This Alexandria VA crawl space had been partially conditioned with material installed to cover the dirt flooring and walls, but the insulation for the space was not done correctly. The walls and rim joists in the crawl space were left uninsulated while traditional bat insulation was used to "TRY" and insulate the floors above the crawl space. The bat insulation allowed for cold and or hot, unconditioned air from the crawl space to impact the floors above. The outside temperatures and moisture were able to freely impact the crawl space due to open air vents and no insulation for the walls. We removed the bat insulation and some of the wall coverings and proceeded to use spray foam to seal the air vents, rim joists and to insulate the walls. No more free moving outside air causing humidity and we conditions in the crawl space.
Crawl space encapsulated successfully
Our goal with any home project is to leave a home in better condition than it was in before we did work. That includes the outside. We often have to dig into a yard to lay a discharge line for sump pumps for basement or crawl space waterproofing jobs like this one.
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We not only adhere to the highest industry standards, we strive to be the industry leader in the home improvement related services we provide. We also use state-of-the-art products and technology which are designed to fix your home. We are the authorized
Basement Systems dealer
in Fairfax County, VA.
The 3 Pros team provides quality service, even when it is buried and cannot be seen by the customer. Some installers miss, or cheat, the final important steps in successfully sealing and conditioning a space. The do not complete the unseen work, and there can actually be gaps and holes under the improperly installed insulation. We have fixed examples where air sealing was thought to have been done by a competitor, only for the customer to come to us when their home comfort issues persisted. We have found that the air sealing completed by our competitors is sometimes done within a small radius of the crawl space entryway, and then none elsewhere, thus not fully fixing the orginal problem.
"Things that are good are seldom cheap. Things that are cheap are seldom good." Check out this tight, high-quality comprehensive insulation by the 3 Pros team. The spray foam is compact, air-tight, and neatly insulates the entire space, not just the entryway.
This customer in Annandale had some siding that could not be re-used when we removed it to apply a treatment. Luckily, 3 Pros has a service department that is able to make repairs. We were able to repair his siding to keep his home in tip-top shape. We're committed to providing our customers complete solutions!
Even if their basement or attic experiences uncomfortable temperatures or odors, some customers hesitate to find a solution because the room contains items or furniture that they do not want to be moved or damaged in the process. This customer in Vienna, VA needed to remove damage-causing moisture from the air in their basement, but they had quite a few personal belongings that needed to be protected during the project. The 3 Pros team used ceiling to floor plastic sheeting to protect the belongings in the work space from getting dusty or damaged. To further protect the property of the customer, we laid down RAM board on the stairways to preserve the finish on them.
A recent waterproofing project in Chantilly, VA had some additional features that exemplify the 3 Pros commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. The first photo shows this basement had piping that was very close to the wall - the following 3 photos show how the 3 Pros team successfully worked around the piping and structures near the wall to properly install our waterguard system cleanly and tightly.
The next photos reveal a very nice CleanSpace Wall System installation. This system prevents active waters leaks on the wall and decreases the overall humidity of the basement. Finally, 3 Pros put the finishing touches on this project by insulating the rim joints to further stop uncontrolled air and vapor leaks from occurring at these points.
A water Proofing Project that had some of the following features:
3) Very nice CleanSpace Wallie installation to prevent active water leaks on
the wall and "Vapor Diffusion" from increasing the level of humidity in the
4) Spray Foam Insulated Rim Joists to stop uncontrolled air leaks and vapor
diffusion from occurring at the Rim Joist.
This project was a large crawl space encapsulation for a commercial property in Oakton, VA. The newly encapsulated floor was smooth air sealed and the spray foam was installed in a tight, neat pattern. The last photo is of the installation of an Everlast door to seal and retain the air that will now be conditioned in the crawl space.
