Bugs, Water, Bad Odors!
Attics and crawlspaces are the largest single cause of poor indoor air quality and various moisture-related problems in your home. EnviroGreen Cleaning & Restoration can guide you through the many problems associated with attics and crawlspaces. Our Free Inspection will involve a thorough examination of your attic or crawlspace, both inside and out. We will explain the causes of your attic or crawlspace problems, what can be done to correct them permanently and provide you with a written estimate. Our goal is to solve your specific problem in the most cost-effective, non-intrusive way possible.
Odors are one of the most common problems found in attics and crawlspaces. The most likely source of odors is damp air.
EnviroGreen Cleaning & Restoration treats the odors with an EPA Registered, Non-Toxic, Chemical-Free, Botanical Fungistat/ Disinfectant that kills 99.99% of harmful odor causing bacteria. We are so pleased with our products and their results, that we offer a 1 Year Warranty against odor recurrence for our attic and crawlspace projects when fixing any odor problems. If the odor comes back, we will re-treat for FREE.
We find many attics and crawlspaces littered with debris. Debris left in your attic or crawlspace are affected by moisture in the air. Paper, cardboard, wood from construction and insulation are just small examples of what we find. All of the things mentioned above have one thing in common: they smell really bad as they decompose. Removing the debris from your attic or crawlspace reduces the opportunity for odors and critters.
There are many sources of moisture that can affect your attic or crawlspace. Open vents, lack of a vapor barrier, un-vented appliances and foundation side wall penetration can all allow enough moisture to keep the humidity levels excessively high. This in turn causes odors to appear, and bugs and critters that like damp environments will want to come and invade your space.
There are several methods to insulate your attic or crawlspace. The most common method is standard fiberglass batted insulation placed in the joist cavities; this is referred to as sub-floor insulation. In our area of the east coast, the required minimum is insulation with an R-19 rating. Most codes are also now allowing insulation to be placed vertically on the foundation walls, providing it meets the requirements for fire and smoke spread. This type of insulating is usually done with a ridged Styrofoam board of several inches. In some cases the newer reflective foil insulation is being used as a supplement and to achieve the required R values, some types of this insulation can also serve as a vapor barrier.
Very often EnviroGreen Cleaning & Restoration sees sub-floor insulation that is installed incorrectly. The two most common problems that usually need to be corrected are insulation that is installed upside down, and insulation that is not secured correctly. A key indicator of a substantial moisture problem in the crawlspace is when sub-floor insulation is pulled from its supports and starts to separate. Condensation forms and makes the insulation too heavy for the insulation supports to hold. Insulation does play an important part of keeping your attic or crawlspace in a good condition. The International Residential Code requires that sub-floor insulation be installed; if sub-floor insulation is not installed, then the foundation sidewalls must be insulated. Generally if the insulation is installed correctly and is not severely separated we can re-tuck the existing sub-floor insulation, and any insulation that has fallen to the ground is disposed of. New insulation can then be replaced in the missing areas. Unfortunately, when insulation is installed upside down and the craft paper is wet it must be removed and disposed of. EnviroGreen Cleaning & Restoration will evaluate the current insulation; if the insulation can continue to be used we will tell you. If not, we will discuss the available options to provide you with the best and most cost-effective solution.
An attic or crawlspace vapor barrier is a high density material that prohibits water vapor from passing through it. Traditionally, a vapor barrier was used to cover only the ground floor. This prevents water vapor from evaporating out of the soil and moving up into the crawlspace air. This water vapor can cause excess humidity levels that also allow water damage, odors and bugs to become a problem in your crawlspace and in your upper living spaces. A vapor barrier should only be installed after any ground water problems are corrected.
Water vapor is always evaporating from the ground, even if the crawlspace floor looks dry, this water vapor evaporation is still occurring. A vapor barrier is the easiest and most cost effective way to stop this problem. A good vapor barrier can reduce humidity 15-30 percent depending on the type of installation.
A standard and commonly seen vapor barrier is made of 6-mil poly plastic. This is the minimally accepted material allowed by codes such as the International Residential Code. This type of vapor barrier is used when an attic or crawlspace does not have a side wall water penetration problem. Industry requirements for this type of installation are that the material must cover the entire floor and that seams should overlap 12 inches. EnviroGreen Cleaning & Restoration takes it a step further. For crawlspaces with slopes, we pin the material with ground stakes to keep it in place. Understanding all of the problems that are occurring in your attic or crawlspace is extremely important when recommending a vapor barrier that will last and perform as it should to provide the expected results of a clean dry crawlspace. That's why our crawlspace specialists go in your crawlspace and check from corner to corner. We need to see what is going on to properly provide you the best, most cost-effective solution.