Serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex County
Welcome to Crawl Space Solutions By Cowleys. We are New Jersey’s experts in crawl space repair. If you are looking to take care of your crawl space issues once and for all, you’ve come to the right place.
Encapsulation is today’s standard in building design for those homes with crawl spaces. Sealing the crawl space keeps out water and moisture and all of the problems that come with it. Crawl space water and moisture:
With encapsulation, you’ll have the peace of mind that your crawl space, the foundation of your home, stays clean and dry. No water. No moisture. No bugs. No critters. No Mold. No headaches.
A homeowner in Deal, NJ had a “builder grade” metal crawl space entry door installed when the home was built. This door was definitely a contractor money-saver item — and it showed. Over a few years, the door failed to stand up the the wear-and-tear of the outdoor elements. When we arrived, the door was rusted out and rotted. It wouldn’t even close. This crawl space entry point was trouble waiting to happen, and we were surprised that wildlife had not yet exploited this weak spot and visited the crawl space. This was an open invitation.
The homeowner knew that Cowleys had a specialized contractor division that handles a variety of crawl space improvements, up to and including full encapsulation. He contacted us for a replacement. We had the perfect item — a customized Everlast door that’s specifically designed for crawl spaces.
With this installation, the homeowner now had a crawl space door that would block rodents and possibly bigger critters like skunks, squirrels, and raccoons from gaining access and using the crawl space as their private nesting area. Also, for homes with crawl spaces, homeowners have more to work about than just wildlife entry. These below-grade areas are notorious trouble spots for mold growth and other water-related issues, and these doors help do the job. Of course, there are other ways that water and moisture can infiltrate vented crawl spaces, but this door was an important start.
Our installers love these Everlast covers because of their flexibility. They can be installed against wood framing or masonry, work exceptionally well, and have great aesthetics, blending in perfectly with the home’s foundation. These doors are made of a “bulletproof” hard durable plastic. Unlike wooden or metal crawl space covers, they don’t rot, warp, crack, or rust, and never need to be painted.
Even though these covers form a tight seal over the crawl space access, they are super-easy to open for those rare occasions when homeowners or repair persons require entry. The door has four large, easy-to-grip knobs that twist off without a hitch. The door comes right off, and you’re in.
The homeowner was quite pleased with the installation. With this small crawl space improvement, the crawl space now had a cover that actually worked. As an added benefit, the outside of the home looked much better.
A homeowner in Brick Township, NJ had water entering the crawl space area through the entry door. The homeowner was concerned about standing water in the crawl space, and rightly so. Stagnant water in the crawl space can trigger mold growth and is a major attractant for insects, rodents, and all sorts of nuisance wildlife.
Even though the homeowner had a well-sealed entry door, rainwater was nevertheless still seeping in. To remedy the problem, we installed a Bilco StackWEL, a window well, to serve as a second barrier to prevent water entry. The Bilco Company manufactures a variety of USA-made specialized doors that are highly regarded in the building industry.
By preventing standing water in problem areas around the foundation, and crawl space vent doors often top the list, you can prevent water seepage into the crawl space. These window wells are made of durable PVC (high density polyethylene), so they don’t warp or rot, and are corrosion resistant. These wells also have a grip-step design so it makes it easy to enter and exit the crawl space access area. We also dug a shallow trench, about one and one-half feet and installed a layer of stones that would collect water and filter it into the ground instead inside the crawl space.
It may seem unusual to install a window well around a crawl space door. After all, we think of window wells installed around basement windows! In that situation, the well around the window — that semi-circular “dig-out” in front — has to be supported by some materials or the hole or well in the ground will eventually collapse. It is the exact same rationale why retaining walls are sometimes necessary. However, window wells can also serve the same purpose with below-grade crawl space doors where the home’s foundation is built in such a way where water is directed toward the crawl space door.