Unsealed crawl spaces with dirt floors can introduce a myriad of issues that can impact your home's energy performance as well as the environmental safety of residents and pets. Traditional household pests (mice, rats) as well as other wild animals, including snakes, racoons, and possums, can take up residency in an unsealed crawl space. This means they are likely leaving droppings behind, and sometimes the animal itself will even decompose in the crawl space. This poses a serious health risk for obvious reasons: not only do pests and animals introduce allergens and potentially disease, if they are left to rot in your crawl space the carasses can attract insects - not to mention the potential for it to start to smell!
In this picture, towards the left, you can visibly see the fur of a dead animal slightly covered with leaves. This Clifton, VA home was experiencing other crawl space issues (mold, humidity, and uncomfortable surrounding rooms) but they were shocked to see that small animals had been literally decomposing under their floorboards! The best way to avoid this issue (and the others listed) is to properly seal and insulate your crawl space.
Water Management to Keep your Basement Dry
I recently watched an episode of “Ask This Old House” that related to water management in order to keep your basement dry. Here is a link to the episode if you would like to watch it yourself:
In this episode, Mark the Masonry Expert, discussed how the craftsmen from years ago used Water Management Practices to keep basements with stacked stone foundations dry. I occurred to me that some of these practices can be an integral part to fixing wet basements today as 3 Pros Basement Systems Does with Basement Systems Designed Interior Water Management Systems.
Here are a few key points from this episode of “Ask This Old House” (Side note – Sharing expertise and trade secrets like they do on the show is a cornerstone of what we try to accomplish at 3 Pros Basement Systems with our customers).
1) Stacked stone foundations are extremely porous, but yet the tactics used by the craftsman of years ago allowed them to create dry basements – Hmmm, Interesting.
2) One of the keys to good water management is to capture the runoff from the roofs and get it away from the foundation. Clean your Gutters, maintain your downspouts, provide solid drainage pipes to get the water away from the foundation through “Under Ground” drain lines. 3 Pros Basement Systems can help you with these tasks.
3) Another key is to have “Proper Pitch” of the ground surrounding the house. This means maintaining a fall of 1” per 4 feet of horizontal travel. In the home in the show it also involved the installation of a concrete “Skirt” around the base of the exposed foundation.
4) The third key point was to assure that plantings around the foundation do not promote “Wicking” of water towards the foundation. This last point is contrary to what many people consider attractive landscape design in the modern era, and may not be possible. Back in the good old days, there was very little foundation planting that was included in home design. Interesting, look through your old family photos and you will see it, people did not plant shrubs and trees that close to the home as we to today.
These measures can, in my opinion, assist in making a complete water management system function better and more reliably.
The only way to really keep the water out is to use the modern approach of installing a water management system from the inside of the home.
If you want to learn more about ways to keep your basement dry, or Basement Systems Designs for Interior Water Management Systems, call 3 Pros Basement Systems.
Similar to a crumbling foundation, shifting walls can be very disconcerting to notice and can make you feel like your whole house might not be structurally safe. Changes in the soil under the foundation and water damage can cause basement walls to warp and shift. In turn, the walls above the basement move in a similar way. This turns a foundation issue into a whole house issue that can have dangerous implications. While you may be tempted to replace your entire foundation or maybe just move somewhere else, there is another solution! Our ArmorLock system can come to the rescue to help stop those tilting and shifting walls. Super strong carbon fiber straps and brackets are fused and anchored to a heavy duty steel bracket that is screwed to the rim joist. This locks the foundation wall to the rim joist and prevents shifting soil from pushing the walls any further.
Call us today if you are experiencing issues like this and we will conduct a free inspection to find the root of the problem!
Properly installing a sump pump requires that you take action to appropriately handle the discharge drainage from the sump pump. We recently addressed in a home in West McLean, VA.
That requires that you get the water away from the home, that you disperse the water at the end of the pipe so as not to create erosion and that you maintain the ability to discharge water even if the drain field freezes.
We use two products that are proprietary designs of out supplier Basement Systems to achieve this goal. First, we use Ice Guard (see photo attached), a device used to assure that the discharge water has a place to go even if the drain line is blocked with ice, or any other foreign matter. Second, we use the Lawnscape Fitting, a device that disperses water from the end of the drain pipe to reduce the probability of erosion. Both of these quality products can be purchased from your local Basement Systems Dealer.
