Why you should encapsulate your crawl space
Crawl space encapsulation is a valuable investment that can improve the health, comfort, and energy efficiency of your home. It is not simply another repair to perform on your home, but rather an enhancement that can increase the value of your property. One of the most important benefits of crawl space encapsulation is the impact it has on indoor air quality (IAQ). Crawl spaces are often damp, which can lead to mold growth and other air quality problems. Encapsulation seals the crawl space and installs a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from entering up into the crawl space. This can significantly improve IAQ, reducing allergens and other irritants that can trigger allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.
About Crawl Spaces
What is a crawl space?
A crawl space is a shallow area beneath the first floor of a building structure. In most cases, you crawl to navigate through this area of the home because it is often too short to stand or walk in. Crawl spaces are used to house mechanicals and utilities such as plumbing, electrical wiring, and HVAC systems. When presented with the opportunity, homeowners tend to also use crawl spaces for storage.
Crawl spaces are often damp for the following reasons:
- Crawl spaces are below grade, meaning they are surrounded by Earth below and on multiple sides of the perimeter. Soil holds moisture and that moisture works its way up into the crawl space.
- As temperature within crawl spaces decreases, RH does the inverse and increases.
- With vented crawl spaces, moisture laden air is able to come in during the hot summer months. The moisture in the air condenses on building materials in the crawl space and can remain damp and wet for long periods of time.
- Water flowing around the perimeter of the home from rainfall, clogged gutters, etc.
Crawl Space Problems
Crawl Space Mold growth
Moisture buildup within a crawl space in the form of high relative humidity can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can be harmful to your health.
With high relative humidity in your crawlspace, wood structures can become weakened over time as they soak up moisture and experience wood rot.
Insects and rodents can thrive in areas which are moist and dark. Certain pests can cause damage to your property while also spreading diseases throughout your home as they move throughout.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
A crawl space that is not properly sealed can allow dust, dirt, and other pollutants to enter your home. This can trigger health problems such as allergies and asthma. In addition, a moist crawl space can contribute to foul smells in the crawl space that can enter into the home.
Reduced Energy Efficiency
A crawl space that is not properly sealed can potentially cause your HVAC system to work harder, resulting in higher energy costs.
Advantages of Crawl Space Encapsulation
Added Storage Space
By sealing the crawl space, items can be stored in the crawl space without the risk of being exposed to excessive moisture, which otherwise could lead to damage. A good sized crawl space may be a perfect location to store seasonal decorations or other items not used often.
Encapsulating the crawl space prevents moisture damage, making the home more durable. By eliminating excessive moisture in the crawl space, you can prevent the need for costly structural repairs later down the road.
Appealing to Buyers
In the future, you may decide to sell your home. With a proper encapsulation of your crawl space, your home can become much more appealing to a potential buyer.
As mentioned already, crawl space encapsulation is a valuable investment that can improve the health, comfort, energy efficiency, and durability of your home. Out of all its benefits, the main focus for consideration of crawl space encapsulation should be on how it affects the home’s IAQ. There is no reasonable price anyone can put on healthy air to breathe. Beyond other reasons or benefits, this alone makes crawl space encapsulation fully worth it.
If you have any questions about encapsulation for your crawl space, please reach out to us via our contact form so that we may help you.