Do’s and Don’ts of Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl spaces are found in around 20% of all newly constructed homes in the United States. These spaces provide a variety of functions in the home, including housing the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, gas lines, and irrigation system.
Homes with open vented crawl spaces often have moisture-related problems, like mold and mildew. These problems might compromise the efficiency and durability of your HVAC system. Also, water damage can lead to expensive crawl space repairs.
To avoid these problems, crawl space encapsulation is highly recommended.
WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN ENCAPSULATING YOUR CRAWL SPACE
When you invest thousands of dollars or more on a home improvement, you want to be sure that everything is done correctly. Here are a few things to avoid while encapsulating your crawl space.
DON’T ENCAPSULATE IF THERE IS NO SEALABLE SPACE.
While encapsulating your crawl space will keep it dry, it will not work if there are huge air holes which allow outside air to enter.
If you are encapsulating a crawl space, it is necessary to lock out the outside air sources so that the dehumidifier can condition the air below.
DON’T OVERLOOK THE IMPORTANCE OF A DRAINAGE SYSTEM
Homeowners often overlook the drainage system & its importance, and assume that encapsulating it will keep the water out of their crawl space.
This is a common misconception, it does not prevent water entry & flooding underneath. Install a drainage system to avoid spending large amounts of money on water-damaged foundation repairs.
DON’T USE FIBERGLASS BETWEEN FLOOR JOISTS
In fact, it may be best to avoid using fiberglass at all. When it comes to crawl space insulation, the material works badly. The results are minor when the material is put in an unconditioned, ventilated room.
Because the material absorbs moisture, it loses its R-value. As a result, it is ineffective as an encapsulating material. Because of the weight of the water, fiberglass sags, creating holes in the encapsulation blanket.
Worse, most fiberglass batches are kept together by a urea-based glue. Mold thrives when fiberglass, glue, and moisture come together.
DON’T FORGET THE IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION
Doing it yourself is fun and cost-effective for some. However, assuming you can finish the crawl space encapsulation job on your own is a bad idea.
You risk wasting time, effort, and money if you don’t have the required skills and experience for crawl space encapsulation.
HERE ARE THE DO’S OF CRAWL SPACE ENCAPSULATION
Now, let’s talk about what you need to do. Here are our suggestions:
DO PREPARE THE CRAWL SPACE FOR ENCAPSULATION
Before anything else, you need to prepare your crawl space depending on its current state. Some of the issues may be:
- Mold Growth. Before you begin the actual encapsulating, look for symptoms of mold in the floor joists and HVAC equipment. Molds are most likely to develop in damp & dark areas.
- Insufficient Drainage system. Water has most likely seeped into your crawl space if your home does not have proper grading or has a badly maintained drainage system.
- Back drafting from your appliances. Conduct a safety examination to check that your combustion appliances are not releasing carbon monoxide into your living space.
DO SEAL THE CRAWL SPACE’S FLOOR, WALLS, & VENTS
The objective is to encapsulate the crawl space as much as possible from water, dirt, and outside air. Make sure you do the following:
- Install a heavy plastic vapor barrier on the floor of the crawlspace. The goal is to keep any moisture from entering the crawl area. Attach the vapor barrier to the walls, equipment, piers, air handler, and so on, in addition to the floor.
- Seal off every vent and opening. Spray foam and foam board can be used to keep outdoor elements from getting into the crawl space.
- Air Seal Gaps And Cracks. These may include band joists, plumbing penetrations, HVAC drain line runs, and wiring.
Choose The Right Crawl Space Encapsulation Professional
The best course of action is to hire a professional crawl space encapsulation contractor to do the work for you. A professional provides essential experience to the task, ensuring that it is done properly.
Bama Exterminating can help you in taking care of your crawl space. Our Crawlspace Care can eliminate a major source of moisture and all moisture-related issues. Call Bama today!