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What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation & Why Your Home Needs It

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019


Crawl spaces are some of the troublesome areas for homeowners in Denver, CO. Even when vented, they can still hold moisture and set up your home for problems such as mold growth and water damage. That's not all. Pests and rodents can infest this space and turn it into their residence.

If you're struggling to manage your situation, consider crawl space encapsulation. Let’s look at what it is and how it can benefit you.

sealing crawl space with encapsulation

What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Encapsulation refers to the process of sealing crawl spaces to reduce humidity and prevent leaks, as well as unpleasant effects such as mold and pest infestation. It involves sealing of vents, conditioning and lining the floor and the foundation walls with overlapping sheets of thick polyethylene plastic. Some people also install vapor barriers on exposed floors and wall surfaces.

So what does it involve? Let’s delve into the steps of encapsulating a crawl space.

The Process of Encapsulation

Encapsulating a home is a four-step process. While the choice of material may vary from one contractor to the other, the process remains pretty much the same. Here’s how we do it:

Step 1: Crawl space preparation. First things first — we’ll clear all debris and sharp objects from the crawl space. Anything sharp such as rocks may rupture the insulating plastic, so it has to go. Afterward, we grade the ground to create a level surface.

Step 2: Sealing of openings: Once the crawl space is ready, we’ll seal any external openings such as vents and pipes, including wires coming from the outside. This will cut off unwanted air and keep the space waterproof.

Step 3: Adding a plastic vapor barrier: A layer of plastic vapor barrier is then added to your walls and floor. It’s usually at least six millimeters thick and overlaps at least one foot, then it’s stapled down or fastened to cover the crawl space. Our system is a true 20-mil vapor barrier liner rated above 25 mil strength at the seams. A plastic this thick will endure rough treatment during plumbing and termite inspections.

Step 4: Conditioning: With the crawl space sealed off, the next step is to eliminate existing moisture. You can channel out moisture using vents that go all the way to the living area or a dehumidifier. In case you live in a flood-prone area, it’s crucial you install a drainage system and a sump pump.

If your crawl space is in a bad state or mold-ridden, you will have to carry out crawl space repair before you can encapsulate that area.

Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation

An encapsulated crawl space is beneficial in many ways. If you’re still deliberating, here are some perks for you:

Keeps Mold and Pests at Bay

Pests such as termites and mold in general thrive in wet and dark crawl spaces. Once they colonize the crawl space, they can quickly spread to the upper rooms and cause wood rot and awful odors. You will find it hard to eradicate them. Encapsulation can help you keep moisture in check and discourage vermin and mold from setting up shop in your home. If you need help with crawl space encapsulation, talk to our professionals.

Enhances Energy Efficiency and Comfort

Anytime you run your HVAC, you’re spending energy to heat and cool the entire home. Moist or damp conditions indoors cause the HVAC system to work harder to fight dampness and outside air created by the unlined crawl space in your home. Because of this, your heating and air conditioning unit will consume more energy to create hospitable conditions. Adding encapsulation and firming it up with insulation will reduce moisture and make your home energy efficient so you will no longer have to worry about high utility bills.

Preserves Structural Integrity

A wet crawl space can jeopardize the safety of your home or property. Adding a polyethylene barrier to the crawl space not only prevents dampness, but it also stops water retention and seepage to the soil surrounding the foundation of your house. This is essential for the stability of your structure. The outcome is a strong foundation that remains stable and erosion-free for possibly a lifetime.

Now that you know how encapsulation works and what benefits it has, don’t lose any time if you have a crawl space. Request a free crawl space encapsulation estimate from our professionals and have your space encapsulated. You’ll never worry about moisture or any of its undesirable effects again!