Case Studies

CleanSpace Northwest Case Studies: Pest Control at the Helpline House in Bainbridge Island, WA

Friday, May 1st, 2015 by Sarah Bender

Challenge

We received a call from the Helpline House of Bainbridge Island, Wa. as they

were experiencing issues related to a fairly severe rodent infestation in the

crawlspace of their building. The odors and other issues were becoming more and

more noticeable to both clients and staff. The crawlspace had been repaired about

5 years previous due to many of the same issues and new fiberglass under floor

insulation along with the standard code minimum 6 mil poly ground cover were

reinstalled at that time. Our initial inspection showed substantial rodent activity

(rats) and relative humidity levels in the 78% range which is not only attractive to

rodents but is over the threshold where mold growth can become an issue which

can further degredate indoor air quality.

 

Solution

The recommendation of Bruce Ramey our System Design Specialist was to remove

all fibreglass under floor insulation, the fiberglass duct wrap, and all debris and

organic matter. Once all that material was removed, to then fog the crawlspace

with an enzyme treatment to neutralize the odors. Then we would install the

CleanSpace 20mil Encapsulation System to reduce humidity levels, seal the vents to

the exterior to increase energy efficiency and seal off any points of rodent

intrusion. We also included a replacement of the duct insulation with a white vinyl

wrap that would make a visual inspection of the system much easier.

Our Certified Crawlspace Specialists found ample evidence of previous and

current rodent activity on the ductwork and inside the fiberglass floor insulation

as it was removed. Areas of possible intrusion sealed, and the enzyme treatment

applied. The CleanSpace 20 mil Encapsulation System was then installed, the vents

to the exterior sealed, and the duct wrap installed. As the job was being completed

the relative humidity level dropped to around 50% and is expected to drop a bit

more as the building materials begin to dry out.

A remote humidistat was installed in the crawlspace so that temperature and

relative humidity readings could be monitored as time goes on. As you can see from

the before and after pictures a huge difference was made in both the appearance

and cleanliness of this part of the building envelope. While there is no guarantee

that rodents will not at some time in the future find their way back, there is no

longer the attraction of high humidity levels and fiberglass insulation for nesting

material. The crawlspace is now drier, healthier, and more energy efficient than

ever before and will provide Helpline House many years of worry free use.

About the author
Sarah is our Office and Call-Center Manager and has been with CleanSpace Northwest since 2009.

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