Crawl spaces are humid, dark places where mold grows, wood rots, and bad air accumulates. The smells and humidity from a neglected crawl space will eventually make it into your house above. These problems contribute to energy inefficiency, unnecessary home repairs, and even health problems.
Fortunately, crawl space encapsulation is a cost-effective process that locks out unwanted moisture and keeps your crawl space from causing complications. The experienced team at United Structural Systems offers crawl space encapsulation services for houses all throughout Tennessee.
What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Crawl space encapsulation is one of the most effective ways of preventing damages caused by indoor moisture. The process involves using a thick plastic vapor barrier to completely cover the interior of your crawl space. This barrier will be laid out over floors, walls, and sometimes the ceiling of your crawl space. Once the area has been sealed, a dehumidifier is typically installed in the encapsulated crawl space to further prevent excess moisture.
How to Know if You Need Crawl Space Encapsulation
Some of the most common problems that signal crawl space moisture issues are mold and mildew. However, you might not consider that the following are signs that it’s time to think about crawl space encapsulation:
Sweat on your windows
Your home shouldn’t be so humid that your windows are sweating. This is a definite sign your crawl space needs attention.
Issues with insects and rodents
Many critters you don’t want inside thrive in warm, humid environments. Seal them out with crawl space encapsulation.
Cracks in your foundation
High moisture content from your humid crawl space can lead to high hydrostatic pressure and too much hydrostatic pressure can damage your home’s foundation.
High cooling costs
If you know your cooling systems are working well and can’t figure out why your costs keep rising, it’s time to check your crawl space.
Bad smell around your home
You’ve cleaned every inch of your home and a stink still lingers, it’s likely your neglected crawl space full of bad, stale air seeping into the rest of your home.By encapsulating your crawl space, you don’t just fix the symptoms, like smells and high utility bills, you also solve the problem at its cause.
What are the benefits of crawl space encapsulation?
Encapsulating your crawl space provides several benefits from lowering your utility bill to protecting the health of your family. Here are some of the ways encapsulating your crawl space can be beneficial:
- Improve your home’s air quality and humidity levels
- Reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home
- Prevent the growth of mold and mildew
- Protect the wooden structure of your home from rotting due to moisture damage
Crawl Space Insulation and Encapsulation
If you’re considering crawl space insulation, the best time to do so is during the encapsulation process. Along with encapsulation, insulating your crawl space will further improve your home’s energy efficiency. Using the correct kind of insulation material will go one step further to ensure your crawl space doesn’t accumulate excess moisture and permit mold growth.
Four Steps to Control Humidity
There are four steps to controlling the humidity that builds up in crawl spaces.
First, drain any groundwater by installing a proper interior drainage system, if needed.
Second, encapsulate the crawl space to isolate it from the soil underneath.
Third, block moist air from getting into the crawl space by closing vents, joints, and gaps.
Lastly, install a dehumidifier.
Worried about moisture underneath your home? Contact us for a free assessment.Request a Free Evaluation
Hi, this is John Lombardi with United Structural Systems. One of the questions that I get asked a lot is: how do I fix my crawl space? Well, first let’s back up and discuss—what are the four major problems you might find in a crawlspace?
Number one, and the thing you need to take care of first and foremost is: do you have any groundwater or standing water in your crawl space? If you do, that needs to be addressed first, and we do that with an interior footing drain.
The second step to fixing your crawl space is to isolate the house from the earth. Now, how do we do that? We encapsulate your crawl space with a thick, plastic liner across the floor and up the walls and around any columns.
Thirdly, and this goes hand-in-hand with Step 2, which is encapsulation, is to seal off any outside air. As you have in the summer, hot, humid air, coming in through the vents into your crawl space, the humidity level the humidity level in your crawl space will spike and lead to problems, because that hot humid air will condense on cold surfaces such as ductwork and block walls and the wood in your crawl space, leading to problems. So, by sealing off the vents and any outside air, we cut down on that. Also, in the winter, we keep the cold air from getting in there and making your house less comfortable.
The fourth step is to install a dehumidifier. Sometimes after encapsulation and air sealing, the humidity level is still high enough to be a concern for mold and mildew growth. So, we install a dehumidifier to dry out your crawl space and take it below the percentage we want to prevent mold growth.
If you have any questions about fixing your crawlspace or any questions at all about any of the things we talked about, call USS at 615-227-2275 or find us out online at USSTN.com.
Real Crawl Space Waterproofing
Many companies offer crawl space waterproofing but don’t do it to our standard. When we encapsulate a crawl space, we use 12-millimeter-thick plastic and seal any cracks, seams, and vents with spray foam and caulk to lock out all moisture from the surrounding atmosphere and soil. Doing it any other way may help reduce moisture levels in a crawl space, but it won’t make it truly waterproof.
Learn more about how we do crawl space waterproofing better than others by contacting us today.Request a Free Evaluation