Call 3 Pros if you need help with your sump pump system.
Repairing a damaged or dirt floor crawl space offers many benefits to the overall health and comfort of your home. There are 4 steps to completely eradicate the negative effects that the crawl space might be causing, including high humidity, musty odors, or floors that are too cold.
Step 1: Fix Water Issues (Damage/Leakage)
Usually the first part of this step is to install a sump pump in the crawl space. To install a sump pump, our team digs a hole at the low spot of the crawl space. Any water leakage will naturally flow down to the low spot. With the sump pump installed, any water leakage will be pumped out of the crawl space instead of pooling and contributing to humidity levels and mold growth.
Step 2: Get The Home Separated From The Earth
Once water leakage has been addressed, the next thing to do is deal with the effects of exposed earth. This can include water vapor, mold, and the intrusion of pests. Crawl space encapsulation is the way we accomplish this. We use CleanSpace, a 20 mil thick plastic liner. The CleanSpace is sealed to the upper part of the wall, around any obstructions, and at the seams. This fully waterproofs the crawl space, and actually has antimicrobial properties too!
Step 3: Seal The Crawl Space From Outside Air
Now that the crawl space will no longer have water leakage issues, it's time to address another source of moisture: air vents. Some crawl spaces have vents that are directly open to the outside. On hot summer days, this means excessively humid air is able to enter the crawl space. This is done by sealing the vents with covers or an access door if needed.
Step 4: Dehumdify
The final step to ensuring that a crawl space will stay dry and fully conditioned is to install a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier eliminates condensation in the air that could contribute to mold growth or water damage.
With a completely dry crawl space, a home now has additional space for storage. Most importantly, the energy efficiency, health, and comfort of the home are permanently improved.
Recently, a homeowner in Merrifield, VA called us because their crawl sapce leaking had gotten so bad, there were inches of standing water! In humid conditions, this standing water was beginning to cause the floors the buckle and mildew. The humidity had also allowed for mold to grow.
One of the main reasons the crawl space was leaking in the first place was because the gutters and downspouts of the property were not correctly routed to expel water away from the house foundation. Our crew set up an electric water pump in the crawl space for 2 days prior to servicing in order to properly dry out the space. We installed a much-needed new sump pump and fully treated the crawl space for mold. We also replaced the homeowner's moldy, wet insulation with our spray foam encapsulation.
The SmartJack is a permanent solution to stabilize sagging floors in crawl spaces. It lifts the floors above the space to reach where they used to be by stabilizing the beams and floor joists. It also reduces any bounciness that might have been felt by a sagging floor.
How it works: the SmartJack system creates a solid base of engineered fill to distribute the weight of the home. Galvanized steel columns are fitted to length and set on a foot long steel base. They are secured to girders or supplemental beams with top brackets that are adjustable.
Overtime, some houses experience sagging floors. Sagging floors are not only unsightly and uncomfortable, they are indicative of a potentially serious foundational issue. Poor foundational support is the number one cause of sagging floors: when floor joists age and bend downward because of the weight of the home above them, this can put the structural integrity of the home at risk. Humidity and moisture in the crawl space can contribute to this, as the wooden beams can begin to rot. The solution to this is a product like SmartJack - jacks can be installed to provide support to the floor joists. Additionally, addressing the humidity in the crawl space can ensure that the rot/mold growth will not return to weaken the joists.
A Clifton, VA homeowner had a crawlspace that would often gather water any time it rained. Worried about mold growth, the homeowner got online to try to find ways to prevent this moisture build-up and came across our 3 Pros Basement Systems website. They called us right away to receive their free estimate. Our sales professional went out to the home, did a thorough inspection of the crawlspace, and offered solutions to fix this moisture issue. The homeowner selected what work they wanted to be done and our production crew got to work! To remove the water as it builds up in the crawlspace, we installed a SmartSump sump pump on the floor of the space. The SmartSump will take in the water, and push it up and out of the crawlspace through a PVC discharge line. We then attached an UltraSump backup battery to the SmartSump to keep it pumping even when the power in the home goes out. The UltraSump holds enough power to evacuate 11,000 gallons of water from the crawlspace. With these two products in place, the crawlspace should be water-free for many years to come!
Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman, living in Clifton, VA, had an exceptionally moist crawlspace. The moisture content was high enough to enable mold growth within the space. Mold creates an unhealthy atmosphere and these homeowners needed to find a solution to remedy this moisture problem. They found 3 Pros Basement Systems and upon receiving their free estimate, hired us to get the job done. To hold moisture back, we lined the crawlspace with Drainage Matting. This allows the moisture to drain back into the surrounding soil before reaching the center of the space. We then encapsulated the crawlspace with a CleanSpace Liner. This liner is made of thin plastic, that completely locks out any moisture that would have otherwise found its way into the space. Finally, we installed a SaniDry CX dehumidifier in the crawlspace. This dehumidifier takes all of the moisture from the air and pumps the dry air back into the space. With the installation of these products, the mold died off, leaving behind a dry and healthy crawlspace.
This Herndon VA home had issues with high energy costs to heat and cool the home as well as a living room that was uncomfortable year-round due to poor temperature control. Our Sales Expert Jason Brown visited the home and found the top to bottom solutions to address both issues. In addition to an attic makeover with insulation, air sealing, and HVAC duct encapsulation, he determined that the crawl space below the home was in need of encapsulation and air sealing. Our production team removed all of the old inefficient fiberglass bat insulation hanging from the crawl space roof and cleared the plastic material that had been covering the dirt floor. The walls were covered with SilverGlo insulation panels and had all of the small cracks and spaces sealed with ZypFoam. CleanSpace was then installed with TerraBlock placed directly on the dirt floors to allow air and moisture to move without coming up into the now conditioned crawl space. All of the air vents were sealed to eliminate uncontrolled outside air from entering and impacting the environment in the crawl space. This helped to seal the crawl space but also improved the quality of air in the home and living space above. No more uncontrolled moisture or outside allergens are allowed. The end result for the project was a home that had total control of the air and temperature inside, thus creating more comfort for the homeowners and a reduction in the cost to heat and cool the home.
Home comfort can come in many forms. The temperature is too hot or cold, and unwanted air flow from doors or windows and floors feels too hot or cold to the touch. What some people don't realize is that the same solutions to address these issues can also help to improve the air quality and health of the inhabitants of a home. This Alexandria VA homeowner wanted to make the rooms above their crawl space warmer in the winter due to the floors being cold and help make the rest of the home more comfortable year round. When an inspection was done to find out what was causing those issues, we found even more important items to address regarding the potential impact on the health of the homeowners. The moisture in the crawl space that was allowed to be present due to vented walls had resulted in mold in the existing insulation hanging loose from the floors above. Additionally, the unsealed crawl space had been inhabited by pests and had a tremendous amount of waste left behind. The air in the crawl space which had animal waste and mold particles floating around was making its way into the home above and being breathed in by the homeowners. We encounter things like this pretty often and as part of our crawl space encapsulation service, we will clean and remove moldy insulation and animal waste.
For Eric in Centreville, having a wet basement was nothing new, but it was time to ratify the situation. Eric went online to find a way to fix his basement and found us. Once contacted, we did a full inspection to find what was causing the problem. After locating the issue, we laid out what could be done to fix the problem and how much these options would cost. Eric decided on a solution and we got to work! To start work on the basement, we dug out the perimeter of the foundation. This allowed us to insert our WaterGuard perimeter system, which catches all water entering the basement through the floor or walls, and leads it to a sump pump that pushes the water outdoors. To ensure the water will flow even in freezing temperatures, we installed an IceGuard filter. Finally, we positioned a SaniDry XP dehumidifier in the basement. This dehumidifier will keep any remaining or future moisture out of the air. Eric no longer has a wet basement!
