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When winter temperatures reach record lows, you are likely to feel it in your house in the form of cold drafts, cold floors, and uneven temperatures throughout the house.
Homeowners are likely to try different steps to improve comfort such as putting plastic around windows, weather-stripping, and adding insulation.
What they don’t know -- and what this recent news spot featuring the crawl space experts from Basement Systems West Virginia will show -- is that the real culprit for all the winter woes might be right under the floor boards: the crawl space.
Because the air inside any building moves upwards, what happens under your house has a huge impact in your living areas. As the air rises and escapes from the upper levels of the house, especially the attic and roof, a negative pressure area is created at the bottom, causing a lot of air from the crawl space to be constantly sucked into the living space.
What does the crawl space under your house look like? When was the last time you inspected it? Most homeowners don’t look forward to inspecting the crawl space and some serious problems can go undetected for years.
If your home’s crawl space is like most in the U.S. -- with open vents as required by outdated building code, a dirt floor that is either uncovered or lined with a thin poly sheet vapor barrier, and with fiberglass batts stuffed between the joists as an attempt to insulate the floor – it is also probably very humid, moldy, and dirty.
All that moisture, mold spores, odors, and pollutants are being carried into your living area.
Chances are that the fiberglass insulation between the joists is drenched, sagging, and falling, letting the cold air flow right through. It is virtually useless as insulation because wet fiberglass loses all its R-Value.
If you have HVAC ducts running through this hostile environment, the air passing through is losing and gaining heat before it makes it into the rooms in your house, and if they happen to be improperly sealed as many are, the mold and other contaminants are being spread throughout the house, through the vents!
Your HVAC is working harder to keep up with all the leakage, your indoor air quality is very poor, and your family’s health is being affected.
Left untreated, these problems will cause the wood structure to rot and lead to structural damage. Things like sticky windows and doors, buckled and sagging floors, and drywall cracks are all early signs of structural damage.
Because the typical vented crawl space is a source of so many problems, the Environmental Protection Agency issued new recommendations for the treatment of crawl spaces, and Basement Systems of West Virginia happens to be the pioneer in installing EPA recommended crawl space encapsulation and insulation systems in the Greater Charleston, Huntington and Parkersburg regions. In fact they’ve been doing it successfully since 2003 – before the EPA issued recommendations. That is forward thinking, knowledge, and expertise at work – and you can only get it from Basement Systems West Virginia!