What is a crawl space?
Before addressing the main topic, let us give a straightforward explanation of a crawl space. The crawl space is a space within the terrain and the primary floor. It is within 1 and 3 feet high, enabling a person to crawl inside it (hence its name). Approximately half of living US houses and 15% of recently built ones have a crawl space.
The purpose of the crawl space is to fix plumbing, wiring, HVAC ducting, and other necessary but cumbersome components of home utilities. However, the crawl space is built not just for esthetic designs but also for practical use. As a result, plumbers, electricians, and other maintenance specialists have swift and easy access to all the home systems for inspection or improvements.
What is crawl space encapsulation?
This process consists of closing the floor and the walls of the crawl space with a vapor barrier. The vapor barrier will seal the drains (if they exist), unions, and the walls and floor seams. Once the method is completed, it will preserve the crawl space from condensation, leaks, mold, and pests.
Why do people encapsulate their crawl area?
Crawl spaces are likely too high levels of dampness from compression. That is why multiple houses have vented crawl spaces. In this way, excess moisture fades. However, vents are also entrance points into your home for mold, fungi, and insects. That is why we advise the encapsulation of a crawl space.
Advantages of Crawl Space Encapsulation
IMPROVED HOME AIR QUALITY
You may not apprehend it, although up to 50% of the air you inhale inside your home comes from the crawl space. Here is the science behind it. Most houses and lofts are insulated appropriately for increased safety and power efficiency. Thus, your home will have a skyward air draw arising from the crawl space.
After completing the encapsulation of a crawl area, the air you breathe will no longer be very stuffy or even carrying mildew spores. Cleaner air suggests better health conditions for you and your family.
BETTER ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Here is another primary benefit of crawl space encapsulation. Considering you have carefully insulated the attic, why not guarantee that you don’t lose heat within the crawl space? Once we finish the job, your crawl space will be sealed off, barring any heat escaping or moisture entering.
GREATER STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY
Moisture and temperature fluctuations can undermine the most solid foundation. As waters seep into every tiny fissure in the crawl space, they continuously decay it. In time, this method creates a giant gap that poses a severe security threat to the stability of the house foundation. The encapsulation of a crawl space reduces moisture and its associated risks for the home’s foundation.
What are the well-known techniques of crawl space encapsulation?
Before you schedule your encapsulation installation, you will need to ask your constructor about their designs to seal off your crawl space. One of the most typical crawl space encapsulation methods is to place various layers of plastic sheeting around the crawl space area. The plastic sheeting will seal off the crawl space and keep it fresh and dry.
What Crawl Space Encapsulation Method Involves
When we spoke about the basics of the encapsulation of a crawl space, you may think of it as a simple DIY job. Nevertheless, this is not the situation at all. The complete method involves:
- Leveling and paving the soil under the house
- Eliminating all debris
- Excluding any old insulation
- Employing remedy for mold and mildew
- Placing 20-mm liner on the walls and floors
- Taping all seems
- Placing humidifiers and drain pipe (if required)
For most houses, we do not initially prescribe an exhaust fan. It is an added cost that may be irrelevant. In a tiny percentage of homes, we discover that an exhaust fan is required after installation due to pervasive odors moving into the house. Still, these incidents are uncommon, and we address them when they happen rather than starting with an item that may not be required.
Crawl space ventilation systems condition or change the air in the crawl space to control the moisture content. These methods may work off of crawl space ventilation fans, crawl space dehumidifier systems, or a mixture of both.
- Crawl space ventilation fans shift the air in the crawl space with fresh air from outside the home if the conditions are convenient.
- You may require a crawl space dehumidifier arrangement for extremely damp crawl spaces to eliminate excess moisture from the air.
- Vapor barriers or encapsulation systems separate the crawlspace from the earth, holding ground moisture out of the crawl space, allowing for space ventilation and dehumidifiers to operate more efficiently.
Crawl space dehumidifier systems, space ventilation fans, and vapor barriers dry and distribute air through the crawl space, creating an environment that does not contribute to mold growth and eliminates crawl space moisture issues.
Encapsulation is advancing towards becoming a pattern for all crawl space homes in the USA. As society becomes more educated on the subject, the interest is rising in the housing market, and homeowners who have encapsulated their home’s crawl space have expanded their market value in some markets.
By encapsulating your crawl space, you have improved internal air quality along with less indoor dampness during the warmer months, better ambient interior temperature stabilization, and warmer interior floors, especially those rooms with hardwood or tile.
By accomplishing this, you’re securing the safeguarding of your family’s well-being – this is another reason houses with encapsulated crawl space have more value than the reverse.
I’ve already stated that these houses have fewer problems with insects of all kinds. In addition, you would not believe the charges pest control will impose on you for cleaning this sort of area. Not to mention that your house’s durability is drastically enhanced.
Having your crawl space encapsulated, or encapsulating it yourself, is a move you should consider, but make sure to do it accurately. This method is suitable for you, your family, and your house, whether you plan to live in it or flip it for earnings.
What Not to Do While Encapsulating Your Crawl Area
When you’re paying thousands of dollars or more on a home upgrade, you want to ensure you get everything correct. So here are some of the don’ts while encapsulating your crawl space.
DON’T ENCAPSULATE WITHOUT A SEALABLE SPACE
While encapsulating your crawl space will assist in keeping it dry, it will not operate if there are significant air gaps, letting outside air enter the area. When implementing a crawl space encapsulation, it is essential to seal out the outside air origins to enable the dehumidifier to position the air below.
Crawl Space Inspection Checklist
A crawl space inspection is typically involved in a standard home inspection when buying or selling a house. It is an area where problems tend to arise and can deliver a wrench in the home sale. Both home sellers and buyers should be conscious of the state of the crawl space to alleviate any potential obstacles before the sale. Here are the red flags that specialists look for during a crawl space review:
- Electrical wiring concerns
- Plumbing concerns
- Precipitation (standing water, damp insulation, or warped building materials)
- Pests (Bugs, termites, rats, rodents)
- Mold and mildew
- Air-conditioning issues
- Cracks in the basement
You may desire to have your crawl space examined before posting it on the market as a seller. That way, you are informed of any problems and can have them fixed before the purchase or adjust correspondingly.
As a homeowner, managing your crawl space is crucial to the health and longevity of your home. That involves doing an annual inspection and tending to problems as they arise, as well as taking preventative steps to keep your house healthy.
When it comes to basement waterproofing, crawl space repair, foundation repair, crawl space encapsulation, termite damage repair, or mold removal – HydroHelp911 is the name North Carolina residents count on,
Schedule your Crawl Space repair consultation today by calling us at 704-753-8756.