Crawl spaces are often dark, musty areas that homeowners rarely, if ever, visit. However, the condition of your crawl space significantly impacts your home and health.
Encapsulating your crawl space prevents pests, mold, wood rot, and moisture damage from ruining the home above it. It also improves energy efficiency by lowering heating and cooling costs.
Moisture from the ground and humid outside air can enter a crawl space, leading to problems with pests, sagging floorboards, mold and mildew growth, and poor household climate control. Crawlspace encapsulation prevents this moisture from entering the living spaces above, improving air quality and lowering energy costs.
Professional contractors install a plastic vapor barrier, insulating the walls and piers, and sealing pipes, vents, HVAC penetrations, electrical outlets, and duct runs in the crawl space. They also clean the crawl space, removing debris and fixing any issues found — for example, rusting pipes or wood damage. The cost of a crawl space encapsulation project depends on the size and condition of the crawl space. Encapsulation requires annual maintenance. Contact a local contractor for a free estimate if you need crawl space encapsulation.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s comfort, save on utility bills and protect the value of your home, crawl space encapsulation may be worth considering. Encapsulation helps eliminate mold, mildew, and musty odors while making the area a great place to store items.
Moisture from the ground can be stopped at its source by lining the crawl space floor with a durable plastic vapor barrier, sealing all vents, and covering them with insulation, improving thermal performance. A dehumidifier is then installed to regulate humidity levels in the space actively.
As a bonus, crawlspace moisture control can help stop pests like termites, ants, and rodents. Encapsulation allows homeowners to enjoy a safe and healthy living environment and may even qualify them for energy rebates from their local power company.
Mold thrives in damp areas, and mold spores can be spread throughout the home. Crawl space encapsulation keeps this area dry and sanitized and prevents the spread of spores to the living spaces above.
A clean crawl space also helps keep pests and vermin out of the house, including termites. Crawl space encapsulation also provides an excellent opportunity to add extra storage space.
A professional contractor can quickly and efficiently encapsulate a crawl space. After inspection and cleaning of the crawl space, a thick plastic liner is installed over the entire area, with any vents and other openings sealed shut. This seals out moisture, outside air, and critters while adding insulation that will reduce heating costs. An annual crawl space maintenance inspection is recommended to ensure the vapor barrier is intact and working correctly.
It could be wood rot if you notice a musty odor in your house, changes in humidity levels, or sagging floorboards in your crawl space. Wood rot is caused by fungal species that thrive in moist, humid environments.
Encapsulation combined with a dehumidifier prevents wood rot by sealing the area and blocking moisture. It also reduces the amount of water vapor that makes its way into your crawl space from the ground.
Before you begin laying down the vapor barrier, be sure to clean the area and remove any sharp debris. You also want to ensure you fix any plumbing or foundation problems before sealing the area. This will save you time and money for maintenance after encapsulation. Also, measure the places you plan to cover so you have enough material to cover those areas.
Crawl space encapsulation prevents the moisture problems that affect crawl space wood floors and cause them to sink, warp, buckle, and crumble. These unsightly problems can damage foundations, piers, and HVAC equipment.
Encapsulation also improves energy efficiency by preventing the transfer of heat or cold from the crawl space to the living areas above. This decreases heating and cooling costs while improving overall home comfort.
A good contractor can finish a crawl space encapsulation project in a few days or less, depending on the crawl space’s size and condition. It is essential to have any mold, pests, or rot taken care of before encapsulating the area. It is also necessary to have a professional install a drainage system and wire a dehumidifier.