Why Encapsulate Crawl Spaces
Since up to 50% of household air can flow up from your crawl space, it’s important to keep it as clean and dry as possible. Adding a crawl space vapor barrier and dehumidifier is widely accepted as the best way to improve indoor air quality and make energy improvements inside your home.
Water vapor enters the crawl space from the ground (even through cement), leading many people to encapsulate their crawl space to keep the moisture out.
Benefits of Creating a Vapor Barrier
– Improved air quality in your crawl space and home
– Creates inhospitable area for pests and wood-destroying insects
– Allows for more comfortable living conditions
– Avoid fungi/mold issues and structural damage
– Greater energy efficiency in your home
What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Encapsulating, or at least sealing, crawl spaces is a popular solution for avoiding indoor moisture issues. Encapsulation can be compared to the lining added to swimming pools to avoid leaks.
A heavy-duty polyethylene barrier is added to completely cover your crawl space – usually the floors, foundation walls, and sometimes even ceiling.
This water vapor barrier is most effective when it completely covers your crawl space, and sealing tape is used to connect the barrier pieces throughout the area.
Once your space is completely sealed, the final piece of encapsulation is controlling the air to maintain a healthy humidity level. The most common way to do this is by adding a ventilation system to regulate your crawl space’s moisture level.
This barrier and ventilation system combination protects the crawl space from excess moisture and all the problems that come along with it.
Who Should Consider Crawl Space Encapsulation
Water vapor and excess moisture can cause a number of problems in your home. Since water vapor can move through porous cement, moisture from the ground can move through your foundation and into your home.
Common issues that lead people to sealing their crawl space:
– Mildew/musty smell in basement
– Soft or separating floors
– High cooling costs
– Wet insulation
– Condensation on windows
– Insect problems