5 Things to Know About Crawl Space Encapsulation

Written by Blake Heron on . Posted in .

Have you ever investigated your crawl space? If you’re like most homeowners, the answer is a resounding: No.

And quite frankly, who could blame you?

Crawl spaces are dark, dirty, and oftentimes, they can even emit odors that can ambush your nostrils.

But despite this, you should not neglect your crawl space altogether, as there can be serious complications that arise as a result.

That’s why crawl space encapsulation is a great remedy for that vacant underground passage.

If this procedure is something you’ve been considering for your crawlspace, then you’ll want to keep reading.

Because in this post, you will learn 5 important things about crawl space encapsulation.


What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Sadly, crawl spaces can become a cesspool of mold, rodents, snakes, as well as a myriad of other issues that begin to fester.

This is due to the damp and warm air that crawl spaces experience.

To counter this, an encapsulated crawl space is decked out in materials designed to act as a barricade to protect it against the moisture.

Essentially, crawl space encapsulation is a treatment method used to transform a humid, moldy, and dirty crawl space into a dry, clean, and unsullied area where mold won’t grow and pests and rodents won’t want to occupy.

It’s a very detailed procedure that has become a popular home improvement procedure.

finished Crawl Space Encapsulation

What Causes Crawl Space Issues?

Generally speaking, there are only a few things that will be the biggest contributors to your crawl space issues. And it’s important to know what they are and how to fix them.

Moisture in a Ventilated Crawl Space

A dirt crawl space that is exposed to the elements through open vents is trouble just waiting to happen. If this happens to be the case for your home, get it checked out as soon as possible by a professional.

When you have open vents that lead to a dirt crawl space; air, water, pests, etc, all seep into your untreated space right beneath your home. This is where the problems start.

Up to 50% of the air you breathe in your home comes from areas like your crawl space.

This means that whatever you happen to have stored away in there: moisture, mold, etc, is also making its way through the remainder of your house and having an impact on you.

To put this into perspective, even strong and durable metals in your home can be affected.

It’s not uncommon for mold (if left untreated) to begin growing on wood in the home and even rotting them over time.

Stack Effect

There is an airflow design in your house that goes from the bottom to the top. This is known as The Stack Effect.

Air circulates from places of high pressure to places of low pressure. And this airflow tends to become stronger when there is a bigger difference between the inside and outside temperatures.

What Are Some Solutions?

With every problem, comes a solution. And luckily, crawls space issues are no different. There are several things that can help remedy the troubles that come from an untreated crawl space.

  • Sump Pumps – A machine that discharges water outside of your house
  • Thermal Insulation – Insulation helps to protect your walls as well as your foundation from changes in outside temperatures
  • Vapor Barrier – This material was designed to safeguard both your crawl space and other parts of your home from damages caused by moisture

Crawl Space Encapsulation finished

How Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Work?

Now that you know what crawl space encapsulation is, it’s time to take a look at how it works.

There are different ways contractors go about doing the job. However, they all follow a similar outline for the process:

  • A detailed evaluation or analysis of the current state of the crawl space
  • Removing damaged insulation, solving moisture problems, eradicating insects, securing gaps
  • Applying foam insulation to cover up any holes, cracks, vents, etc and insulate the walls
  • Install a strong plastic vapor barrier to the floors
  • Add a dehumidifier to maintain the optimal level of moisture in the crawl space

Does My Crawl Space Need to be Treated?

Yes, all crawl spaces should be treated; they should be totally sealed and separated from moisture. Why? An unsealed crawl space will turn into a refuge for all types of unwanted things.

If left untreated, that “simple and innocent” crawl space can transform into a nasty ordeal.

For example, the moisture from your crawl space can become the culprit for the growth of mildew.

This will deteriorate the quality of air within your home, and as a result, produce an atmosphere that is harmful to yourself as well as your family.

Additionally, the damp air will also rot the timber and planks that your home is constructed with.

Floorboards will begin to warp, the wood composition will lose strength and durability, and as a consequence, the structural integrity of the entire home can be compromised.

That’s why crawl space encapsulation is a necessary step that you should not put off taking.

However, if you still need convincing, here are 5 things you need to know about crawl space encapsulation:

Crawl Space Encapsulation project

5 Things to Know About Crawl Space Encapsulation

Treating your crawlspace properly can save you a lot of pain and heartache (and money). But you may still be a bit curious to learn of some important benefits associated with this procedure.

Here are 5 things that you need to know about crawl space encapsulation:

You Will Have a Mold-Free Crawl Space

Mold and mildew flourish in damp crawl spaces. Pretty much anywhere that’s chronically moist, muggy, and clammy, you’ll find mold beginning to make its presence known.

Too much of this kind of exposure can activate allergies and other sensitivities within certain people who may be susceptible as well.

Mold isn’t just a fungus, it can also be a detriment to your health.

You’ll Be More Comfortable in Your Home

By handling the foundation repair via encapsulation, you will be increasing the comfortability within your home.

Having a ventilated crawl space heats your home in summer and freezes it in the winter. Both of which can make your living space a less comfortable place to call home.

Without proper crawl space encapsulation, any major shifts in the temperature outside will affect the temperature inside.

But with adequate house foundation repair, you can prevent that from happening. And as a result, you can breathe easy as well as in comfort knowing that your home is properly protected.

Your Utility Costs will be Decreased

Crawl spaces that are encapsulated have both conditioning and insulation working for them. Consequently, this makes them more energy efficient than they were previously.

In fact, the energy savings can be as high as 15% to 20% if your HVAC is in the crawl space!

The additional conditioned air from your crawl space will cause you to ease up on your HVAC system, which in turn, will put more money back into your pocket over time.

The Structural Integrity of Your Home Will be Improved

A ventilated crawl space has the potential to weaken the foundation of your home. But proper crawl space encapsulation can keep the wood supporting the foundation of your home dry.

This is great for fending off cracks, sinking and shifting from taking place.

In addition to that, an encapsulated crawl space will just generally make your home a cleaner, more healthful, and wholesome place to live.

Reduced Pest and Rodent Invasions

A crawl space that is dark, wet, humid, and damp will almost always attract vermin, pests, and insects. Once they come, they multiply and reproduce quickly, and when that happens, it becomes more difficult to get rid of them.

They can damage your home as well as your possessions. And not only that, but they can also be very expensive to do away with.

By outfitting your crawl space with the proper encapsulation, you can avoid that problem.

This is because the materials and methods used will remove the moisture; making the crawl space area less advantageous for pests, insects, and other animals.

Crawl Space Encapsulation after

Don’t Delay: Treat Your Crawl Space Today

Most people have the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when it comes to their crawl spaces. They don’t give it a second thought until they’re dealing with the all problems that come with ignoring it.

Don’t let that be you!

With over 275 years of experience and over 5000 homes serviced, we want to help you next with your crawl space encapsulation treatment.

Contact us today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!

Blake Heron

Written By Blake Heron

Blake has specialized in crawl space & foundation repairs for over 10 years (since 2012). His prior engineering and business degrees from James Madison University in VA prepared him for a mastery of problem solving with crawl space & foundation repair issues. He is one of America’s top experts on crawl space encapsulation. As Founder of both ‘BAY Crawl Space & Foundation Repair’ as well as ‘GridLock Foundations’ he is a leading industry expert on crawl space foundation repairs.


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