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Flooded crawl space sends daughter to hospital


Project Manager: Michael D. Hlavsa


Customer: Robert H.


Location: Utica, OH 43080


Robert H and his family moved into their new home in the spring of 2018 in the small town of Utica Ohio, most famously know as the headquarters of the Velvet Ice Cream corporation. The home inspector had given the them a clean bill of heath for mold, but was unable to enter the crawl space at the time of purchase as there was no way to get in. No mold was very important since Robert’s granddaughter had a mold allergy. Everything was fine until the fall of 2018 when Robert’s son Buzz started a remodel of the bathroom and discovered...

8” of water in the crawl space

eight inches of water in crawl space

When Buzz saw the water in the crawl is when his daughter started having reactions to mold. It was discovered coming through the floor in her closet and in here room. It got so bad so fast that she had to go to the hospital.

At this point Robert started calling any company who would answer the call. The first company out to do an estimate did not do any discovery and did not take the situation seriously, leaving Robert and his son feeling uncomfortable with their solution.

On November 28th Mike was sent out to investigate.

Mike took the time on the initial visit to learn what had initiated the call and what was going on. As soon as Mike heard that the mold was keeping someone from living in the home, he knew it was serious. Robert had spent $1500 just three days prior to have the crawl space pumped out only for it to return like nothing have ever been done.

On the inspection it was clear that water had been coming in the crawl for a very long time but no one ever knew because the crawl was sealed up. The walk around the outside of the home helped explain some of the problem. The ground was graded into the crawl from the street and was like a swamp. The downspouts were not connected and dumping onto the ground right outside the crawl adding to the problem. Inside the crawl was a dirt floor, no gravel to speak of to help with water drainage, just Ohio clay acting like a hard bowl trapping the water. All the vents to the crawl were open adding to the problem of a cold wet moldy crawl.

This one two three combination of water creating a space with high humidity, open vents that allow mold to enter the home and plenty of food create the perfect breeding ground for mold to grow. As much as 50% of the air we breath comes from the basement or crawl space, and in this scenario was making it an unhealthy place to live.

This was a serious situation and needed to be addressed quickly. Mike meet with the installation department the day after the appointment to see what could be done. At the time we were scheduling three months out, but three months is a long time to not be able to live in the home. The schedule was cleared so one of our foreman, Justin Parks, could do the work two weeks later.

The next day financing was done instantly in the home and the project was scheduled.

When Justin and his crew from The Basement Doctor arrived, the first thing that was done was pump the crawl space down again and add 40 tons of gravel....by hand, one bucket at a time. Drainage tubes were installed at this time as well as a sump well and The Basement Doctor exclusive Gemini Main sump pump with battery backup system.

gravel in crawl space

Throughout the course of the project the crawl space was fogged with our Anabec mold cleaner 5 times to kill any residual mold left over from the floods. All of the wet insulation was removed and replaced with our spray foam and Radiant Armor crawl space insulation. All four of the crawl space vents were sealed up. Next our durable drainage matting created a barrier between the gravel and the White Cap crawl space floor liner that was installed, to prevent rocks from puncturing the liner and trap moisture underneath it. We were not able to get a Santa Fe crawl space dehumidifier in time to meet the project deadline so the Basement Doctor upgraded Robert to an Aprilaire 1850 dehumidifier at no additional cost. This was added to keep the humidity in the crawl at safe levels as well as filtering the air preventing future mold growth from occurring.

dehumidifier installed in crawl space

dehumidifier installed in crawl space

The transformation from wet, flooded, moldy crawl space to a healthy clean environment took 4 days to complete.


Customer Quote

Robert’s son Buzz was there for the whole process and these were his comments

“We were 100% satisfied with Mike and Justin from start to finish. The Basement Doctor has the same standards that I do. My daughter has been able to come home [from the hospital] now.

“Justin was awesome, his crew went over and above. He showed us everything he did step by step and the way the process worked. We could not be happier with the work they did on our crawl space and have already recommended them to others. They even helped make sure our son with special needs was not inconvenienced, they kept the job site clean every day.

What we didn’t expect was how much warmer our house is now. We had no idea how much of a difference the insulation would make. That was a wonder bonus to us.”


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