Your Attic Keeps Your Family Comfortable
Your attic is a vital part of your homes temperature and moisture management system. This space covers a large section of your home in order to collect the hot air rising from the lower floors. It also holds onto the cold air and moisture trying to enter your home from the roof.
Without proper insulation, your attic cant properly protect you and your family from the elements. This space can become susceptible to extreme heat, freezing cold, and damaging moisture. If left unchecked, you could damage your roofs foundation and cost yourself hundreds in energy bills.
There are plenty of other issues that can result from improper attic encapsulation in Richmond, VA:
- Inconsistent temperature control
- More expensive energy bills
- Damage pipes and HVAC system
Reasons You Should Have Spray Foam Insulation In Your Crawl Space
Originally posted 7/16/20, updated 2/4/22
When youre a kid, sliding across a hardwood floor in your socks is fun. And lets be honest, sometimes its fun when youre an adult, too! But what is NOT fun is being forced to wear socks because both your floor and your feet are freezing.
Insulation is supposed to help maintain your homes temperature. Its meant to seal air leaks, block drafts, and hold the temperature-controlled air inside. But like many things, all insulation methods are not created equally.
Acculevel is a foundation repair company, which at first glance may not seem like the most relevant source of information about insulation. However, one of our primary services is repairing crawl spaces. And we have seen many, many examples that clearly illustratewhy fiberglass insulation is a bad fit for crawl spaces. We want you to avoid the pitfalls that come with the wrong insulation type, because they can be frustrating and expensive to repair.
Your Crawl Space Insulation Installation Experts
While we consider spray foam insulation to be the best for your crawl space, the installation process for it isnt something that lends itself to DIY. If youre interested in having spray foam insulation installed in your homes crawl space, call Crawl Space Brothers. Our team of trained technicians are experts when it comes to installing spray foam insulation safely and properly.
and learn more about the many benefits of spray foam insulation!
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Spray Foam Traps Mold
Just like moisture, if mold is present when you apply the spray foam, it gets trapped as well. Spray foam does not kill or remove mold. It encapsulates the mold and moisture together so the mold still has its food source and moisture. With wood to feed on and high moisture levels, there is no remediation process once the mold is encased in spray foam without completely removing the foam.
Spray Foam Is Best For Richmond Homes
Spray foam has become an increasingly popular insulation material for homeowners in Richmond and surrounding areas.
Spray foam insulation is created through mixing two materials, polyurethane and isocyanate. When combined through a spray nozzle, a chemical reaction creates a thermal foam plastic. This material quickly expands to fill every gap and crack, hardening upon application.
Because of its unique properties, spray foam has a high insulation R-value. This means that its highly effective at insulating an area, keeping your homes air in and the outside air out. Your crawl space will acclimate to your homes environment and become a similar temperature throughout the whole year.
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Can You Spray Foam Insulation Over Mold
You have a mold problem and are curious if spray foam insulation can be sprayed over mold?
I know what you are thinking. Im thinking maybe you have mold in the crawl space and the crawl space also needs new insulation, so why not tackle them both with spray foam and be done with it?
Even though I highly admire your ambitious thinking to get stuff done, I dont fully agree with this convenient option to solve your mold problem in the long-term.
Having insulated over 14,000 projects with foam insulation since 2001, weve talked with plenty of homeowners looking to use foam insulation to kill two birds with one stone. From our vast experience, Ill give my take on the question if you can and should spray foam insulation over mold.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Bremen Al 35033
Jalon called and spoke to Russ about problems in his crawl space. He was concerned about high humidity, in turn causing mold growth. He was currently renting the house with …
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How To Convert A Crawlspace To Asealed Insulated Space
Check for moisture: Some crawlspaces need to be prepared before encapsulation. Any standing water, mold, drainage issues, or backdrafting from combustion appliances needs to be taken care of first. Interior footer drains and sump pumps may need to be added before encapsulation can be done.
Install a vapor barrier: The next step is to seal off the ground to stop moisture and harmful gases, such as radon, from getting into your crawlspace through the soil. The best way to do this is to add a minimum 10-mil vapor barrier to the ground with sealed seams. Then attach it to the walls with foam or fasteners.
Seal & insulate the foundation wall: Now we need to seal any vents and openings to the outdoors. This is when we add closed cell insulation to the crawlspace walls. This will seal and insulate the foundation walls. Spray foam also limits vapor drive from going through the block, brick, or framed walls. Any termite viewing strips will be left.
