Did you know that approximately 20% of U.S. homes have crawl spaces? Initially, builders added crawl spaces to houses to provide a barrier between the house and the damp earth. Today, the primary purpose of a crawl space is to collect moisture and store humid air. About 50% of the air circulating in your home travels up from the crawl space. If you need to encapsulate the crawl space using spray foam in Houston, you need to contact a professional to do it. What’s encapsulation, and why should you do it? Let’s find out!
What is Encapsulation?
Encapsulation refers to adding a moisture barrier to your crawl space floor, insulated walls, crawl space dehumidifiers, and sealed foundation vents. Encapsulation becomes more effective when you completely seal off the crawl space. After encapsulation, the dehumidifier regulates the space’s moisture level.
Why Should You Encapsulate?
Since over 50% of the air in your home travels up the crawl space, the area must stay clean and dry. Here are some reasons your space needs encapsulation.
Avoiding Structural Damage
Moisture in crawl spaces leads to structural damage by rotting the wood and flooring – encapsulating your home’s crawl space wards off humidity. If your home undergoes structural damage because of moisture, it reduces its value. It will also become too expensive to fix, as hiring professional costs a lot of money.
Mitigates Humidity Issues
Encapsulation mitigates humidity which can cause problems like wood rot, mold, and fungal growth. These contaminants pose health hazards such as lung diseases and respiratory infections. Encapsulation seals the crawl space and mitigates moisture build-up.
Dark and damp areas attract pests, and encapsulation shields your home from pest infestations. Pests carry the risk of health hazards, home contamination, and putrid odors. Encapsulation is especially useful in keeping out termites. You can keep away other pests like rodents using other products.
Saving on Heating Costs
One benefit of encapsulating is the reduction in heating costs, especially if your HVAC ducting is in the crawl space. When you encapsulate your crawl space, you will have less air from outside circulating, adding more insulation. This means warmer floors during winter, warming your house, and reducing heating costs. Since encapsulation reduces humid air, the HVAC system uses less energy and works more efficiently.
Better Air Quality
Encapsulation cleans the air in your home. After the encapsulation process, the space is clean and dry, which improves the quality of air that circulates in your house. A dry area also means no mold, which is much healthier for your lungs.
Elimination of Bad Odors
Crawl spaces are sometimes a source of foul odors because of rodent droppings. Encapsulating the crawl space ensures you will not have any issues with odors in the future.
Once you clean and encapsulate the crawl space, you eliminate moisture issues. You can use the now dry space as extra storage to store your belongings. Since sealing the space eliminates the pest issue, you do not have to pay for storage elsewhere.
How to Get Your Crawl Space Ready for Encapsulation
Depending on the state of your space, you need to prepare it before encapsulation. Some things you need to address before you seal the area include the following:
Improving Your Drainage
Water may seep into your crawl space if your home has a poor drainage system. If you see water puddles beneath your home, talk to a professional to address the issue before you attempt to encapsulate your crawl space.
Check for Back-Drafts from Your Appliance
Ensure you check for back drafts from your appliances by doing a safety inspection. Check that they do not emit carbon dioxide that might cause back-draft into your home. Encapsulating without checking for back drafts could pose a health risk to you and your family.
- Mold Growth
A damp crawl space almost always has mold growth issues. Inspect the HVAC equipment and floor joists for mold signs. Deal with this issue before you start the encapsulation.
- Completely Seal the Walls, Vents, and Floor
When your crawl space is ready for encapsulation, your goal should be sealing the area from the outside air and damp earth. For this to happen, you must:
- Seal off Every Opening and Vent: This prevents air from entering the space from outside. Foam board and spray foam will perfectly do the trick.
- Install a plastic vapor barrier on the crawl space floor: Since you are trying to keep all moisture out, you should attach the vapor barrier to the floor, walls, piers, equipment, etc.
- Air Seal Cracks and Gaps: After dealing with significant vents and openings, it’s time to seal other cracks and gaps. These include plumbing penetrations, joists, wiring, and HVAC line runs.
What Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Entail?
Crawl space encapsulation begins with an assessment of your home. The professionals will verify if the crawl space is suitable for the exercise. The encapsulation process includes the following:
- Flattening the soil in the crawl space
- Debris removal
- Addition of an access door to provide extra ventilation
- Adding foam insulation on the block walls
- Installing a liner on the floor and walls
- Installation of humidifiers and drain pipes, if necessary
- Getting rid of all old, damaged, and unnecessary insulation
- Treating mildew and mold
- Adding new insulation
Crawl space encapsulation is vital to your home as it increases your home value. No buyer will want to pay your asking price if you have issues with a damp crawl space. When the space is dry and well encapsulated, you can ask for more and ensure you point out the condition of the crawl space.
Encapsulation also helps you evade structural or pest problems and improves your home’s air quality. Do not attempt encapsulation unless you have the skills and expertise. Hire the pros at First Defense Insulation to help get the job done. With over 35 years of experience fixing uncomfortable homes, you can trust us to help you get the job done. Visit our website for more information https://fdinsulation.com/attic-insulation/spray-foam/.
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First Defense Insulation,
12 Greenway Plaza Suite 1147 Houston Texas 77046,
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