Crawl Space FAQs in Cincinnati

Crawl Space Repair

If your crawl space has open vents, it is allowing humid air from the outside to enter the space. As that humid air cools in the crawl space, relative humidity levels rise creating the perfect conditions for mold to grow. If the RH levels go above 100%, condensation will occur in every surface, soaking your floor joists, beams, and other structures. With a vented crawl space, the question is not whether it has any mold, but how much damage is being caused by it.

Depending on how big the mold problem and how much damage it caused, solutions can range from fungicide application to removal and replacement of moldy structures. This is not a DIY job, so please leave it to professionals. Now, the most important thing is to address the moisture that caused the problem in the first place so that it will not keep coming back. Sealing and encapsulating the crawl space to keep groundwater and humidity from the outside from getting into the crawl space is a good start. Running a good crawl space dehumidifier to keep RH levels below 60% so mold will not have chance to grow again is the safest and most definitive solution for mold problems in crawl spaces.

Standing water in crawl spaces can happen for several reasons. From groundwater intrusion to condensation around pipes and ducts dripping onto the floor, to undetected plumbing leaks. The best way to address this type of problem, in a place that homeowners almost never inspect, is to provide adequate drainage through drainage channels, floor drains, discharge lines, and a good sump pump to pump any water out and away from the crawl.

Your crawl space is moldy because the relative humidity levels there are constantly at or above 60%, creating the perfect environment for mold to grow. There is groundwater evaporating into the space, humid air consistently coming in through the vents, and condensation due to temperature differences. Modern building science recommends crawl space encapsulation and dehumidification to solve all these problems.

Bouncy, sagging, and creaking floors above a crawl space are a sign that the floor structures are being weakened or compromised by excessive moisture in the crawl space. Untreated, this moisture can lead to mold and dry rot, and compromises the structural integrity of your home.

There are several sources of bad smells in the typical vented crawl space. The most common source is mold, but bacteria growing in standing water, animal urine, and feces are also quite common. The best way to get rid of these foul odors is to keep your crawl space dry, free from mold and critters. All of which can be accomplished with proper encapsulation, sealing, and dehumidification.

While only a few mold species, such as black mold, release dangerous mycotoxins, all mold releases spores in the air. Because the air in your home is constantly moving upwards, at least 1/3 of the air you breathe indoors is coming from your crawl space, along with mold spores, dust mite droppings, and other pollutants. Indoors, the concentration of these harmful particles in the air can trigger mild to severe allergy symptoms in sensitive people.

Vented crawl spaces are notorious as a source of energy waste year-round, especially if you have HVAC ducts running through them. During the summer, the cool air running through ducts housed in a hot crawl space starts to gain temperature before it reaches the rooms. During the winter, the hot air in the ducts will cool down in the freezing crawl space. Your HVAC will be working harder than it should all year, just to keep your home comfortable.

Freezing air from the outside is constantly being sucked through the vents and then moving upwards through the floors, making them cold to the touch, and often causing cold drafts that make the entire indoor space uncomfortable and hard to heat.

For many years, contractors and DIYers alike have been insulating vented crawl spaces by applying fiberglass batts between the floor joists. That can be a costly mistake. Fiberglass does not air seal the floor. Air can still pass through. To make matters worse, it is also known to soak moisture like a sponge, support mold growth, and fall apart due to the weight of the moisture.

Building scientists recommend that homeowners encapsulate and seal the crawl space to completely isolate it from groundwater and outside humidity before installing any type of insulation. Depending on where you live, you might not need insulation at all once the crawl space is sealed.

Crawl spaces are very prone to moisture-related problems. For that reason, they should be encapsulated and sealed prior to insulation. As for the best insulation materials, choose those that are impervious to moisture and mold, such as rigid foam board or closed-cell spray foam. Fiberglass is the worst possible choice.

While there is not a sure-fire way, besides periodic inspection, to make sure your crawl space is free of pests and critters, crawl space encapsulation is a powerful deterrent. Not only does it provides a physical barrier, but a clean, dry crawl space offers none of the elements that tend to attract insects, strays, and wildlife to your crawl space.

Modern building science findings state that the crawl space vents, once thought to help keep the crawl space dry, are a major source of moisture problems by allowing humid air from the outside into the space. Crawl space vent fans, by sucking even more outside air in, will significantly amplify that effect. Crawl space vents should be closed and the crawl space sealed, encapsulated, and dehumidified instead.

The crawl space liner creates a physical barrier against radon intrusion, but does not replace an actual radon mitigation system.