As you can see by the before and after pictures. the aesthetics of the crawl space access was greatly improved after our installation. With this second barrier in place and the placement of the stones to filter the water away from the foundation, the crawl space water intrusion issue was successfully resolved.
The new homeowner, who as a realtor was quite knowledgable about proper home design and preventative maintenance, wanted the crawl space encapsulated to avoid potential moisture and pest problems and contacted Cowleys Crawl Space Solutions Division.
Recently, homeowners in Lawrence Township, NJ in Mercer County contacted Cowleys to upgrade their dirty, dusty crawl space. Crawl spaces are perhaps the most ignored areas of a home. They can also be fraught with problems that can affect the living spaces above. Dirty crawl space air circulates throughout the home, so even if you don’t see what’s going on down there, the crawl space in a very real way is visiting you on a daily basis. Crawl spaces are also notorious for high indoor humidity levels, for mold growth, and their damp, dark environment attracts insects. Many homeowners deal with pungent smells and poor indoor air quality because of problem crawl spaces.
This homeowner was bothered that there was a filthy area right below their first floor and decided it was time to do something about it. Cowleys has an experienced contractor crew that can improve crawl spaces in a variety of ways, up to and including the installation of a full CleanSpace encapsulation system. Crawl space encapsulation seals off the outdoor elements that can trigger all sorts of problems. Even if you don’t see puddles of water in your crawl space, ground soil is naturally saturated with water. By definition, any crawl space with a soil floor is damp and filled with moisture most of the time.
For this homeowner, we installed thick mold-resistant drainage matting to create a barrier between crawlspace and floor, a primary entry point of unwanted groundwater. We wrapped the walls with SilverGlo wall insulation, an Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) product coated in a mold-resistant aluminum and put protective warping on the crawl space pillars as well. Finally, we put in a heavy-duty 20-mil CleanSpace vapor barrier. Our vapor barrier is much thicker and sturdier than a regular liner, and we mechanically fasten it to the walls. When, on occasion, you or a repair person need to access your crawl space, the barrier will not pull off or tear.
Once we completed the installation, these homeowners now benefitted from a home with a clean, improved crawl space. This home improvement will make their home more comfortable for the family, improve the indoor air quality, and reduce the risk of crawl space mold growth. For these homeowner, an added benefit was that their crawl space could now be used as a much-needed clean and dry storage area.
A homeowner in Manchester Township, NJ, was having a problem with rodents accessing the crawl space area of the home. Pest view crawl spaces as prime real estate. They are dark, usually damp and humid, private, and often, there are gaps around the home’s foundation for pests to find their way inside. Once inside the home, rodents and other pests can use wall voids to travel throughout the home, more often than not, making their way to the kitchen to forage for food.
The homeowner diligently attempted to seal up all of the potential entry points around the home’s perimeter, but mice were still getting in. He determined that the crawl space access door was not fully sealed, but he did not know how to address the problem, and contacted Cowleys. Our crawl space repair and improvement division had the perfect solution: A customized Everlast door cover with weatherstripping applied on the back of the door. With this installation, the homeowner had a crawl space door on his foundation that would stand up to the worst weather conditions and provide a rodent-proof seal.
These covers are custom installed to provide a perfect seal to any crawl space opening. They can be installed against wood framing or masonry, work exceptionally well, and look great, blending in perfectly with the home’s foundation. These doors are made of a hard durable plastic that stand up to the worst weather. Unlike wooden or metal doors they can’t rot, warp, crack, or rust. They are also maintenance-free and never need to be painted. Also, even though these covers form a tight seal over the crawl space access, they are super-easy to open should you or a repair person need to get in. All you need to do is twist a few easy-to-grip knobs, and the door comes right off.
This homeowner could not have been more pleased.