Homeowners in Annandale were having trouble with their sump pump. It was not pushing out enough water and water was gathering in the corners of the basement, away from the pump. A friend of theirs recommended us to fix their water problem. They called us immediately to set up a meeting with one of our sales professionals. We gave the homeowners their free estimates and then after they selected the work they wanted to be done, our crew got to work. We began by digging up the inside perimeter of the basement floor. This newly dug trench was where we laid our WaterGuard pipe system. These pipes were then covered over with loose rocks and cement to conceal them without hurting their function. This system captures any and all water trying to enter through the walls or floor of the basement, and then leads it to the sump pump. After finishing with the WaterGuard, we installed a SuperSump sump pump. This pump is able to move 2,650 gallons of water per hour, and should be more than enough to keep the basement dry all of the time! With these two products working together, these homeowners will now live worry free, with a dry basement.
After some neighboring construction happened, Aaron, a McLean homeowner, began to experience water problems in his finished basement. Without a drain in the space, he had almost no way of solving this problem. He did a search on the internet and found us at 3 Pros Basement Systems. He called right away and scheduled his free estimate. Aaron soon sat down with one of our sales representatives to talk over his options and decided on a solution to waterproof the space. Our installation crew arrived at the home a few weeks later and were tasked with giving the space proper drainage. To achieve this, a TripleSafe pump was installed on the floor of the basement. The TripleSafe device houses three sump pumps within itself. The first pump works to remove the majority of the collected water. The secondary pump remains idle until either the primary pump fails or cannot handle the current amount of water needing to be removed. Only then, does it activate to increase the flow of water exiting the home? The third pump is a battery-operated backup pump that will activate in the event of a power outage, maintaining a dry basement even when the home is without power. The water exits the home through a PVC discharge line that carries the water a distance from the home. Just beyond where this line exits the house, and IceGuard pipe segment was intersected with the discharge line. The IceGuard piece has special upward-facing holes that only allow trapped water to escape the line. This protects the basement from flooding in the event of a blockage of ice or other debris in the line. Finally, a LawnScape discharge port was attached to the end of the line. This piece has a grate covering the bottom end of the pipe, blocking most debris from entering the line from the end, while allowing the water to flow out onto the lawn away from the house. Now that Aaron has a functioning sump pump system below his home, he no longer needs to fear a flooding basement, causing damage to his property. The newly installed TripleSafe sump pump will ensure this basement stays dry for years to come!
While living in Chantilly, VA, Susan had recently begun to notice a musty smell throughout her home. Unsure of how to put an end to this problem herself, she sought a solution online. During her research, she found us at 3 Pros Basement Systems and gave us a call to set up her free estimate. We dispatched Carl, one of our sales representatives, to go over the problem and what we could do to fix it. He found that water had been leaking into the crawl space, causing a musty smell in the home. Susan soon gave us the go-ahead to solve her problem. When our production crew arrived at the home, they got started on the crawl space right away. First, a Drainage Matting was laid across the floor of the space. This mat sits just off the surface of the floor and has many craters throughout, creating channels for water to follow once the vapor barrier is finished. This allows water to exit the space. Next, a CleanSpace liner was used to encapsulate the interior of the crawl space. The CleanSpace covers all of the walls and the floor and locks out moisture trying to enter the crawl space. This blocked water will then flow out of the space draining down back through the ground below. With her completed vapor barrier in place, Susan no longer has to live with a musty smell in her home from the moisture build-up. The CleanSpace installation will keep any leaking water at bay for years to come.
