Crawl Space Encapsulation – Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News

What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Crawl space encapsulation is a multi-tiered sealing system that works to protect your home from moisture damage. Encapsulating your crawl space helps manage humidity to prevent a hazardous environment for the wooden structure supporting your floors. Crawl space encapsulation is guaranteed to manage moisture levels effectively on a long-term basis.

When to Encapsulate Crawl Space

There are multiple signs that you may be in need of crawl space sealing. There is a risk that your home already has some sort of moisture damage or mold presence in the crawl space. Encapsulating your crawl space can stop any further damage and keep your home in great condition.

Signs From The Upstairs Living Area

Sometimes you don’t even need to be inside the crawl space to notice something is off. If you notice any of these factors, consider contacting Bay Crawl Space & Foundation Repairs.

  • Condensation around the floor frames
  • Cold floors
  • High humidity
  • Noticeably higher energy bills (specifically with heating and cooling costs)
  • Musty odor

Signs From Inside The Crawl Space

Examining the inside of your crawl space will identify the root of the problem. However, you need to understand what to look for in determining the need for encapsulation. The following are signs that you would benefit from crawl space repair:

  • Hanging or fallen insulation
  • Mold
  • Condensation on ventilation equipment
  • Rotted wood
  • Moisture on walls or floors of crawl space
  • Pest infestations
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How Crawl Space Encapsulation Works

There are 3 Sources of Moisture in Crawl spaces in VA & NC: 

  1. Dampness from the ground, constantly releasing moisture 
  2. Humidity from outside air and sweating ducts 
  3. Groundwater and Flooding.

With a crawlspace encapsulation, a heavy vapor barrier liner, covering 100% of the earth is installed and taped. This blocks all of the moisture from the earth, from damaging the wooden floor structure. The walls are insulated and sealed with a special vapor barrier foam board. The support piers are wrapped and taped to stop moisture seepage.

Next, by sealing out the outside air with vent covers and sealed crawl space doors, the inside air will be minimally affected by outside weather, including humidity.

Finally, a crawl space dehumidifier will clean and dry the air in the crawl space. Crawl space dehumidifiers run automatically, as needed to keep the air within the optimum humidity range of 40-60% RH. We recommend and install Aprilaire dehumidifiers.

And remember, there is a 3rd source of moisture, crawl space flooding and groundwater. If the water problem isn’t resolved, it can flood an encapsulation, so it is important to properly address crawl space flooding too.

Top 10! Crawl Space Encapsulation Benefits

  1. Prevent Further Moisture Damage – Our ‘Dry Space’ Crawl Space Encapsulation is 100% Guaranteed to stop moisture damage in crawl spaces.
  2. Control Mold & Fungal Growth – Moisture breeds mold and fungal growth, which can both weaken your property and lead to costly repairs.
  3. Save Energy (15-20% Savings) – Encapsulating your property’s crawl spaces can lead to cost-efficient energy benefits. Save money by saving energy!
  4. Improve Indoor Air Quality – With crawl space encapsulation preventing mold and fungal growth, your indoor air quality will improve and maintain its quality over time.
  5. Add Value To The Home – A weakening foundation diminishes your home’s value. Home buyers feel secure with a strong and dry foundation, which helps home sales.
  6. Dry Out Floor Framing – wood moisture above 20% allows wood decaying fungi to grow and damage wooden framing. Encapsulation keeps wood moisture below 15%.
  7. Helps With Insects – Moisture attracts insects and can lead to infestation in the home. Crawl space encapsulation keeps the environment unfavorable for insects.
  8. Low Maintenance – Crawl space encapsulations work behind the scenes while you continue to live your normal routine. The system only requires annual maintenance.
  9. Warmer Floors – The sealed and insulated walls in an encapsulated crawl space trap warm air, lost by your home’s HVAC ducts. Enjoy warm cozy floors in the winter months.
  10. Peace Of Mind – Encapsulating your crawl spaces provides homeowners with peace of mind knowing their home’s foundation is healthy, protected and secure.

Crawl Space Encapsulation Costs

The cost of a crawl space encapsulation ranges widely but the major costs are labor and materials. It is a very labor intensive, time-consuming project that requires craftsmanship. This should be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ project, so it’s important to get it right the first time. For this reason, we only recommend premium products and experienced professional installers, for the best long-term value.

The biggest variant in crawl space encapsulation costs is the size of the crawl space. Bigger houses take longer to fully install the necessary products. While a 700 Sq Ft. house could only cost $4000-6000 to encapsulate, a 3,200 Sq Ft. crawl space encapsulation could cost $15,000-20,000.

There could also be multiple other services that are needed. An insulation removal (and disposal), mold & fungal treatment, structural repairs, and water management system could be needed as well, adding to the cost of a project.

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100% Moisture Protection for Life

Properly installed crawl space encapsulation means 100% protection, for life. Here at Bay Crawl Space, we install Lifetime Solutions, designed to protect the home for the lifetime of the structure.

