Ignoring crawl space conditions and the effects they may have on indoor air quality seems to be a thing of the past. People are more educated about how moisture enters their homes and the negative impact excess moisture can have on living conditions.
Since up to 50% of household air can flow up from your crawl space, it’s important to keep this typically unsightly space as clean and dry as possible. Since water vapor enters the crawl space from the ground (even through cement), many people are encapsulating their crawl space to keep the moisture out. 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.
What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Encapsulating, or at least sealing, crawl spaces is becoming a popular solution for avoiding indoor moisture issues. To the average person, 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 your area.
Once your space is completely sealed, the final piece of the encapsulation puzzle is conditioning the air to maintain a healthy humidity level. The most common way to do this is by adding a dehumidifier to regulate your crawl space’s moisture level.
This barrier and dehumidifier 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 slew of problems in your home. Since water vapor can move through porous cement, moisture from the ground can move through it and into your home. Here are common signs that lead people to sealing their crawl space:
Mildew/musty smell in basement
Soft or separating floors
High cooling costs
Benefits of Creating a Vapor Barrier
Before we get into the dirty details, consider these benefits:
Improved air quality in your crawl space and home
Creates inhospitable area for pests and wood-destroying insects
More comfortable living conditions
Avoid fungi/mold issues and structural damage
Greater energy efficiency in your home
If you are considering encapsulating your crawl space or you have new construction, please give us a call today!