Crawl space encapsulation completely transforms an often neglected area of the home. Instead of dreading the dark, mysterious area under your home, you don’t have to worry about your bright new crawl space.
There are four types of people who benefit the most from crawl space encapsulation. Keep reading so learn what encapsulation means and find out if you’re someone who needs this upgrade to improve your quality of life.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Is Done in Steps
The first step is a scheduled inspection of your crawl space. Professionals evaluate the under-house area, testing for the following:
- Drainage issues
- Humidity levels
- Integrity of sills and joists
- Cracks or leaks in foundation
- Collapse of foundation sections
- Infestation of pests and mold
You must address any pest, mildew, and structural issues and have repairs and treatments done by the proper professionals. Then, you must empty the crawl space of all debris and storage.
You may need to hire a remodeling contractor to replace or brace floor joists and a pest control firm to treat your home for anything living in your crawl space. Additionally, you may need a mason to repair or replace concrete block or stone before you install the actual encapsulation system.
Many companies that install encapsulation systems also repair crawl space drainage issues. This may be as simple a fix as replacing an outdated sump pump, or it may be a more complicated process that includes regrading the crawl space floor and adding a new drainage tile with buried drain lines.
Once all of the crawl space issues are resolved, your crawl space is ready to be encapsulated. Depending on the dimensions and depth of your crawl space, it will have a primary covering placed on the floor. This may be gravel, gas-dispersing fabric, foam, or a combination of all of the above. Some encapsulation methods require no underlayment.
Next, professionals roll out a very strong layer of white material to completely cover the floors, posts, and walls of your crawl space. The edges of each rolled out section overlap on the next, and the overlapping edges are sealed.
The Four Kinds of People Who Need Crawl Space Encapsulation
There are some people who need crawl space encapsulation yet may not realize it. If you’re one of the following people, now you know what you’re missing.
You Live Where Radon’s a Risk
The Northwest has issues with radon, so your home should be tested for this dangerous gas every two years. Homes in risky areas of Washington State should also practice routine radon mitigation.
One important component of mitigation is sealing the crawl space to prevent the colorless, odorless radon gas from entering the living areas via the bare ground under the house. Standard rolled vapor barrier doesn’t seal your home as effectively as encapsulation does.
You or a Family Member Has Asthma or Allergies
Allergies and asthma are exacerbated by stale air that comes into the home. Since a large percentage of your home’s air quality depends on the air quality in your crawl space, it’s important to make sure the under-house space is as clean and free of mold, mildew, dust, and pollen as possible.
Animal droppings, old paint and chemicals, and rotting batt insulation make air dangerous for people with breathing sensitivities. Anything that prevents bad air from entering the home should be done when asthma attacks or allergic reactions pose a risk to someone in the home.
You Fear the Great Unknown
If you have an intense fear or dislike of your crawl space, you’re not alone. Many people have a phobia or two relating to the crawl space. There are even horror stories written about crawl space nightmares. When you’re terrified of spiders, snakes, or dark, confined spaces, your crawl space is the last place on earth you want to enter, even in a home emergency.
Once encapsulation is done, your crawl space is clean and visible. The bright encapsulation material keeps creepy crawly things out, and you don’t need a lot of light to make your way around under the house. Even your clothes stay clean.
You Need the Storage Space
In smaller homes, or those with many household members, space is at a premium. You may need the crawl space area for overflow storage. Without encapsulation, a moldy or leaking crawl space is no place to store anything a person intends to preserve. When it’s time to retrieve any stored items from the crawl space, it’s hard to maneuver around in the dark, shallow space to locate items.
Once encapsulation is completed, you have a clean surface on which to set non-sharp items like boxed goods. You can easily locate the items later in your clean, bright new crawl space.
Trust Perma-Dry Waterproofing & Drainage, Inc. to install your crawl space encapsulation and improve your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule an inspection and facelift for your grungy crawl space.