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A Handy Guide to Plastic Crawl Space Barrier Encapsulation

Friday, February 28th, 2020


Have a vented dirt crawl space in your Florida home? It’s right about time you seal it. See, the more your crawl space remains open the more problems are likely to mount. We wouldn’t want to see you deal with a moldy, pest-ridden or musty crawl space or the high heating costs and costly repairs associated with them.

You can avert all these problems by installing a plastic crawl space vapor barrier over this space. It will ensure your below-the-ground area remains dry, healthy and usable!

Crawl Space Encapsulations

What Types of Encapsulation are Highly Effective?

We all love getting two or three options, but frankly, there aren't different types of crawl space encapsulations. It’s either you install a plastic barrier only or with other waterproofing systems.

Sealing your crawl space with a plastic encapsulation is a good idea, but combining it with other waterproofing systems such as sump pumps and dehumidifiers is a much better idea. It adds that extra layer of protection that ensures humidity remains within the normal range. At the same time, it stops flooding from wreaking havoc in your home. Of course, it’s going to cost you money in the short term, but the gains you will make simply don’t compare.

What’s best? A 6-mil, 12-mil, or 20-mil reinforced vapor barrier? Hugely popular with contractors, the 20-mil is extremely durable. A typical vapor barrier consists of three components: a white top layer made from pure virgin polyethylene resin, reinforcement cord, and antimicrobial additive.

Buying Plastic Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

At the center of every encapsulation project is one key material and that’s the plastic encapsulation. While cheaper versions are available at local hardware stores, it's best to check with your local crawl space and foundation contractor that will likely be able to offer you a longer-lasting option that comes with a warranty.

How Long Does Barrier Installation Take?

Typical encapsulation projects could take a couple of hours if the crawl space is in good condition. However, it’s possible for a project to run for several days if the crawl space is in bad shape. In this case, you’ll have to clear out debris, clean out space, fix any damaged or loose fixtures, replace rusty pipes, and replace torn insulation before encapsulation is done. If you’re doing an encapsulation for the first time, ask your local basement contractor to inspect the crawl space and advise you on the next course of action.

Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost

Every big project will certainly draw your attention. Likewise, encapsulation may get you to even venture into below the ground spaces, where you rarely visit. And it’s for the simple reason that you want to see what plastic encapsulation can do to your home and what it’ll cost you.

Set aside at least $10,000 for your next project. How much you’ll spend ultimately depends on the size of the area that needs to be encapsulated as well as its condition. If the space is clean, sealing can start the same day, and that means less time spent cleaning or clearing out debris or other problems.

The bulk of your expenses will go toward material and labor. To be precise, the wage for the installers and materials such as plastic vapor barrier, adhesive seam tape, and caulk. That’s not all. Where flooding or high humidity is a problem, it would be best to acquire a dehumidifier and sump pumps to keep the crawl space dry.

Should I Install a Vapor Barrier Myself?

Vapor barriers installation isn’t as simple as some of those DIY videos tell you. Sealing the crawl space is an undertaking that requires experts with the right mix of skill and knowledge. Otherwise, you could end up with an improper installation that's going to cause unhealthy air filled with dust mites, allergens, and mold spores to enter your home. And you know all too well what these could do to your health.

The other reason you should let a professional undertake plastic encapsulation is a poorly sealed crawl space can let in moisture, attract pests and induce rust and wood rot. You can’t rule out the risk of physical injury or electrocution if your electric wires are unsheathed in some places. For this and many other reasons, it’s best to work with a trusted contractor.

Struggling with moisture problems in your Florida home? Covering your crawl space walls and floor with a thick plastic encapsulation can eliminate moisture and make your home comfortable as well as energy-efficient. Schedule a home visit and get a free crawl space encapsulation quote today!

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  • A Handy Guide to Plastic Crawl Space Barrier Encapsulation
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Florida Foundation Authority
210 Springview Commerce Dr
DeBary, FL 32713
1-321-245-9142
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