These homeowners in Allentown, NJ had a partial basement foundation, that is, part of the first floor living space was built over a basement while the remainder was built over a crawl space. Partial basements can also be split between a basement and partial slab on grade. We often find partial basements with homes that have an addition built onto the original structure, but homes are also built with a partial basement to save on some construction costs. It is more expensive to excavate and construct a full basement than it is to build a crawl space or lay down a concrete slab.
With this home’s partial basement the homeowner’s wanted a sturdy, permanent, more aesthetically pleasing solution to separate these two foundation areas. They periodically had problems with insects, mice, and other pests in the basement area that were getting inside their home through the crawl space. In residential construction, crawl spaces are often considered to be the “black sheep” of a home. They often cause a lot of problems for the rest of the home, including pest infestations, water and moisture issues, and mold growth. Since crawl spaces are rarely visited, these “out of sight, out of mind” problems can fester for years before they become serious enough for a homeowner to take notice.
The homeowners contacted Cowleys since we have a specialized division dedicated to waterproofing and encapsulating problem crawl spaces, and they thought we could help. And they were right! We came out to inspect the home, and recommended a quick, cost-effective solution that would work perfectly. We replaced the hardware cloth (which wasn’t really even a barrier at all between the two areas) with a customized Everlast door. These Everlast covers are usually installed on the outdoor entry point into the crawl space to completely block outside air and moisture from entering the crawl space. However, it worked perfectly here to separate the two sections of this home’s foundation. Made with a hard durable plastic, these doors can be installed against wood framing or masonry. They stand up to the worst weather conditions, and are completely maintenance-free. They are made out of a material that is impervious to water and any outdoor elements, so they will rot, warp, or crack and, unlike wood, they never need to be painted. From our experience, they are virtually indestructible.
For these homeowners, this door did just the trick. They were pleased with our solution to their problem and our quick installation. The homeowners thanked us, and my partner and I were off to help our next customer!
We were called out to a home in Monmouth Junction for a mouse exclusion. This particular home was overrun with mice.
I replaced her crawl space door with an Everlast vent cover to make sure mice can not enter. These covers, which can be installed against wood framing or masonry, not only block insects and wildlife from entering the crawl space, they also block out humid mold-forming air and moisture from entering. These aesthetically pleasing covers are made with a hard durable plastic that stand up to the worst weather conditions, and unlike wood vents, are completely maintenance free. Even though these covers completely seal the vents, they are easy to open should you need to access your crawl space. All you have to do is twist a few large knobs, and you’re in!
Recently, we were contacted by homeowners in Millstone Township, NJ who decided to have a dehumidifier installed in their basement as a permanent long-term solution to their chronic humidity problem. High moisture environments in crawl spaces and basements invites mold, insects, and even structural damage to the home.
The readings on our hygrometer, which measures the humidity (amount of water vapor) in the air, confirmed that this basement had an unacceptably high level of humidity. Homes require an acceptable range of humidity for our comfort and health, and air that is too dry or too wet can be the source of problems for a home’s occupants. Our homes are most comfortable at humidity levels between 30 - 50%. Almost always, the problem with basements and crawl spaces Is too much humidity. High humidity levels can cause condensation on windows, wet stains on walls and ceilings, musty odors, and over extended periods of time, wood rot and structural damage. humidity levels rise above 55%, a home is ripe for mold growth. Mold spores attach to wet or damp surfaces, consuming whatever organic material that it grows upon.
Based on the size (cubic volume) of the basement and its humidity level, we recommended a SaniDry XP commercial dehumidifier. We only install SaniDry commercial-grade dehumidifiers. These machines are specifically designed and manufactured for the challenging environments of basements and crawl spaces. Generic residential dehumidifiers simply aren’t up to the job. For example, the SaniDry XP is a powerful energy-efficient dehumidifier that outperforms standard household dehumidifiers by as much as 10 times while using the same amount of energy to run. The SaniDry XP can effectively cover indoor living spaces over 3000 square feet, making it well-suited for basements and crawl spaces over 40” high.
