An encapsulated crawl space means less humidity and cleaner air in the property you manage, which leads to healthier, happier tenants. Neglect a crawl space, and you’ll have moisture damage, pest infestation, and moldy air—things you and your occupants do not want to deal with.
An un-encapsulated crawl space is a dark, wet, nasty place full of mold. While this is bad enough, it becomes even worse when that allergen-filled air makes its way into a property’s living area.
In this article, we’re going to cover the definition of an encapsulated crawl space, the benefits, the difference between an encapsulated crawl space and an insulated crawl space, the encapsulation process, crawl space encapsulation cost, and more.
What is an encapsulated crawl space?
An encapsulated crawl space is one where the walls and crawl space floor are covered in thick, polyurethane plastic that locks out moisture.
Adding a dehumidifier to an encapsulated crawl space kicks everything up a notch by offering a way to regulate the moisture level in the crawl space. The result is better air quality in the property you manage, because the crawl space’s air is clean and dry.
Benefits of an encapsulated crawl space
The benefits of an encapsulated crawl space include:
- Your tenants stay healthier – As we noted above, a certain amount of air from a crawl space makes its way up and into a home’s living area. If a crawl space is full of mold, dust, and other dangerous allergens, the air coming out of it will be as well.
- Your tenants will enjoy a more comfortable home – Lower humidity along with cleaner air means greater comfort and the potential for lower energy costs.
- Encapsulation helps prevent structural problems – Making sure the wood in your property’s crawl space stays clean, dry, and safe from gnawing pests helps to ensure the building’s structural integrity.
What’s the difference between an encapsulated crawl space and an insulated crawl space?
An insulated crawl space prevents cool and warm air from escaping your property’s living areas through the floor. An encapsulated crawl space is all about keeping moisture out of the crawl space and ensuring it stays clean and dry.
Steps to an encapsulated crawl space
The process of encapsulating a crawl space is as follows:
- First, we do an initial inspection and assessment.
- If there’s any insulation in the crawl space, we remove it.
- We get rid of any loose debris in the crawl space.
- We seal vents, gaps around pipes, ducts, etc.
- We apply the polyurethane vapor barrier to the crawl space floor and walls.
- We install a dehumidifier to ensure the humidity level in the crawl space stays low.
- We install an air sealed crawl space door.
- Crawl space encapsulation can usually be completed in a couple of days but may take longer depending on the size of the building and conditioning.