A homeowner in Burke was having trouble with their sump pump. Even though they had one installed a few years ago, their basement was starting to gather water again. Their pump was malfunctioning. The homeowner saw 3 Pros Basement Systems on social media and decided to give us a call. We sent out our representative to look at the basement and give the homeowner a free estimate. They selected the options they wanted and we got to work! We began by removing the old sump pump. This was disposed of properly and left the sump with an open slot for a new pump. We then installed a SuperSump sump pump in the sump. This sump will easily be able to handle any amount of water trying to gather in the basement, as it's able to pump 2,650 gallons per hour. To maintain a dry basement in any weather, we attached an UltraSump backup battery to the SuperSump. This will keep the pump operating even if the power goes out. The water leaving the basement exits through a PVC discharge line. On the exterior of the home, we attached an IceGuard pipe to this discharge line. This specially designed pipe will allow water to continue to flow from the line even if the lower end of the pipe becomes blocked by any debris. These systems operating together will maintain a dry basement in any condition. This homeowner no longer needs to worry about a failing sump pump.
Kevin of Lorton was experiencing trouble with water entering his basement through cracks in the basement walls. He needed a way to seal up these cracks and sought professional help to get the job done right. After hearing about 3 Pros Basement Systems from a family friend, Kevin called us right away! Our knowledgeable representative headed to the home to give a free estimate. Kevin chose what work he wanted to be done and we got started. To begin the solution, we filled the cracks with an initial layer of sealant. The sealant was then covered over with foam matting. This matting will form the backbone of the final structure. The matting is then covered with a second layer of sealant to completely lock out any moisture trying to enter through the cracks. This finished system is known as FlexiSpan. The foam matting gives the structure a flexible nature, allowing it to bed and contort should the walls shift in any way. Now, with FlexiSpan covering the cracks, Kevin will no longer need to worry about water entering his basement.
A couple in Great Falls was experiencing moisture pooling in their crawl space. They needed a vapor barrier to help keep this water out. Looking for the right company for the job, they came across a 3 Pros Basement Systems truck while on their way home from work. They called us soon after to set up an appointment for a free evaluation and estimate. After meeting with one of our experts, they chose to go ahead and have us install a proper vapor barrier for them. Our crew arrived and began installing the vapor barrier by laying down a Drainage Matting. This mat lays against the wall/floor joints around the inside perimeter of the crawl space. This is where most of the water coming in will collect and the mat allows the water time to drain without reaching the interior of the crawl space. Next, we installed our CleanSpace liner. This is a 20 mil thick, 7-layer polyethylene composition, with polyester cord reinforcement. It covers everything in the crawl space except for the ceiling and locks out any moisture trying to find its way in. No moisture is going to be entering this space from the outside anymore. Now this couple has a dry, useable crawl space thanks to CleanSpace.
The photos here can probably tell the story of this wet crawl space in Centreville VA without any words needed. This crawl space has been experiencing water issues for years and was previously "TREATED" by having plastic lining set down across the dirt floors. In addition to the unwanted water, there were unwanted rodents spending time in and around the space. Several rodents had died and were slowly decaying in the wet, humid space. The walls of the crawl space showed evidence of water coming through them and had mud puddles trapped in the plastic covering the floors. The insulation on the ceiling of the crawl space had collected dirt, pollen and moisture and was falling loose, failing to insulated the floors above. after our Sales Pro Eric performed a full insection, he was able to identify several products and services to help wake this nightmare of a crawl space up.
Our production team removed the old insulation, cleared away the old plastic floor covering and let the space dry out before proceeding with the rest of the project. TerraBlock matting was laid down across the dirt floor to allow moisture and air to flow freely without being trapped and causing more mud puddles. The crawl space was air sealed to keep any uncontrolled flow of air in or out of the space. CleanSpace material was used to cover the walls of the crawl space and help direct any incoming water or moisture below so that it coul be controlled, captured and delivered into the new SuperSump pump that we used to replace the old, dirty and clogged sump pump that had failed to discharge water previously. Spray Foam insulation was used in several areas of the crawl space to cover the walls and control the air and temperature of the crawl space. Finally, the rest of the crawl space walls were covered with CleanSpace and sealed up to create a clean and useable space.
The end result was a dry, clean and controlled environment with the rooms above no longer being impacted by cold or hot air below. The opportunity for rodents to get in and out of the space was reduced. The air quality in the home will be healthier and the cost to control the temperature and comfort in the home will be lower.