Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl space encapsulation is a big home improvement project. It can be a DIY project, but there are professionals who can encapsulate your crawl space with the precision and know-how that comes with years of experience. A DIY crawl space encapsulation job will save you some money, but you will need to be certain that you do each step perfectly.
The entire encapsulation job may be useless if moisture continues to enter the crawl space because the vapor barrier is not attached to the ground and walls properly. In fact, you can actually make the crawl space more susceptible to mold if the crawl space vents have been sealed shut and the vapor barrier has been installed incorrectly. Moisture will continue to enter your crawl space with no way to escape, making it a humid and damp environment.
Another potential problem is the insulation of the walls. If you want to use spray foam insulation for your walls and you are encapsulating the crawl space yourself, then you might be asking for trouble. Spray foam insulation is excellent for effectively filling small gaps and large areas alike. It can save a lot of energy. However, spray foam insulation undergoes a chemical change once it is sprayed, and guidelines about the spraying environment and application method should be strictly adhered to. This is another reason that you may want to consider a professional who has training and experience in spray foam application and crawl space encapsulation.
When a local professional encapsulates your crawl space in northwest Washington State, he or she will begin with an inspection and evaluation so that you can decide on the proper encapsulation method: regular insulation versus spray foam insulation, vents left open or sealed, dehumidifier installed or not.
Next, the crawl space will need to be cleaned of any debris and have any existing problems fixed and their causes addressed. Professionals can clean and remediate mold growth, replace rotten or chewed boards, and evaluate inside and outside your crawl space to find the cause of any problems that won’t directly be fixed by the encapsulation process—such as rain run-off, which needs to be directed away from and around your home.
Once the encapsulation process begins, a vapor barrier will be installed. This is a vinyl layer that covers the earth, walls, and supports of your crawl space. Sections will be overlapped, and the entire sheet will be sealed in accordance with your local and state regulations. During encapsulation, professionals can insulate your ducts as well as your crawl space walls and under the floors of your home.
After your crawl space is encapsulated, you will notice a few changes in your home. Floors should be consistently warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Any dank, musky smells in your home caused by drafts from the crawl space should be gone. And energy savings should be reflected on your monthly bills. The amount of savings will depend on how inefficient your crawl space was before encapsulation, but homeowners do see some savings.
Other benefits are not as noticeable, but they are just as wonderful. Crawl space encapsulation controls temperature and humidity, which means that your crawl space will be more resistant to mildew and mold. Lower humidity also makes the space inhospitable to bugs and other pests that like more moisture. And since your crawl space is sealed, bigger pests like rodents will have a more difficult time getting under your home. More than likely, rats, squirrels, skunks and other critters will find a place with easier access.
Crawl space encapsulation can give homeowners immeasurable peace of mind. Cleanliness, pest and mold resistance, and energy efficiency will last for years to come and allow you to focus your time and energy on other, less exacting DIY home projects, such as sealing windows and doors inside your home or painting bedrooms.
If you are living with cold floors during winter, damp air in certain rooms of your house, and high energy bills, then contact your local professional crawl space cleaners today to schedule an inspection of your crawl space.
Getting an estimate for your crawl space encapsulation is a quick and painless process, so don’t hesitate to get yours soon!