If your home tested high for radon levels, the best course of action is to combine crawl space encapsulation with a radon mitigation system. They work together. One is not effective against radon without the other.

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Let Healthy Basement Concepts Improve Your Crawl Space in Cincinnati, OH

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Customer Reviews

steven wolfenberger
steven wolfenberger
May 2, 2023
Jason called the same day that I requested info. They were able to come over a few days later for an inspection and estimate. Jason explained what was causing the issues with our basement and then showed us the best options to fix the problem. There was no pressure to hire them and he didn't try to upsell us anything we didn't need. Jason and his team were able to come the following week and fix our basement. It took them a little less than 2 days to complete the job. Jason kept us updated during the whole process. We couldn't be happier with the results and would highly recommend Jason and Healthy Basement Concepts.
Joseph Grothe
Joseph Grothe
March 28, 2023
healthy basements just water sealed my basement. They did a great job and where very fast. They finished the job in two days. Healthy Basements Concepts is great value. highly recommend.
Paul D Hinds
Paul D Hinds
March 20, 2023
Stop. Read this review. After having six companies come bid a project with me, and being told by each company that I needed to do something else to fix the issue, there were only two companies that came out to quote me that didn't hesitate to roll up their sleeves and start trying to identify the root cause. Some of the quotes were upwards of $50k (I'm looking at you, EverDry), and others just quoted me for what I said I "thought" I needed. The moral of the story is, what I thought I needed, Jason found out was only part of the case and showed me why through a series of pictures he took. (Oh, and if you're curious, he was less than 1/3 of the huge quote. I told him it was still too expensive, and he told me exactly what I needed done immediately, and what could wait.) I mean, cmon, HBC sent me a thank you card THE NEXT DAY after completing the work. They thanked ME for the opportunity to solve my problem. There are companies that might quote less, but for my money, Jason Fry is a man of his word, and I trust his word completely.
Larry Dawes
Larry Dawes
February 21, 2023
Had water coming in basement in one area and they came out and looked at the area where the water was coming in and showed me where it was and told me it was something they did not fix but told me where to buy the water stopper and I could do it myself. I was impressed by his honestly and professional advice. If anyone is looking for water leak companies I would highly recommend giving them a call.
Fred Cook
Fred Cook
January 31, 2023
I don't typically write reviews, but these guys really deserve it. Responsive, prompt, knowledgeable, detailed... they did a great job for a fair price and we couldn't be more pleased. The addition of a supplemental beam has improved the feel of the floor and has insured no issues with the new kitchen island.
Kristina Ligons
Kristina Ligons
November 20, 2022
We woke up Labor Day Monday to wet carpet in our basement after a very rainy weekend. Even on the holiday, Jason answered the phone and helped us figure out next steps. He came and looked at the situation the following Friday and gave us quotes and a test to perform to figure out exactly where the water was coming from. We ended up having a crack in the basement wall. In that time we also had a death in the family so we had to put everything on the back burner. Jason was very understanding and helped us pick right back up when we were ready to move forward over a month later. His crew came to our house in Fairfield and were incredibly professional. They kept the area they were working in very clean and put down tarps to keep the rest of our house clean too. I would highly recommend Healthy Basement Concepts!
Adam Brandner
Adam Brandner
November 15, 2022
I decided to encapsulate two crawlspaces at my home because the rooms above them were very cold in the winter. Additional annoyances were that both crawlspaces were dark, dirty areas that weren't usable for storage, and I worried about them harboring pests. It was more expensive they I'd imagined, but you really get what you pay for! Both spaces are now clean and bright, which has reduced clutter in my basement because we can store all of our seasonal items in the crawlspaces. The temperature issue was addressed effectively as well; both rooms above the crawlspaces are now pleasant in the winter. What I wasn't prepared for was how much of a difference it made in the summer. My sunroom went from being pretty hot every afternoon to feeling just a few degrees warmer than the main house. I didn't realize how much impact that sealing the exterior vents in the crawlspace below it would have during the summer months. Jason's team was hardworking, professional, and a joy to work with. I'd highly recommend them for this type of project.
leigh clark
leigh clark
October 16, 2022
Jason made clear about what needed to be done to clean and repair my crawl space properly. Did the job in a timely manner and the area was cleaner and healthier when the job was finished. Great workmanship reasonably priced. I am very happy with their work. Highly recommend Healthy Basement Concepts!


Our Service Area

Healthy Basement Concepts of Cincinnati offers a variety of services from waterproofing to foundation repair, including crawl space repair, crawl space insulation, basement waterproofing, sump pump installation, bowing walls, structural cracks and foundation settlement repair.