Crawl space encapsulation is a process that can seal off that less-than-livable crawl space in your home from the elements, and we talk about why that’s so important to the rest of your home here.
The crawl space is an important part of your house, even though you can’t see it and maybe you even try to avoid it. It’s the narrow area between the ground and the first floor of your home. It’s similar to a basement and some may even be the size of a basement, or it can be very narrow and short that you can only crawl around in it (hence the name).
The Purpose of a Crawl Space
Maybe you’re hearing about crawl spaces for the first time. It’s no wonder, since only about 15% of homes in the US have it. Usually, a crawl space is an access point for ventilation, electrical lines and plumbing in the home. It’s vented to the outside, allowing the air to circulate below the house. There are several benefits to having a crawl space instead of a basement or a slab.
Having a crawl space keeps your house off the ground, which is very useful if your home is in a damp area or one that’s prone to termites. A crawl space is a lot cheaper to build than a basement. Not to mention you can have your plumbing run through there, making it easier to access for repairs or upgrades over an extended period. However, unlike a basement, it’s not advised to store anything valuable in your crawl space.
Although having a crawl space has its benefits, it can also jeopardize your house in different ways. Many homes that are built with a crawl space can develop moisture issues. There’s a possibility of problems developing with wood rot and structural damage, odors, insects, poor indoor air quality, mold and mildew. Luckily, there are ways to fight this.
What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation
Because crawl spaces have outside ventilation, pests and moisture can enter the house. Around 50% of the air circulating in your home can come from the crawl space. If your crawl space is damaged or old, you could be breathing in moisture from your crawl space while sitting on the third floor. Mold and humidity can put your health at serious risk, so it’s worth investigating how to prevent this from happening.
Here is where crawl space encapsulation comes in. It’s a process that involves sealing, insulation, conditioning and sometimes even external waterproofing so floodwaters don’t come inside the crawl space. High-quality crawl space encapsulation entails covering the entire crawl space, including floors, walls and ceiling, with a polyethylene barrier. Sealing tape connects the pieces of the barrier. The whole area should be covered for best results.. After this, a dehumidifier can be placed in the crawl space to help optimize moisture levels.
Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation
One of the main reasons for crawl space encapsulation is to keep moisture out of your home and improve your indoor air quality. Besides this, several other benefits are gained from crawl space encapsulation we dive into below.
No More Mold or Mildew
Mold can trigger your allergies and cause respiratory problems. After all, if you can’t see or smell it, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not there. A damp crawl space is a perfect environment for mold to grow and infest your home over time. By encapsulating your crawl space, you eliminate mold-friendly environments and stop it from growing. Taking this step is significant for your health, especially if you’re already experiencing respiratory symptoms.
Having your crawl space encapsulated will result in spending less energy to keep it warm or cool. Because there will be little to no variation in temperature or moisture, your energy bills will go down.
Termites, mice, and other pests love damp places, and they will crawl in and slowly eat away at your clothes and furniture. With crawl space encapsulation, you create an environment that’s not appealing to them. Keep your crawl space clean and sealed up. In no time, you will be able to prevent these unwanted intruders.
More Storage Space
Earlier, we said you shouldn’t store anything in your crawl space, and that’s true unless it’s encapsulated. Having your crawl space clean and tidy makes it a suitable place to keep extra belongings or keepsakes that you’re not quite ready to part with.
There are several reasons why you may want to consider investing in crawl space encapsulation. If your crawl space has holes, openings, or is showing its age, you can benefit significantly from encapsulating it. By doing so, you will prevent water damage, condensation and potential damage to the foundation.
If you or the people you live with suffer from allergies or respiratory issues, we advise that you check your crawl space. It’s one of those things that people tend to forget until there’s a problem. If you have any mold or mildew there, that air will circulate in your home and can cause health issues. Encapsulation will ultimately improve the air quality in your home, and that’s something that we think is worth investing in.