Often, homeowners overlook their crawl space due to the negligible usage. Instead, they consider inspecting the crawl space only when a sickening smell emanates from the floor. Although the space underneath your home is harmless, it can host debris, mold, and unwanted critters. Moreover, a humid crawl space can affect the efficiency of your HVAC system.
One of the most helpful ways to prevent all these problems is Crawl Space Encapsulation. A clean, encapsulated crawl space with a vapor barrier can impede mold growth, eliminate the foul smell, block entry to insects and rodents, and improve air quality.
This comprehensive guide will give you seven key strategies to encapsulate crawl space at your place effectively.
What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Crawl Space Encapsulation is all about lining the crawl space underneath your home with heavy-duty polythene. The polyethylene barrier is installed to cover and seal the foundation walls, floors, and sometimes even the ceiling.
This barrier is just like the lining found in the home swimming pools. Heavy-duty sealing tape is used to seal and connect the barrier pieces throughout the area. Once the space is sealed, the final step towards encapsulating the crawl space is controlling air to maintain a healthy humidity level in the home. Professionals do the same by installing a dehumidifier- equipment that regulates the crawl space's moisture level.
7 Strategies for Effective Crawl Space Encapsulation
Encapsulating the crawl space underneath your house is a great way to have a clean, moisture and mold-free crawl space. Here are the strategies for effective Crawl Space Encapsulation:
Examine the Property
Before commencing the crawl space encapsulation process, inspect your crawl space and home's layout. It will help formulate a proper method of approach if you have your home's floor plan. Next, ensure your home is free of drainage or grading issues. You can also contact a grading or gutter professional to address these problems.
In addition, check for mold and debris and clean the crawl space. Also, check for gas leaks from the water heater or furnace to prevent backdraft and moisture.
Estimate the Cost of Your Crawl Space Encapsulation
Since crawl space encapsulation is a labor-intensive project, it is easiest to estimate the labor cost as a percentage of the project's overall cost. Around 50% to 75% of the crawl space encapsulation project involves labor costs, and the remaining cost is devoted to the materials like vapor barriers, sealing tape, etc.
Several factors affect the project cost, including permits, crawl space condition, inspection, waterproofing, drainage, mold remediation, vent sealing, pest control, maintenance, etc. You can expect to incur around $1,000 to $4,000 for the crawl space encapsulation project.
Hire for Repair the Crawl Space
Once you have examined and cleaned the property; you need to focus on repairing the structural elements of your crawl space. It might include removing or replacing rotten wood. Repairing the crawl space should not be taken lightly, as cracks and other damages can cause moisture and microbial infestations. When your crawl space is damaged, consider hiring a professional repair service.
These experts will know the methods and materials required for repairing crawl space. Moreover, their in-depth expertise and experience in dealing with different types of crawl space seepage issues will lead to cost-effective repairs.
Seal the Vents and Install a Vapor Barrier
After fixing all crawl space repairs, seal the vents and any gaps on the floor using vent covers, sealed doors, and hydraulic cement. To make this happen, a professional crawl space encapsulation service will do as follows:
- Install a plastic vapor barrier to the floor underneath your home and attach it to the foundation walls and piers to keep moisture out of the crawl space.
- Vents and outdoor openings will be sealed to prevent humid outdoor air from entering the crawl space.
- Thermal barriers will be added to the crawl space walls. Some professionals even attach foam insulation to the foundation walls to prevent outdoor air from entering the crawl space.
- All remaining gaps and cracks are sealed off with spray foam.
Install a Moisture Barrier
If you have already installed the moisture barrier into your crawl space, it is time to remove them and install the new one. After removing the current moisture barrier, level the area. It will make it easier to install the new moisture barrier.
A professional crawl space encapsulation Raleigh NC service provider usually follows these steps to install the new moisture barrier into the crawl space:
- Wrapping the piers using the pieces of the vapor barrier while ensuring it is tight to the ground.
- Cutting tight around any obstacles, like plumbing, wires, and piers.
- Using waterproof tape for tightly taping around the piers and pipes.
- Covering and seal the crawl space with polythene and tape it to the walls, floor, and ceilings. Experts fold the polythene's corners to lay flat on the ground.
6. Hire for Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl space encapsulation seems simple, but you can risk mistakes or accidents if not done right. In addition, it could further damage the crawl space and cost you more. Moreover, opting for a DIY route can't give the quality result you would expect from an experienced space encapsulation service.
Atlantic Foundation and Repair is a professional crawl space encapsulation company in Raleigh, NC, with experience handling similar encapsulation projects. They have the right tools and equipment required for the job. Moreover, if the crawl space has mold or any other harmful substance, professionals will have the proper PPE to protect their health.
7. Opt for a Regular Inspection Plan
Your job is incomplete after encapsulating the crawl space. It is essential to perform regular inspections to ensure the crawl space is in perfect shape. You can hire a crawl space encapsulation service that provides crawl space inspections at regular intervals. These services will appoint professionals to read the moisture levels, ensure proper working of the dehumidifier, and more.
Why is Crawl Space Encapsulation Necessary?
Homeowners encapsulate their home's crawl space to avoid:
- The dangers involved with mold growth in the house.
- A musty mildew odor inside the house
- Wet insulation
- Escalated home heating and cooling costs
- Pest infestation
Crawl Space Encapsulation is necessary as it offers several benefits, and these are:
- Eliminates insect infestation: Crawl space is usually a breeding ground for moisture and, thus, home to insects and pests. Encapsulating the crawl space will help eliminate the possibility of creating conditions that welcomes inspects and pests. As a result, you can avoid the threat of insect infestation and crawl space damage.
- Improves air quality: Crawl space encapsulation promotes the circulation of clean air throughout the building, making it healthier to breathe for family members.
- Increases energy efficiency: Crawl space encapsulation will eliminate the need for a heating and cooling unit to fight against damp air created by a moist crawl space. As a result, it will further improve the energy efficiency of the building, which decreases the utility bills.
- Extend the longevity of floors: If your home has wooden flooring, you must take extra care to preserve it. Such floors boost the value of a home, and the last thing you want is a damp crawl space to damage them. Moreover, a damp crawl space can rot the flooring from the inside out, requiring complete replacement. The most effective way to combat the issue of moisture and protect the flooring is to encapsulate the crawl space.
- Protect the structural integrity: Build-of of moisture and dampness in the crawl space can affect the inside and foundation of your home. Ultimately, it could affect the overall structural integrity of the building. Moreover, pests can also do some serious damage to the structure. However, you can maintain your home's structural integrity for years with crawl space encapsulation.
- Boosting home value: Like home renovation projects, crawl space encapsulation can help boost the home's resale value. A house with encapsulated crawl space will attract potential buyers as they will not have to fund the task themselves. In addition, it means homeowners can ask for a higher price on their home when its crawl space is encapsulated.
A wet and moldy crawl space can lead to severe issues for anyone living in the building. Crawl Space Encapsulation is an effective way to protect your home from dampness and mold.
Moreover, preventing mold growth and moisture from accumulating in the crawl space is key to maintaining your home's long-term stability. The abovementioned strategies will help you effectively encapsulate your crawl space and add value to your home.
A crawl space encapsulation Raleigh NC service, Atlantic Foundation, and Repair are experienced in handling all your crawl space problems. The company is acquainted with skilled contractors who provide high-quality crawl space encapsulation services and, thus, assists homeowners in maintaining the health of their home. Moreover, it offers a long-lasting solution with tools like vapor barriers and dehumidifiers.