The veteran goalkeeper shut out the opposition for the 13th Premier League match in a row to establish a new British league landmark for minutes without conceding a goal.
The victory at Upton Park also lifted United back to the summit after Liverpool had displaced the champions with a 3-2 win at Portsmouth on Saturday.
Van der Sar was proud to set a new record, but was equally pleased to boost United's bid for a hat-trick of titles.
Team effort"It means a lot now and to win 1-0 it's so important, of course, because we saw the game yesterday by Liverpool," Van der Sar told Sky Sports 1.
"West Ham away is a difficult match for us and has been over the years, so it's a great result for us to come away with three points and leave with a clean sheet.
"It's just hard work from everybody. Of course, you make a couple of saves, but the defenders are incredible with how they defend and how they clear the balls and everybody tracks back.
"It's a team effort, it's fantastic. I'm very happy with it, but the main thing is we are back on top and let's hope we can stay there."
Create chancesRyan Giggs was the match-winner as the United stalwart cut in from the left flank, skipped past two challenges and curled a right-footed shot beyond Robert Green.
The goal was the evergreen midfielder's first in the Premier League this season and Giggs feels United have the platform to win games due to a solid defence.
He said: "I suppose we're not giving much away at the back with all the clean sheets we've had.
"We know we've got the players to create chances, and Edwin and the lads at the back are brilliant.
"I get a right foot and a header each season! I'm just glad to obviously score the winning goal. If we get clean sheets, we've got lads who can create chances and score goals."