Here are some of the most frequently asked questions of our valued clients. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to our crawl space technician in Maryland and Delaware today! You may reach us through our phone number: (410) 543-4848 or (302) 468-1811.
standard-title Crawl Space FAQs
How long has Dry-Tek been in business?
We have been in business for over 8 years. Dry-Tek was incorporated in December 2006 and was renamed Dry-Tek Environmental in June 2012.
Is Dry-Tek a franchise?
Dry-Tek Environmental is not a franchise. Dry-Tek Environmental is a locally owned business based in Salisbury, Maryland.
Is Dry-Tek licensed to do this kind (design and install crawl space moisture mitigation systems) of work?
Dry-Tek Environmental is certified in Water Damage Restoration from the IICRC. We are a Maryland-based home improvement contractor and therefore are required to hold a license from the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. Our MHIC license number is 102406.
What is the cost of an average system?
System cost is based on many variables including crawl space size, crawl space problems, equipment requirements and customer options.
Does Dry-Tek offer to finance crawl space projects?
Yes, we partner with GreenSky® to bring our customers affordable home improvement financing options to fit any budget. Visit GreenSky® to learn more.
When will I receive the proposal?
A comprehensive report including the assessment of the crawl space, analysis of the problems, system design options and pricing will be available three days after the evaluation of the crawlspace.
How long does it take to get on the schedule? How soon can you start?
Dry-Tek Environmental performs emergency as well as routine procedures related to water and moisture damage. We may begin work immediately after the contract is signed in emergent situations.
Start times are usually customer directed and being after the contract is signed. On average, non-emergent crawl space projects begin within two weeks.
How long does it take to complete a project?
Most crawl space projects take about a week to complete.
Where can I find reviews from past clients?
How is water getting into my crawl space?
Water may enter the crawl space through penetrations in the foundation wall, a normal foundation wall due to hydrostatic pressure, or open foundation vents that condense on cool surfaces in the crawl space.
Moisture may evaporate from the cool soil floor into the relatively warmer crawl space air. Water can also leak from faulty plumbing or HVAC systems.
Do I need a sump pump in my crawl space?
The amount of standing water will determine the need for a sump pump. However, the relatively low cost of a sump pump installation is outweighed by the benefit of preventing or lessening the potential water damage to a crawl space HVAC system or other crawl space mechanical system.
Do I need a dehumidifier?
Not usually. Dry Tek Environmental attempts to prevent excessive crawl space humidity and moisture without the use of mechanical or electrical equipment. A dehumidifier may be deemed necessary at the time of initial system installation.
However, we may recommend a trial period without a dehumidifier to determine if one is required. More than 50% of our CHAMP® Crawl Space Systems function without a dehumidifier. Of course, a system that functions without the need of a dehumidifier will also function with a dehumidifier.
Does Dry-Tek install French drain systems?
Yes. French drains are used to direct groundwater and surface water away from the crawl space. DTE recommends and installs EZflow drain systems where necessary.
Is it necessary to have plastic on the ground in my crawl space?
Yes. A significant amount of the air moisture content in a crawl space is secondary to evaporation of water from the crawl space dirt floor. The floor may appear “dry”, but, the cool and moist dirt will release vapor into the warmer crawl space air, which in turn will condense on other cool surfaces such as wooden frame members.
What is the difference in the types of vapor barriers?
Most vapor barriers used in crawl spaces are made from polyethylene. Polyethylene thickness is measured in mils or thousandths of an inch. A credit card is about 30 mils (0.030 inches) thick.
A simple polyethylene vapor barrier that is 4 mils thick (“contractor plastic”) can be waterproof, but may not be durable enough for crawl space service access. Dry-Tek uses a polyethylene, extrusion laminated, scrim reinforced multi layer vapor barrier with a minimum thickness of 6 mils. Greater thicknesses, as well as fire retardant vapor barriers, are available.
Is 6 mil a sufficient barrier for my crawl space?
In most cases, 6 mil is adequate if it is multilayered and reinforced. Dry-Tek Environmental offers a superior and affordable vapor barrier that far exceeds the performance and durability of most contractor grade vapor barriers. Our vapor barriers are available in thicknesses ranging from 6 mils to 16 mils, some with fire retardant properties.
What do you insulate?
Dry-Tek Environmental insulates the crawl space walls with styrofoam insulation leaving room at the top of the wall for termite inspection. Batt insulation fills the band board pocket (the space between the wall styrofoam insulation and the floor joists).
The use of sub-floor insulation over a ventilated crawl space, was a standard building practice, for years. Science has shown that an unventilated (or closed) crawl space with sidewall insulation is a better approach. This method helps prevent cold air from entering the crawl space in the winter and warm, humid air from entering the crawl space in the summer.
For more information, visit the US Department of Energy Crawlspace Insulation Technology Fact Sheet.
What do you use for insulation?
What are the sump pump brand specifications and warranty information?
Zoeller Mighty Mate 53 (1⁄3 hp, 115v, 1-1⁄2″ discharge), made in the USA and includes a 3-year warranty. Pump and components include basin, lid, check valve, PVC pipe, and fittings purchased from Shore Distributors, Inc.
Where is the water coming from?
Water may enter the crawl space through penetrations in the foundation wall or through a normal foundation wall due to hydrostatic pressure. Moisture may enter the crawl space through open foundation vents and condense on cool surfaces in the crawl space. Water may leak from faulty plumbing or HVAC systems. The relatively warm air in the crawl space compared to the cool soil of the floor will enable evaporation of moisture from the soil into the crawl space.
