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Crawl Space Encapsulation

Crawl space encapsulation is one of the best ways to manage your crawl space. What is crawl space encapsulation and what will it do for you?

Groundworks expert encapsulates a crawl space in safety gear.

What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Crawl space encapsulation is the process of sealing your crawl space from outside air and moisture and incorporating it into the envelope of the home. This typically means adding a high-quality vapor barrier, wall insulation, and a drainage system. It’s one of the most important solutions for managing crawl space health.

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How Does Encapsulation Work?

Crawl space encapsulation combines multiple waterproofing solutions in one effective package, including:

  • Vapor Barriers and Sealed Crawl Space Vents
CrawlSeal Installation with headlight

First off, you’ll need to use a crawl space vapor barrier to keep moisture out of the crawl space, and you’ll need to make sure it’s a high-quality barrier to do the job right. Groundworks utilizes a 20mil crawl space vapor barrier to ensure a tight seal.

You’ll also want to remove any intentional openings for moisture, including crawl space vents. Crawl space vents enjoyed widespread popularity for a time because contractors believed they would regulate moisture, but they actually retain it, increasing mold growth.

  • Insulation and Drainage
Sideview of the crew installing ExTremeBloc thermal insulation

Crawl space insulation keeps moisture out and the internal temperature of your home manageable for your HVAC system. It makes your home more energy-efficient and comfortable.

Depending on the amount of moisture or water in your crawl space, a crawl space company might suggest adding a drainage system. Several options are available from drainage matting to crawl space sump pumps.

  • Crawl Space Dehumidifier 

It’s also a good idea to add a dehumidifier to put manage humidity levels in your crawl space and the rest of your home. As the name suggests, these machines can keep the humidity level stable without allowing it to get high enough for mold and mildew growth.

The Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation

These are only a few of the crawl space encapsulation benefits you might experience after going through the sealing process.

  • Lower Electric Bills

Comprehensive encapsulation means lower electric bills because it stops moisture-rich air from invading your home.

Air condition systems use more energy trying to manage highly humid air. Encapsulating your crawl space saves you money. 

  • Fewer Allergy and Asthma Problems

An open crawl space means allergies and asthma problems.

Encapsulation reduces dirt, dust, and debris in your crawl space. When dust no longer intrudes into the rest of your home, you’ll likely see fewer respiratory problems in your family. 

  • Fewer Issues with Bugs and Pests

Bug and pest infestations are extremely frustrating. Sealing your crawl space deters critters from inhabiting this space and making their way into your home.

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Why You Need to Encapsulate Your Crawl Space

Comprehensive crawl space encapsulation has three key objectives:

  • To Fight Humidity
Condensation on basement windows

One of the biggest signs of crawl space issues is high indoor humidity. Humidity causes other issues like high energy bills and mold growth.

Because up to 50% of the air in your home comes from your crawl space, humid crawl spaces mean humid homes. Crawl space encapsulation means a safe, dry home. 

  • To Fend Off Mold and Mildew

Crawl spaces tend to be prone to mold and mildew which typically only grow when the humidity levels are at or above 70%.

Without encapsulation, an exposed dirt crawl space is the perfect place in which mold can thrive.

  • To Improve Air Quality

Crawl space encapsulation lets you breathe easier—literally.

If you have warm air entering the crawl space, it will rise through the rest of the home (a process called the “stack effect”); if you have cool air entering the crawl space, it will warm up and collect allergens, and then rise throughout your home.

FAQs About Crawl Space Encapsulation

Crawl space encapsulation is a crucial part of making sure your home stays healthy overall. However, some homeowners don’t know that crawl space encapsulation is so important. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you try to understand the connection.

  • Crawl Space Health Is Connected to Home Health

It’s important to remember that your crawl space’s health is an intrinsically important part of your home’s health. Your crawl space will share its air with the air in the rest of the home, so you should always do whatever you can to keep the crawl space air as healthy as possible.

A crawl space should be as important to you as a basement. Think of it as a very small basement; you would take care of your basement’s health, so why wouldn’t you take care of your crawl space’s? Just because you go into your crawl space less often than you might go into a basement doesn’t make it any less important.

  •  Maintain Your Home Health Overall with Crawl Space Health

You should do as much as you can to make sure your crawl space is safe because it will maintain your home’s health overall, not just that of your crawl space. When you spend money on crawl space health, you’ll also be spending money on your home’s health. That makes it a good investment for yourself and your family.

For example, when you have open crawl space vents, you’re much more likely to run into problems with the stack effect. Adding crawl space vent covers will allow you to ensure the health of your home as a whole, not just the health of your crawl space.

The crawl space encapsulation process can certainly be daunting for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with crawl spaces or with home health as a whole. However, that doesn’t mean you can skip out on the expert element.

  • The Issues with DIY

Crawl space encapsulation is not a DIY project. Although there are some things you can DIY in your home, encapsulation is something you should leave to the experts to help avoid long-term issues and costs. Encapsulation is complicated, which is exactly why professionals are trusted with the job after years of experience.

When you handle crawl space encapsulation, there are many steps that you need to execute as perfectly as possible. This includes installing the crawl space vapor barrier, adding the crawl space dehumidifier, and potentially even installing crawl space jacks if you’re having structural problems. Only an expert can do this effectively.

  • Get an Expert to Help

Experts are always going to have better insight into the unique factors that contribute to the problems in your crawl space. With this knowledge, they can help you pick the right encapsulation methods and then use high-grade materials and safety equipment to ensure the installation is not only effective but safe. No matter how good you are at DIY, you don’t have the experience you need to properly encapsulate your crawl space.

If you think you could benefit from crawl space encapsulation, talk to a crawl space expert from Groundwork to learn more about the process. An expert will give you more information and let you know more about your potential options. This is often matched with long-term warranties, so you can have confidence in the work for the years to come.

Crawl space encapsulation should be the main fix you look into for crawl spaces that have dirt floors. However, it’s not exclusively for those types of crawl spaces. Here’s what you should know about crawl space encapsulation for all crawl spaces.

  • Important for Dirt Floors

Of course, crawl space encapsulation is a hugely important element of fixing dirt floors. Dirt floors tend to have a variety of problems in them that makes them the perfect candidate for crawl space encapsulation. For example, moisture can easily collect in a crawl space with a dirt floor, causing crawl space condensation and high levels of crawl space moisture.

Even if you generally try to keep your crawl space clean, a dirt floor will be inherently less healthy. This is why you should look at crawl space encapsulation. Crawl space encapsulation will always be helpful for these more exposed spaces.

  •  Important for Spaces with Other Floors

Just because crawl space encapsulation is extremely effective for dirt floors, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ineffective for other types of floors. Some crawl spaces without dirt as their base might also have problems that require encapsulation. This typically occurs if you’re having issues with the soil or the surrounding structure.

If you have a crawl space that has waterproofing concerns, regular issues with pests, and open crawl space vents, you’ll need to look into crawl space encapsulation. Crawl space encapsulation can be a great way to combat all of these problems, no matter the type of floor present.

Maintain a Healthy and Encapsulated Crawl Space with the Help of an Expert

A healthy crawl space is an encapsulated crawl space, but you need an expert crawl space company to do it the right way. It’s something you need to do with the maximum care possible because you deserve the best.

Groundworks experts are the best in the nation, trusted for over 30 years, and serving in your community today. Call us today for a free quote!

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