A musty and damp crawl space is bad for your home. Not only does it make indoor living unbearable, but it also weakens the underlying structure, causing joists to sag. This can hurt the structural integrity of your Orlando, FL, home. Because of this and many other reasons, it makes sense to encapsulate your crawl space before things take a turn for the worse.
In this post, we shall define crawl space encapsulation, highlight the steps involved, and finish off with the benefits of doing it.
Crawl Space Encapsulation – What Is It?
Crawl space encapsulation refers to the process of using a vapor barrier to protect the interior of the crawl space. The barrier is usually installed on the wall surface and the flooring. This effectively keeps out moisture from entering or building up in this space. Done properly, encapsulation separates the crawl space interior from harsh outdoor conditions and at the same time keeps it clean and dry.
Steps to Encapsulate a Home
Encapsulating a home is a straightforward process. While the actual procedures vary from one contractor to contractor, the basic procedures include:
- Preparing the crawl space by removing damaged insulation and carrying out the necessary repairs.
- Sealing off vents and openings on side walls including doors leading outside to stop the inflow of air.
- Existing moisture and remaining humidity are removed from the crawl space.
- Once the sealing is complete and moisture levels brought down, the contractor goes ahead to insulate the walls to prevent heat transfer from the interior to the outside.
- An energy-efficient dehumidifier may be installed to reduce and control moisture levels.
- A 20-mil vapor barrier is then installed around the ground to stop water seepage.
- If the crawl space is damaged, the contractor can use IntelliJack crawl space support posts to level and stabilize it.
- Where the contractor believes there’s a significant risk of flooding, they will install an interior drainage system and sump pump to collect any flood water that enters your crawl space and channel it outside before it causes damage.
Typical projects could take from a few days to a week or two depending on the size and condition of the crawl space. The good thing is that most contractors offer warranties on vapor barriers, and sometimes it could be anything between 20-25 years. Ensure that you work with a contractor who backs their work with a warranty.
Benefits of Encapsulating Your Orlando, FL, Home
Just like any significant process in a home, it’s natural for a homeowner to ask what there is to gain. A lot.
First, you will enjoy better indoor air quality. You won’t have to deal with high moisture issues — damp floors and walls — and the problems that come with it such as mold and mildew growth. You and your loved ones will live and breathe easy all year round.
Since your home is dry, you will make it less hospitable for pests and termites. Both thrive in damp and moist crawl spaces. Encapsulating your crawl space makes it less attractive so there’s less of a chance for insects or pests to chew your furniture or the wooden structures in the space below your home.
Do you know there’s a direct correlation between a damp crawl space and your energy costs? A damp crawl space makes the air conditioner or furnace work extra hard to bring down moisture and to warm the rooms than an encapsulated one. Crawl space encapsulation seals off outside air, meaning the air above and below will have similar moisture levels and temperatures.
When you encapsulate your crawl space, you turn it into a viable storage space for your old items and possessions so you longer have to stash them or pile them up in your garage. Just move them to the clean and dry crawl space, and they will remain in good condition for many years to come.
Encapsulation also reduces the need for repairs. With your pipes, electric wires, and wooden joists all sealed and protected from the elements, you won’t be calling home repair contractors anytime soon. You will save a considerable amount of money that would have gone to repairing weak joists, rusty pipes, and frayed cables.
Don’t take chances with your crawl space. Leave it to wither and you will pay the ultimate price. Encapsulate it on time and you will make your home a haven of comfort.
Want to prevent moisture from entering the crawl space and triggering mold growth or pest infestation? Request a free crawl space encapsulation quote and get solid recommendations from trusted repair professionals.