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Complete Guide to Crawl Space Encapsulation

Table of Contents

What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Encapsulation is the process of sealing crawl spaces to reduce humidity, prevent leaks, and other undesirable effects like mold and pest infestation. Vent sealing, conditioning, and lining the floor and foundation walls with intersecting sheets of thick polyethylene plastic are all part of the process. Vapor barriers are also installed as a part of the crawl space encapsulation process on exposed floors and wall surfaces by some people.

So, what exactly does it entail? First, let’s get started on encapsulating a crawl space.

Crawl Space Encapsulation Process

The process of encapsulating a home consists of four steps. While the materials used may differ from one contractor to the next, the process is essentially the same. This is how we do it:

STEP 1: PREPARE THE CRAWL SPACE

First and foremost, we will remove all debris and sharp objects from the crawl space. Sharp objects, such as rocks, may cause the insulating plastic to rupture, so it must be removed. Following that, we grade the ground to create a level surface.

STEP 2: SEALING OPENINGS

Once the crawl space is complete, the crawl space encapsulation team of HydroHelp911 will seal any outer openings such as vents and pipes and any wires coming in from outside. This will keep undesirable air out and the space waterproof.

STEP 3: ATTACHING A PLASTIC VAPOR BARRIER

Your walls and floor are then covered with a layer of plastic vapor barrier. It is typically six millimeters thick and overlaps at least one foot before being stapled or fastened down to cover the crawl space. The vapor barrier is a 20-mil waterproof liner with seam strength exceeding 25 mil. This thick plastic can withstand rough handling during plumbing and termite inspections.

STEP 4: CONDITIONING

After you’ve sealed off the crawl space, the next step is to get rid of the moisture. Moisture can be removed by installing vents that reach the living area or using a dehumidifier. Finally, if you stay in a flood-prone place, you must install a drainage system and a sump pump.

If your crawl space is not in good condition or is infested with mold, you will need to repair it before you can encapsulate it.

Watch Crawl Space Encapsulation in Cornelius, NC to learn more.

 

Crawl Space Warning Signs:

Many homes constructed on a crawl space foundation have moisture issues, particularly in Huntersville, NC.

Crawl space issues can also lead to problems in the living area as follows:

  • Musty odors in the upstairs living area
  • Hardwood floors that have buckled
  • High humidity
  • Condensation and rot in the vicinity of floor registers
  • The floors are freezing
  • Expensive heating and cooling

Within the crawl space:

  • Mold or water damage
  • Condensation or “sweating” on the ductwork or equipment of an
  • air conditioner
  • Pipe condensation
  • Wet insulation
  • Insulation that is dangling or has fallen
  • Insect and pest infestations
  • Wooden framing that has rotted
  • Water on the concrete or dirt floor

Learn why Powered Vent Fans in a Crawl Space Are Not The Answer!

The Advantages of Crawl Space Encapsulation

An encapsulated crawl space is advantageous in a variety of ways. However, if you’re still undecided, consider the following benefits:

REDUCES THE SPACE'S FAVORABLE CONDITIONS FOR MOLD AND PESTS

Termites and mold, in particular, thrive in wet and dark crawl spaces. They can rapidly spread to the upper rooms after colonizing the crawl space, causing wood rot and foul odors. It will be challenging to get rid of them.

Crawl space encapsulation can help keep moisture at bay while discouraging vermin and mold from infiltrating your home. Speak with our experts if you need assistance with crawl space encapsulation in Huntersville, NC.

IMPROVES BOTH ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND COMFORT

When you use your HVAC, you use energy to heat and cool the entire house. Moist or damp conditions inside induce the HVAC system to work harder to combat dampness and outside air caused by your home’s unlined crawl space. Hence, your heating and cooling system will use more energy to maintain accommodating conditions. In addition, encapsulation and insulation will reduce moisture and keep your home more energy-efficient so that you won’t be worried about high utility bills.