What is causing my insulation to hang down?
Excessive moisture in the crawl space is absorbed by the sub flooring insulation which increases its weight, thereby causing it to fall. In addition, moisture in the insulation significantly decreases its insulating properties (R-value) and, therefore, its effectiveness.
Will the installation of a CHAMP System affect my annual pest control service?
No. Dry-Tek Environmental recognizes the need for other tradesmen to access the crawl space to perform routine work. CHAMP® Systems will not interfere with other trades or services that require crawl space access. The purpose of placing removable batt insulation in the band board pocket (above the wall styrofoam insulation) is to allow easy access for termite inspection, if necessary.
Should I keep the crawl space vents open in the summer and closed in the winter?
The crawl space vents should be kept closed throughout the year in the Mid Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States. The traditional idea of decreasing the moisture in the crawl space by ventilating the space with outside air through wall vents has not shown to decrease the moisture in the crawl space.
In fact, Advanced Energy has research showing that during warm seasons, the outside air contains more moisture than the crawl space. Therefore, the outside air contributes more water vapor, passing through the vents and into the crawl space, leaving no potential to dry the crawl space. This humid air entering crawl space vents is responsible for moisture related problems such as condensation, high wood moisture content, mold growth, and wood rot.
For more information, visit the ‘Area Crawl Space Vents Necessary?’ page 4 of the US Department of Energy Crawlspace Insulation Technology Fact Sheet.
Why is mold growing in my crawl space?
Mold, mildew, and fungi are parts of the kingdom Fungi. Molds multiple by producing microscopic spores. These mold spores are ubiquitous, both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores require four things to grow: oxygen, a food source (carbon), temperature range of 45°F 100°F and moisture (usually of at least 70% relative humidity). Mold spores land on a moist organic substrate and, with oxygen, they may grow while digesting the organic substance upon which they landed. Molds gradually destroy the substrate they landed on.
A crawl space contains the four things that mold requires to grow. Oxygen is almost everywhere. The food source (carbon) can be any organic material, including paper (covering insulation), wood (framing members), and even soil (crawl space floor). The protected environment of the crawl space usually provides a suitable temperature for mold growth. Moisture, in the form of water or vapor, is present in varying amounts.
The crawl space oxygen (in air) is difficult to control. Molds can grow at a variety of temperatures. The framing members and other organic building materials in the crawl space are necessary structures. The one requirement for mold growth that can be controlled is the amount of moisture. Moisture is the most important controllable factor affecting mold growth in the crawl space. The key to mold control is moisture control.
Is there black mold?
Molds come in a variety of colors, from white to black. Often, multiple species of molds grow in the same location. Variable amounts of light, temperature, and moisture may favor one type of mold over another. Some molds, called toxigenic fungi, may produce potentially toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. Mycotoxin production depends on many genetic and environmental factors. Little health information is available for many mycotoxins. The appearance of mold is not enough to determine if it is producing mycotoxins.
Is the mold in my crawl space unhealthy for me? Is it bad for my family?
Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause adverse health issues in some people. Molds growing in buildings may cause odors, and symptoms such as headaches, irritation of the skin eyes, nose and throat, as well as, difficulty breathing and allergic reactions. However, each of these symptoms may be caused by conditions and exposures unrelated to mold. Therefore, mold may or may not be the cause of these symptoms.
The moisture that is present in a crawl space may enter the living space through cracks in ceilings, floors, and walls. This moisture may contribute to mold growth in the living space.
Does the mold spray kill the mold, or are there other steps?
It is usually not possible to sterilize an area or eliminate all of the molds; some mold spores will remain. However, the spores will not grow if the moisture problem that facilitated previous mold growth has been resolved.
How long does the mold spray last?
About 24 hours. New mold spores will settle into the crawl space. These mold spores will not grow if the moisture problem that allowed previous mold growth has been resolved. For more information visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mold information page.
What did you find, in general?
The five most common things we discover when we evaluate a crawl space are:
- Wet, falling insulation
- Microbial evidence – mold and mildew
- Standing water or evidence of previous standing water
- Faulty clothes dryer vent discharge
- Inadequate or disheveled vapor barrier
Why should I use Dry-Tek to handle my crawl space moisture issues?
From Austin Ireland, System Designer, General Manager and President of Dry-Tek Environmental:
- Dry-Tek Environmental offers “World Class Customer Service” far exceeding that of any crawl space solution company on the Eastern Shore.
- At Dry-Tek Environmental we help every Customer as if we were helping our very own best friend!
- Dry-Tek Environmental is not a franchise! Being a non-franchised company allows Dry Tek Environmental to test and utilize state of the art components and equipment in real world applications, providing the Customer with exceptional quality and value.
- From the time of initial contact, the customer is walked through every step of the system building process. Identified issues that exist in the crawlspace are carefully reviewed, first hand, with the customer. Each Customer receives a custom report with options tailored to his or her particular situation.
- Our solutions are backed by highly credible sources like the United States Environmental Agency US Environmental Protection Agency and Advanced Energy.org.
- Dry-Tek Environmental Technicians conduct themselves with the highest standards always putting the Customer’s concerns and needs first, above all else.
- Dry-Tek Environmental Technicians are experts in their respective fields with particular attention to bringing superior quality and detail to every job.
- Our employees and Technicians operate under the highest code of conduct, reflecting the exemplary service a Customer would expect to receive.
- Dry-Tek Environmental proudly supports our Troops, Firefighters, and local Law Enforcement.
- Most Dry-Tek Environmental products are proudly made in the USA.