Seal & insulate rim joists: The final step is to seal any gaps and cracks with closed-cell foam. This includes band joists, AC drain line runs, plumbing penetrations, etc. We ensure that any gaps between the crawlspace and the floor of your home are sealed.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is a long-term solution. Youre looking at an expected lifespan from 10 years to 80 years. For a new home, these are good numbers if its a first-time installation. However, you need to check your homes history if it comes with insulation. Older homes will likely need a re-application or a touch-up in some sections.
Most manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their spray foam. Check with your installer whether the foam they use is under warranty. Also, ask for their policy on warranty if you have a problem with the installation.
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Yard Drainage / French Drains
Tired of dealing with standing water in your yard? Downspout lines not making it to the street the way they used to? Repairing poor drainage issues in your yard can do a lot for your enjoyment of your outside space. Not to mention, many times the water you are getting in your basement can be solved here as well
Mold Growth Found On Surface Of Solid Foam Insulating Boards
On occasion we’ve found black mold, usually a member of the Cladosporium sp. family growing on the surface of Styrofoam insulating boards.
Without more research we don’t know if this growth was due to organic dust and debris on the insulating foam board surface, or if there were other causal factors.
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Closed Building Cavities May Be At Risk Of Rot Or Mold From External Leaks
There is one fly in the ointment of this insulation mold balm, however. In some locations, perhaps such as a cathedral ceiling, a leak from the building exterior that penetrates the cavity will send water in to a location where it is both hard to detect and slow to dry out.
The result can be severe rot and structural damage where undetected leaks into the building envelope occur. We ve seen this in particular in some of the hot roof designs on newer homes.
Project Success Spray Foam
Spray foam insulation has immediate and long-term benefits that far outweigh the initial costs associated with installation. This insulating and air sealing material provides endless benefits and by investing in spray foam insulation, you will:
- Increase heating and cooling savings
- Improve your HVAC equipments performance
- Reduces the allergens, pollutants, and moisture entering your home
- Reduces chance of mold growth
- Your comfort levels increase in your home
- Minimizes noise from external sources
- Avoids pests and critters living and nesting in your home
- Adds structural integrity to your home
- And adds resale value to your home should you choose to sell
I want to show you of a project we recently finished where the owner was having odor issues inside the home. We initially completed an energy audit and had diagnosed that the smell was coming from their crawlspace areas due to an abundant amount of moisture. We applied spray foam to the walls of their crawlspace walls in addition to a crawlspace encapsulation . The final result was a success and the odor has been decreased significantly.
Here are some photos of our spray foam insulation.
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Does Mold Remediation Need To Happen Before Spray Foam Is Installed In The Attic
Youve got mold in your attic caused by poor insulation and moisture issues.
Now you know its time to nip it in the bud and update your insulation and you know you want spray foam, but does that mold need to be removed first?
Having had the pleasure of working in the construction industry for more than 35 years, along the way, Ive managed to expand my education in certain specialized areas of construction.
One certificate I hold is being a certified mold inspector/remediator with NAMP . This area of expertise is the one I use on a regular basis during appointments with homeowners as a project manager here at RetroFoam of Michigan.
The most commonly asked question I receive is, Do I have to remove mold from my attic before installing spray foam?
Before I answer this question, lets look a little closer at what mold is and why it happens.
How To Identify Black Mold In A Home
There are over 100,000 different types of mold, and many are just a nuisance for those that suffer from allergies or asthma.
There are only a handful of molds that are considered dangerous to everyday people, Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium to name just a few.
These molds are dangerous when inhaled and affect young children, the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems.
Its impossible to tell if you have a dangerous mold just by looking at it, even if it is black in color, not all black molds are dangerous. The only way to tell what type of mold is growing in your attic, basement, or crawl space and if its dangerous, is by doing a tape test and having an accredited laboratory grow the mold and study it under a microscope.
Most big DIY stores sell mold testing kits that contain a tape lift, chain of custody, and prepaid envelope with the laboratorys address included.
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Will Spray Foam Insulation Kill Mold
foam will kill moldMolds
. Moreover, can mold grow on spray foam insulation?
As a product, spray foam insulation does not attract mold. And unlike wood or metal, spray foam does not rot, rust or deteriorate. This means that an area properly sprayed with foam insulation will never become a food source or a hospitable environment for a mold colony.
