Burke Construction Q&A

I have a lot of moisture in my crawlspace, I opened the vents and even the door and it seems to be getting worse, why is this happening?

More ventilation is a common misconception among crawlspace remedies. Most of us believe that outdoor air is healthier than indoor air so it would seem sensible to air out your crawlspace. It so damp down there- letting in some air should solve that problem, and since you're never actually down there, you might as well air it out all the time right? Not exactly!

To keep it simple, most of the year, the crawlspace is cooler and less humid than the outside air, the outside air is warmer and more humid. The natural movement of air is more to less, so the more humid and more warm thr air is, the easier it's going to flow IN to the crawlspace which is the opposite of what your trying to accomplish. That air is then rapidly cooled, expelling the moisture and the humidity in the crawlspace rapidly increases. It's this science the allows us to understand that more ventilation is actually wrong and the best way to fix a crawlspace is to encapsulate, or seal it off, from the the outside elements. If you would like to find out more or to set up a free consultation give us a call!


My attic is full of pink fiberglass insulation and the house is still uncomfortable, how much more can this be improved?

At a glance fiberglass looks fluffy and colorful so of course it should work right? However, we expect way too much out of it. Fiberglass has a rated "R" value, you'll see this stamped on the paper backing, the higher the "R" value number, the better the insulation right? But that R value is based on a perfect test in a controlled environment, not laying loosely in the attic with gaps and voids so air can pass right through the insulation. Fiberglass is the the cheapest insulation and it's very easy to install (wrong) with a knife and maybe a stapler. Better insulation costs more and that's why it wasn't put in when the builder built the home. Now you and millions of your neighbors have gotten stuck living with it! But don't worry, we can help! We have a number of different options for air sealing (the most important step) and insulating attics, crawlspaces and even adding insulation in the floor of a room above a garage! We'll be glad to help! We can remove rodent infested fiberglass and even vacuum out old nasty loose fill insulation and install clean, efficient new insulation!

Check out the video on insulation done wrong and how to do it right! click here

My house is relatively new, can I still benefit from insulation improvements?

Absolutely! In fact, we can perform a home energy assessment on your home to show you exactly where and how you would benefit from insulation upgrades. Often times we see homes built within the last 10 years that are just as leaky (inefficient) or worse than homes built 50 or more years ago! Most modern homes are built "to meet code" which means they typically meet the minimum requirements for someone to be able to occupy the home. It sounds crazy when you say it that way, but it's true. Other homes are built to meet or exceed various types of energy efficiency ratings and these types of homes outperform conventional homes by a huge margin. The good news is that retrofitting an older (or newer) home to meet or exceed these same energy efficiency standards is possible and affordable, we have many different solutions to help homeowners in any age home live more comfortably and efficiently!

The insulation in my crawlspace is falling down, what should I do?

Falling insulation is FAILING insulation. The reason it is failing is due to the excessive moisture in the crawlspace. This is also one of the early signs that rot and mold may be starting to grow in your crawlspace. Replacing the insulation is not the answer to the problem, the insulation will fall down again as soon as it becomes heavy from the moisture. The answer is to eliminate or significantly reduce the moisture in the crawlspace. For more information on properly eliminating crawlspace problems, give us a call or use the contact us link here.

What size dehumidifier should I buy for my crawlspace?

Dehumidifiers provide a very important step in conditioning a crawlspace, however, the dehumidifier alone is not going to cut the mustard. There are just too many elements working against it. We sell and install the SaniDry Sedona, which happens to be the worlds most efficient dehumidifier and we would never recommend installing it in a crawlspace without completing the other necessary steps. In order to properly condition a crawlspace we need to eliminate any groundwater seepage, seal off the earths moisture, stop outside air infiltration and last, but not least, condition the space (dehumidify). This last step is where the dehumidifier comes in to play. However, it's not until we have addressed the other 3 concerns that we can effectively "dehumidify" the space. The dehumidifier will just have to work way too hard in a losing battle. This is why it's very common for us to see 3 or 4 burned out dehumidifiers in a crawlspace when we go out to do an inspection!

What's the white chalky powder on my foundation wall?

When the minerals in concrete, mortar or soil dissolve in water, they can end up as deposits on the surface of a wall or floor. When the water evaporates, it leaves the minerals behind. This mineral residue manifests as white powder or crystals know as efflorescence. It is sometimes confused with mold, but it is not alive. Efflorescence is not harmful unless you eat it, and it can easily be swept or brushed way. It is however a sign that water is slowly coming through the concrete and a good reason to call a professional to inspect the foundation.

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Burke Home Services
1410 Spruce St #112
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
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