MAINTAINS STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY

A flooded crawl space can endanger your home’s or property’s safety. Adding a polyethylene barrier to your crawl space not only inhibits dampness but also hinders water retention and seepage to the soil around your house’s foundation. This is critical for the structural stability of your home. The result is a solid foundation that will be stable and free of erosion for a long time.

Now that you understand how encapsulation works and the benefits it provides, don’t wait any longer if you have a crawl space in Huntersville, NC. Request a free crawl space encapsulation estimate from the waterproofing experts at HydroHelp911 in Huntersville, NC, and have your space encapsulated. You’ll never have to be concerned about moisture or any of its adverse effects again!

Contact HydroHelp911 for crawl space encapsulation services in Huntersville, NC:
With the crawl space encapsulation system, you can modify your damp, dirty, moldy crawl space into a clean, dry foundation.
Our advanced waterproofing and crawl space encapsulation products easily outperform other contractors’ off-the-shelf materials.

FAQs

SHOULD I INSTALL MY VAPOR BARRIER MYSELF?

As much as you want to do it yourself, your exuberance for encapsulating your crawl space may not correspond to the skills required to complete your project. If that doesn’t sound right, this should. Plastic encapsulation is not a cheap project. It will probably cost three to four months’ salary to complete. As a novice, you don’t want to waste all that money and still end up with the chaos of a crawl space, would you?

If you’re unsure what type of encapsulation is best for your home, schedule a free crawl space inspection and repair estimate with local crawl space experts. We will advise you on a long-term solution to your moisture and dampness issues.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO INSTALL?

This is determined by several factors, the first of which is the size of the crawl space. The larger it is, the longer it will take the contractor to seal up your crawl space. The condition of the underground area is another determining factor. Clean-outs and repairs may be required before encapsulation begins if it is dirty, debris-filled, or derelict. And this will undoubtedly affect the timelines.

Encapsulation should take a couple of hours, if not a day, presuming everything is in order down there. Installers with experience and the right tools can work faster and finish the job before sunset. Before sealing this space, ensure the crawl space is ready so that contractors can work more speedily. Whatever is left undone will obstruct the sealing of your crawl space and slow your encapsulation efforts.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRAWL SPACE ENCAPSULATION AND INSULATION?

Many homeowners get the terms crawl space encapsulation and crawl space insulation mixed up. However, the two serve very different purposes. Crawl space encapsulation is ideal when addressing ground moisture and humid air issues. On the other hand, crawl space insulation is only helpful in dealing with cold floors.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN CRAWL SPACE ENCAPSULATION?

Professionals begin by assessing your home’s requirements and determining whether or not your crawl space is suitable for encapsulation. Crawl space encapsulation includes the following:

  • Raking the soil beneath the house to flatten and smooth it
  • Debris removal
  • Adding a new access door to allow for more ventilation
  • All block walls will receive 2.5 inches of foam insulation
  • Putting up a 20-mm liner on the walls and the floor
  • Installing humidifiers and, if necessary, a drain pipe
  • Taking out all old, unnecessary, or damaged insulation
  • Mold and mildew are being treated as needed
  • Using spray foam insulation, wrap steel wool around all pipes leading into the house

IS A DEHUMIDIFIER REQUIRED IN MY CRAWL SPACE?

A dehumidifier regulates humidity and removes moisture from the air, preventing mold and property damage and improving overall comfort. Waterproofing and crawl space encapsulation experts at HydroHelp911 can assess your crawl space and recommend the best moisture control solution.

WHAT EFFECT DO MOISTURE AND HUMIDITY HAVE ON MY CRAWL SPACE?

The most common issue in a vented unsealed crawl space is moisture. Mold growth, wood rot, and pest infestations are caused by high humidity and excess water. In addition, crawl space moisture frequently migrates up the stairs due to the “stack effect,” causing structural damage, musty odors, and high-power bills.

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