor barrier.
  • Concrete if required
  • Installation of an adequate dehumidifier
  • Etc.…
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The importance of the vapor barrier in a crawl space

The vapor barrier is one of the most important installations in order to prevent excess humidity. It must cover the entire floor of the crawl space without any breach or openings. It must also have the proper thickness and be CGSB approved. Proper installation is a key factor. It has to be sealed with the outside foundation walls and must be sealed at every opening, such as water pipes, cement bases etc.… To ensure the durability of the vapor barrier, the installation of a concrete slab is the most durable option. This will allow you to use the remediated crawl space as storage space without worrying about breaking the vapor barrier. An eventual water leak is also easily cleanable on concrete more than on the vapor barrier. This is an option to be considered.

Of course in the absence of a concrete slab, the risk of creating a breach on the vapor barrier is much more possible. If the concrete is not your option, the installation of a reinforced membrane under the vapor barrier will be installed. The combination of these two types of membranes ensures better durability and strengthens the vapor barrier.

Crawl space decontamination

Once the remediation is done, the decontamination procedures can now be carried out. In the process, remaining structures showing signs of mold without deterioration will stay in place and be treated by an abrasive method such as high-pressure cryogenic blast. It is important to understand that dry ice (high-pressure cryogenic blasting) is one of the techniques that can be used to restore a contaminated surface. The purpose of this step is to bring all the surfaces back to their original state, that is to say, free of mold.

Following the abrasive method will follow the various stages of decontamination such as:

  • HEPA vacuuming of all surfaces.
  • Complete scrubbing of concrete surfaces with an anti-fungi solution combined with Sodium Phosphate Trisodium.
  • Complete cleaning of non-porous surfaces with an anti-fungi agent.
  • Etc.
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Humidity control in a crawl space

To allow you to control the humidity of the crawl space, we will install a crawl space dehumidifier, equipped with a built-in pump that flows directly into the drainage system of the house. This type of installation allows a constant control versus the systems equipped with a container to be emptied daily, moreover in the event that the container would not be emptied, this type of dehumidifier automatically shuts down. Our installation allows full humidity control and allows the existing crawl space heating system to perform to its full.

Our work :

Fongix guarantees complete decontamination …

All properties that have a crawl space will eventually need a crawl space remediation. With the right know-how and specialized equipment, Fongix Decontamination is able to give a new life to your building, and thus, add value to the property.

Contact us at 1-844-511-5454 for a free quotation by our experts.

Montreal: 2001 Boul. Robert Bourassa, suite 1820  Montréal QC. H3A-2A6

Joliette: 125 Saint Pierre N street, Joliette, QC J6E 5Y1

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