The most important difference between a residential dehumidifier and a SaniDry commercial dehumidifier is its ease of use and automatic operation. A residential dehumidifier requires human intervention to empty the pan of collected dehumidified water. If not timely emptied the pan will overflow and the machine usually huts off once the flow bucket is full. Our commercial dehumidifiers direct the extracted water pulled out of the air into either a sump pump or, if a sump pump isn’t present, a small condensation pump that pumps the water through a 1/2” condensate hose that runs to the outside of the basement. For this installation, we needed to drill a 1/2” hole through the foundation wall to run the hose outside. The installation went off without a hitch. Now, this basement will no longer have chronic humidity issues. The home will be more comfortable and the risk of dangerous mold growth has been removed.
For this Highland Park, NJ homeowner, we installed an Everlast door for crawl space access. These vent covers prevent outside air and moisture from entering the crawl space through the exterior vents. They can be installed against wood framing or masonry. they also work exceptionally well, and are aesthetically pleasing. Made with a hard durable plastic, they stand up to the harsh winter weather conditions we see at the Shore. Unlike wood vents, these covers are completely maintenance free — they don’t rot, warp, or crack and they don’t need to be painted.
Our home improvement specialists love them! We have been using them now for years, and from our experience, they hold up to anything and are virtually indestructible. Also, even though these vent covers completely seal the vents from the outdoor elements, they are easy to open should you need to access your crawl space. All you need to do is twist a few easy-to-grip knobs, and you’re in!
An East Brunswick homeowner contacted Crawl Space Solutions by Cowleys to inspect her “CleanSpace” that had been installed by another company ten years ago. She was concerned because one of the Everlast vent cover doors “looked funny.” Upon arrival, we immediately saw that the homeowner was right, and it was a good thing she called us. Because the door was was not installed properly, it was bowing out in the middle and not sitting flat on the foundation wall. This was a potential problem because it allowed damp, humid outdoor air to flow into the crawl space.
When it comes to any home improvement, the installation is just as important as the product. The Crawl Space Solutions by Cowleys crews have extensive home building and improvement experience.
For this Rumson homeowner, we removed the old, damaged Everlast door and installed a new one — but this time correctly! These Everlast vent covers are an important part of the encapsulation process because close off outside air and moisture from entering the crawl space through the exterior vents. They can be installed against wood framing or masonry, work exceptionally well, and are aesthetically pleasing. Made with a hard durable plastic, they stand up to the worst weather conditions, and, unlike wood vents, these covers are completely maintenance free. They should never rot, warp, or crack and they never need to be painted. With this Rumson home, the warping was caused by improper installation, not because of the door itself. Also, even though these vent covers completely seal the vents from the outdoor elements, they are easy to open should you need to access your crawl space. All you need to do is twist a few easy-to-grip knobs, and you’re in!
This homeowner was pleased to know that, after ten years, her encapsulated crawl space, besides the one vent door that needed to be replaced, was in tip-top shape. After she thanked us for replacing the door, we were on our way to help fix a crawl space for another customer.
An East Brunswick homeowner contacted Crawl Space Solutions by Cowleys to enlarge their existing crawl space opening. Although we specialize in converting problem-ridden vented crawl spaces into clean, dry encapsulated crawl spaces, our technicians have the experience to handle virtually any crawl space renovation work. This Brick homeowner was faced with a serious issue: His current crawl space opening was so small that a person of normal dimensions could not possible fit through it.
We installed a new crawl space entrance way by removing the concrete block, installing a new wood frame, and making a custom door for easy access.
We also custom-made a vent cover that we installed into one of our vent blockers. This was one of our smaller jobs, but for this homeowner, it was an important one. After all, a homeowner must be able to have ready access to their crawl space. Crawl spaces are prone to all sorts problems, from moisture to mold to insect and wildlife infestations. It is critical to have access to this often-neglected area of the home to periodically inspect for problems and to make the necessary repairs.