Secondly, will spray foam keep water out? Using expanding polyurethane foam is one of the best ways to stop water leaks because the foam will expand into the cracks and help prevent future leaks. Expanding foam bonds to any type of surface and will quickly and effectively solve your water leak problems.
Beside above, will spray foam insulation stop water?
How they differ is that closed-cell foam is waterproof and will not let water move through it. Open-cell foam will allow water to move through it and dry. Insulation should not stop water. Roof, wall, and crawlspace assemblies are designed to keep water out.
Does mold grow on Foam?
Styrofoam is one of the most naturally mold-resistant forms of insulation, but in very extreme cases, it can still grow mold on its surface. This happens due to a combination of excessive moisture, along with an accumulation of organic material such as dirt.
Eliminate Frost And Mold On The Underside Of Roof
In the winter, air leaks show up as frost on the underside of the roof. Frost gets into the attic from air leaks, or attic bypasses. Frost eventually melts and leaves plywood, framing and insulation wet. Eventually mold grows. Learn More about frost and mold in the attic.
The best way to prevent frost from accumulating in an attic is to seal off attic air leaks or encapsulate it. Once you seal the air leaks, the attic will be frost free.
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Crawl Space Encapsulation For Prevention Of Molds
It is used to promote air circulation through the home from a vent. Without proper insulation and humidity control, energy loss and mold growth can happen. Your crawl space should be treated like the rest of the house.
Moisture and humidity can make your crawlspace a breeding ground for mold. By closing off the crawlspace, you can reduce both humidity and humidity inside the home. You can also rid yourself of the worry of mold growth.
Extreme Spray Foam offers crawl space encapsulation services for existing homes and new construction. We begin our service with a thorough inspection, and based on our assessment, we develop a plan of action.
When Is Encapsulating Mold Necessary
It is impossible to remove mold completely from some porous and semi-porous materials, including wood, drywall, ceiling tiles, carpeting, and fabrics. When performing mold remediation, these materials are usually removed from the home, discarded, and replaced with new materials. Occasionally, though, it is extremely difficult or impossible to remove a material that is contaminated by mold. For instance, drywall and insulation can usually be easily removed and replaced, but the wooden studs inside a wall are another matter. In such cases, as much mold as possible is removed from the surface of the wood , the wood is cleaned as thoroughly as possible with a microbial product like Foster 40-80, then treated with a mold sealant.
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Dos And Donts Of Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl spaces are found in around 20% of all newly constructed homes in the United States. These spaces provide a variety of functions in the home, including housing the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, gas lines, and irrigation system.
Homes with open vented crawl spaces often have moisture-related problems, like mold and mildew. These problems might compromise the efficiency and durability of your HVAC system. Also, water damage can lead to expensive crawl space repairs.
To avoid these problems, crawl space encapsulation is highly recommended.
What Causes Crawl Space Issue
There are many causes of crawl space issues, the most common being time. With the crawl space being the lowest part of the house over time, it is natural for the area to gain moisture. Once the moisture sets in, several things could go wrong to include biological growth and the deterioration of mechanicals due to decay caused by rust. Cracks in foundation walls can also let moisture and dirt in creating similar issues. Critters getting in your crawl space often tear up insulation and destroy ductwork, electrical wires, and even plumbing in this area. Once this starts, it will continuously get worse, causing issues for years to come. The proper grade is an essential factor when considering crawl space repairs. Grade issues are common due to the settling of dirt and improper grade during the construction of the home. Negative grade allows mud and water to flow towards the house, finding its way to the lowest point, and if you have a crawl space, guess what? Right! That is where this debris will end up.
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Why Closed Cell Spray Foam Is The Best Choice For Subfloor Encapsulation
In flood-prone Louisiana, impenetrable closed cell spray foam is the only smart choice for subfloor encapsulation. Fema is now recommending closed cell spray foam insulation not only as a sub floor sealant but as a future flood damage prevention for home in flood plains or home in areas of high water tables. Not only does it improve a homes energy efficiency and form an airtight moisture barrier, but it also keeps termites away from all that tasty hardwood flooring.
Porous open cell spray foam, on the other hand, allows moisture and vapor through. While open cell spray foam is an excellent insulation material for places like roof decks , it can be really bad news for your crawl space.
In Bills case, the bad advice that he got from an inept contractor left him with far more to worry about than energy costs: a huge mold and termite problem.