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.
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.
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!
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 Forked River homeowner wanted to improve his crawl space with a better alternative than traditional vapor barriers. For better or worse, crawl spaces are a chronic problem for homeowners when it comes to water, moisture, and mold issues. Many homeowners in New Jersey, especially those from the Jersey Shore who live near large bodies of water, are often faced with crawl space issues. This Forked River homeowner, like many homeowners who live in towns near the Barnegat Bay, was no exception.
For this homeowner, we installed a full “CleanSpace” Encapsulation System. “Cleanspacing” transforms chronically wet, damp crawl spaces into clean, dry areas that keeps away water and moisture.
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.
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 went on a service a call in Bayville, NJ for a homeowner who was complaining of an excessive amount of moisture in his crawl space. Excessive moisture in your crawl space can have a major impact on your family’s health. In fact, 40% of the air in your home comes up through the crawl space — which means that moisture and mold can seep into your home, where you're breathing it in.
Once we arrived at the property, we equipped our personal protective equipment (PPE) and began our inspection. After surveying the crawl space, we noticed that the homeowner had a dirt floor crawl space and that his home was located right on the bay. Dirt floor crawl spaces attract and absorb moisture. When the dirt dries, it causes humidity levels to rise in your home. After a thorough inspection, we determined that this was the cause of the moisture build-up in the crawl space.
The best treatment method to remove the moisture is to encapsulate the crawl space. First, we installed a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is a super-durable, 20-mil 7-ply plastic sheet material made up of high and low-density polyethylene with polyester-cord reinforcement. The vapor barrier resists the passage of air and by stopping air movement from the ground, it can also turn your crawl space into a semi-conditioned space. Next, we removed the existing fiberglass insulation and replaced it with encapsulated comfort thermal insulation. Then, we installed a smart pump with a battery back up and auxiliary pump to remove any groundwater underneath the liner.
Finally, in order to prevent mold growth, we installed a SaniDry XP commercial dehumidifier. These machines are specifically designed and manufactured for the challenging environments of basements and crawl spaces. 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.
Now, the moisture in the crawl space is greatly reduced, helping prevent mold growth.
I was dispatched to a home in Lanoka Harbor, a Lacey Township community, just north of Forked River. The homeowner had contacted Cowleys to take care of a flea problem in the home’s mechanical room that housed the HVAC equipment. Also, he asked us to replace the rotted plywood doors and wood framing used to access this small space located in the rear of the house. Many Cowleys technicians have extensive backgrounds in home repair and improvement, especially those of us assigned to either the Crawl Space Solutions By Cowleys Division, which specializes in helping homeowners resolve water, moisture, and high humidity problems in their crawl space, or our wildlife division where critter infestations are often accompanied by damage to insulation and other building materials.
This Toms River home had a crawl space that was poorly insulated, was likely to attract pests and insects, and in its current state allowed for the spread of mold and mildew from the damp space. Cowley's makeover made this crawl space the envy of the neighborhood, providing proactive protection that prevents future problems.
This crawl space is located extremely close to the Barnegat Bay in Toms River, NJ and was constantly having water and moisture issue. Now they have a clean and energy efficient crawl space that can even be used as additional storage space!
A Toms River homeowner, who lives near the Barnegat Bay, was plagued with a chronically wet crawl space. Due to the high water table, his crawl space had at least an inch of standing water throughout the year due to groundwater seepage. Fortunately, Crawl Space Solutions by Cowleys was call in to save the day.
This Toms River homeowner contracted with Cowleys for a full Clean Space install. An important part of the encapsulation process is installing a special Everlast vent cover. These covers, which can be installed against wood framing or masonry, close off outside air and moisture from entering the crawl space through the exterior vents. These covers not only work well, but, as shown in the pictures, 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 never rot, warp, or crack and they never need to be painted. Even though these vent covers completely seal the vents from the outdoor elements, they are easy to open if you need to access your crawl space to have repairs done or for storage (another benefit of encapsulation — a clean, dry area for storage!). To open these vent covers, all you need to do is twist a few knobs, and you’re in! The attached pictures show the outside of the crawl space of this Toms River home before and after one of these vent covers was installed.
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.