- Home Performance Retrofits
- Energy Audits & Diagnostics
- Building & HVAC Design
- Training, Classes & Research
A One stop shop for improving all the houses systems even when others say the space is too tight to work in. We have the tools, know how, and test results to prove it.
Dirty, Inaccessible, Wet, and Ugly…
That is how crawlspace are typically described, So what, out of site out of mind right? Not really it turns out that for homes built over crawlspaces that an average of 40% of the “fresh air” you are breathing comes from that space. I don’t know about you, but the last place I want to breathe air from is the crawlspace when I go in there, I definitely don’t want to breathe it every day inside my house.
So what is the perfect crawlspace? Let’s start by making it dry. There are lots of ways to do this like:
- Improving gutter drainage to ensure that it moves water away from the house.
- Improving the grade around the building.
- Digging exterior foundation drains along part or all of the building.
- Digging trench drains on the inside of crawlspaces
- Fixing all of the plumbing leaks in the crawlspace
- Installing a ground source vapor barrier
- Installing a sump pump if necessary
- Installing crawlspace exhaust ventilation if necessary
How do we know which solution is best for your house? We don’t just guess or relay on hearsay, we us building science. Balance Point has a wide variety of advance diagnostic tools to measure and commission the systems we install. When you hire us, you get the benefit of all of the systems we have already installed and tested. We know what will reliably solve your problems, doesn’t that sound better than more guess work?
While a dry is a great start for every building, we want to reduce the source of poor quality air that moves from the crawlspace into the house. Most people who go into the crawlspace start coughing when they are in there and want to put a dust mask on. That happens because the dirt floor is uncovered and top layer of dirt is easily disturbed, resulting in a lot of suspended dust particles in the air. The other particles are fiberglass particles from poorly installed fiberglass batts, that are falling apart. To top it all off there’s usually a lot of rodent droppings in the space. If you experience respiratory problems and live in a house that has a space like what I am describing we can help reduce the source of poor quality air coming from you crawlspace.
We can do that in the following ways:
- We start by cleaning up the space, removing all the debris from the space.
- We cover the dirt floor with a clean, durable white vapor barrier that cuts the dust and relative humidity in the space.
- We determine the right amount of ventilation for the space based on the big picture for the entire house as a system. (For some spaces that means a sealed crawl space and for others that means a mechanically vented space)
- We air seal all the pathways for air to move from the crawlspace into the living space, including framing joints, plumbing, mechanical, and electric joints. We can also ensure that if there is ductwork in the crawlspace that that is air tight as well.
- We can assess if soil gasses such as radon are an issue and if they are we are licensed to design and mitigate radon.
- We can assess if your heating cooling system is pressurizing the space to force air into your house and correct it.
The final step for making the perfect crawlspace would be to make it truly efficient. Many of the systems that are in crawlspace were put there when your house was first built. Often time duct systems and plumbing systems are a mix of patched together pieces and repairs that are 20-80 years old. Many of these system weren’t well designed to begin with and many are past their useful lifespan. Take for instance your plumbing pipes, have you ever wondered why it takes so long to get hot water to your sink, and you have to run so much cold water down the drain while you wait for hot water, in most homes with crawlspaces we can reduce water waste and get the water to you fast. How fast? How does less than 10 seconds and less than two cups of water waste sound to you? Some of the integrated services that we offer:
- Crawlspace insulation systems that are much more effective than conventional fiberglass batts.
- HVAC redesign, and installations
- Plumbing redesign, and installations
- Rewiring hazardous electrical wiring, or fixing poorly run low voltage and coaxial cable runs.
A Perfect Crawlspace is one that you wouldn’t be afraid to go in, one that if you crawled through it you would come out clean, one where the systems in it would contribute positively to the health and wellbeing of the occupants in the house. So how is your crawlspace? Balance Point Home Performance can help: not only are we Nevada County’s crawlspace experts, we are nationally renowned trainers on the subject who teach other other contractors at conferences, utility sponsored courses, and webinars. We don’t let our credentials get in the way of crawling in the hard, dirty spaces that other people avoid.
Give us a call we can help you make your crawlspace perfect, or put it on the path to getting there.
Are we the right company for your home?
We have very high standards. If you decide to work with us, you are assured of a home that performs well beyond what building codes require. We take the extra care and time to get it right. We're not for everyone, but if you want a home for life, we should talk.