Our professionally trained staff is able to trim and mold these liners to fit the exact specifications of your crawl space. This ensures 100% coverage and locks out any moisture from being retained in the space between the liner and the ground. While other companies and products fail to create this 100% protection, our results are guaranteed.

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Rigid Foam Board Insulation

Sealing crawl spaces relies on strong insulation to keep moisture and insects out. We use a rigid foam board insulation to accomplish this with our encapsulated crawl spaces. This foam board insulation has a radiant barrier designed to contain thermal heat, is infused with wax for a superior fire rating, has termiticide as an added defense against termites, and is infused with graphite for the highest R-value. Best of all, rigid foam board insulation helps with energy efficiency and saves you money!

What About Using Spray Foam Insulation For Sealing Crawl Spaces?

We do NOT recommend the use of spray foam insulation as it is nearly impossible to remove, making future structural repairs, 10X more expensive. Moisture, leaks, or termites can still damage the wood. Foam spray insulation is also aesthetically unappealing and can be considerably more expensive. And WORSE, spray foam insulation can cause ‘Off-Gassing’ – a sour, musty, lingering smell, that stays with the home for years.

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Crawl Space Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are the heart of any great crawl space humidity solution. They help dry the air and floor framing which prevents your wood foundation from weakening. Dehumidifiers also work to purify the air within the crawl space and render any existing mold or fungal growth dormant.

What type of Crawl Space Dehumidifier Should I Use?

Each professionally rated dehumidification unit’s capacity should match the size of your home. The choice of brand, placement, orientation, sizing, and installation are critical to the success of the encapsulation system. At Bay Crawl Space, we typically install Aprilaire and Sante Fe humidifiers. These two brands are industry leading and Bay Crawl Space & Foundation Repair is proud to implement their products into our encapsulation projects.

Household dehumidifiers are not designed to work in crawl spaces. The components are not suitable enough to operate at full capacity outside of the home. This is why we recommend letting our trained encapsulation professionals install a state-of-the-art dehumidifier tailor made to work with crawl space sealing.

Do I Need A Dehumidifier To Encapsulate My Crawl Space?

In order to fully encapsulate a crawl space we strongly encourage the usage of a dehumidifier. Without a running dehumidifier you run the risk of the air not being properly dried and circulated. This could increase your risk of having moisture seep into the foundation of your home and create future problems. There are several different options to choose from, so we are confident that we can help you select a dehumidifier that fits your project scope and allocated budget.

Crawl Space Vent Covers And Access Doors

Foundation vent covers and special access doors for any sealed crawl space are critical for the success of an encapsulation project. They serve to minimize air loss as well as keep pests and insects from having an easy way to access the crawl space. Bear in mind the main goal is to keep as much of the outside air out of the crawl space while keep the air inside the crawl space in. This ensures the crawl space is properly conditioned.

Many amateur and low-quality crawl space sealing projects will use thin pieces of foam to attempt to seal the vents. This approach is not suitable for total crawl space encapsulation, as there would be gaps for the air to escape.

A professionally sealed crawl space access door or foundation vent should not contain large air gaps. As a rule of thumb, if you can see light from the outside while the door is shut, it is not suitable for sealing a crawl space via encapsulation. With properly sealed foundation vents and crawl space access doors, your crawl space can maintain standard humidity levels throughout the year to sustain a strong and healthy home foundation.

How Much Will a Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost?

The cost of a crawl space encapsulation project depends on a variety of factors. Your cost could fluctuate depending on the size of the crawl space, the type of materials you require, and which quality of materials you want to install. Some questions to consider when factoring cost include:

  • Do I need vapor barrier lining? If so, which type of lining should I have install and how much?
  • Do I need insulation? Which type of insulation and how much?
  • Do I need a new dehumidifier? Which model should I go with?
  • Do I need any repairs to vent covers or access doors? Do I need any new ones installed?

You may not know the answers to these questions, but our crawl space encapsulation experts will. When conducting a free inspection of your crawl space we will look out for all of these items. You will be given recommendations on what work you need done, products we can install, and how long the installation should take.

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DIY Crawl Space Encapsulation

It is possible for homeowners to handle their own crawl space encapsulations. However, you should understand the full scope of work and costs that the process entails. You will need to purchase lots of different materials depending on the extent of your job. These materials can cost you a significant amount. You will also need to dedicate a lot of your time to encapsulating your crawl space. The longer it takes you to properly encapsulate the area, the more damage can incur from mold or moisture.

We recommend letting the experts handle your crawl space encapsulation job. We have the knowledge, resources, and expertise to complete the work in a timely fashion and in a way that is most cost effective for you. Our technicians will keep you informed of that job status throughout the process and will have your crawlspace to a proper running order in no time.

Why cut corners with your crawl space encapsulation repairs? We guarantee that you will be satisfied with your crawl space encapsulation from Bay Crawl Space & Foundation Repair. Let the experts get to work for you today!

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