This homeowner in Point Pleasant Beach had one of the more unique crawl spaces that our home improvement crew has come across, and not in a good way. Without being too disparaging, this crawl space was little more than a glorified dirt pit. It was such a dusty dirty mess that it was a completely unusable space in the home. You could not even venture down there without returning to ground level looking as though you just emerged from the depths of a Kentucky coal mine.
Fortunately, this homeowner decided that enough was enough! It was time to give his crawl space a complete makeover. Cowleys is a certified Basement Systems dealer. Basement Systems pioneered the field of crawl space repair and encapsulation for moisture control and waterproofing. With their system, a chronically damp wet crawl space can be transformed into a clean, dry foundation. Unlike traditionally vented crawl spaces, encapsulation prevents water seepage and hot, humid air from entering the crawl space, as well as acting as a barrier for insects and nuisance wildlife. When supplemented by dehumidification, encapsulation inhibits dangerous mold growth and other allergens, providing clean, healthy air for the occupants residing in the home.
The Cowleys crew arrived. We first installed CleanSpace liners. Never before has the term “clean space” been more true. Before we got there you could not go down into this basement without getting filthy dirty. We installed both a 4 ft. high wall liner, and a floor liner to finish off the job. These liners are thick, tear-resistant vapor barriers that prevent moisture from passing through the floors and concrete walls.
The last step of this project was installing a maintenance-free commercial-grade SaniDry XP model dehumidifier to keep the basement free of excess humidity that can trigger dangerous mold (There is also a CX model for smaller areas). These compact dehumidifiers are specifically designed for crawl spaces and mid-sized basements. They can operate in temperatures as low as 40 degrees F. and are much more powerful than traditional dehumidifiers. Once they are set up, there’s nothing to do. They operate automatically, turning on and off according to a built-in hygrometer. Also, these machines don’t have a water tray that needs to be emptied. They connect directly into the home’s drainage system.
The homeowner was extremely happy with his new crawl space, knowing that he could now go down there or send a repair person there without returning covered in dust. Now, he could even use the space for storage. Also, with these liners secure and in place along with the dehumidifier, the crawl space will be kept dry. Without excess moisture and humidity build-up, he won’t need to worry about mold, insects, and other issues down below.
Crawl spaces can spell trouble. As a subterranean space, they are often the primary point of entry for water and moisture, and they are the root cause of many home problems – including problems that affect your family’s health.
To achieve the benefits of an encapsulated crawl space you need more than just the materials. Effective encapsulation is only as good as the contractor. And we do it right. We will seal your floor with a heavy-duty vapor barrier that sets the standard for durability and attaches it to rigid board insulation to form a tight seal between the floor and ceiling. We also offer a thick, flexible insulating mat that can be installed under the liner to prevent heat loss to the ground and protect the liner from damage from stones and traffic. We custom cut our rigid board insulation to properly insulate rim joists and we close the vents with insulation to prevent humid air from wafting into the crawl space. A major source of moisture is blocked for good. Also, we install an airtight access hatchway to the outside so the outside air stays outside.
This comprehensive solution represents crawl space encapsulation at its finest with homeowners benefitting from years of uninterrupted crawl space protection no matter how saturated the soil around your home from rain or snow.
Servicemen will appreciate this when they need to enter the space for plumbing repairs. Depending on the size of your crawl space, you will now have usable storage space. And when you are ready to sell your home, you’ll be worry-free when the home inspector takes a peak down below!
Of course, we offer free crawl space inspection and free installation cost estimates. We love to talk crawl space! Please call us for a no-pressure visit. We’ll inspect your crawl space and tell you what’s up down there. With Cowleys, you are guaranteed fast, clean installation from a local, reliable contractor with deep roots in the community. We pride ourselves on providing the best in customer service in Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, and Ocean Counties. We keep our appointments and our schedules and always go the extra mile to ensure top customer service. No job is complete until the customer is satisfied.