It is impossible to discuss crawl space waterproofing measures and not mention encapsulation. Every homeowner in and around Grand Junction who has a property that sits on top of a crawl space should be familiar with this concept.
Encapsulation is a simple, yet extremely effective waterproofing solution. It involves lining the crawl space walls and floor with a vapor barrier, therefore protecting your crawl space from the outside elements. Why is this important? The soil beneath your home contains moisture that rises up from the ground and enters your crawl space.
Encapsulating a crawlspace In addition, if your crawl space is not sealed in any way, moisture-laden air can enter it freely. When moisture enters your crawl space it leads to mold growth, wood rot, allergies, and even pest infestation. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you could benefit from encapsulation.
1. Keep moisture level under control
The number one reason why homeowners should encapsulate their crawl space is moisture control. Moisture can impact your home’s health and the health of your loved ones. It will attract all sorts of pests, lead to mold growth and turn your comfortable home into an inhospitable environment.
There are two main sources of moisture and one of them is crawl space vents. These fixtures were very popular in the 1950s when it was thought that a vented crawl space is much less prone to mold growth. However, the opposite turned out to be true. Moisture can enter through these openings and cause numerous problems in your crawl space. The other source of moisture is the soil. Dirt crawl spaces are very common, but without proper encapsulation, they can struggle with many issues.
2. Make Your Crawl Space More Difficult for Pests to Enter
It is safe to say that no owners of a resort home, ski resort, or home in general want to deal with a pest infestation. These creatures can enter your crawl space looking for food and shelter, and since unsealed crawl spaces are dark and moist, they create a perfect environment for pests. Once they are inside, these unwanted guests will leave droppings that can contaminate the air, damage your wooden structures, destroy your insulation and cause various other problems. If you wish to help deter pests, encapsulating your crawl space is a step in the right direction. Keep in mind that pests can squeeze into your home even through the smallest openings, which is why covering your entire crawl space with a vapor barrier is the best solution.
3. Keep Your Crawl Space Clean
With proper encapsulation, you will be able to use your crawl space for storage, since it will remain dry and the dirt floor will be covered up. In addition, you won’t have to worry about your possessions becoming moldy. Mold growth usually happens when moisture gets up above 65%. Once your crawl space has been encapsulated, your local experts can install a dehumidifier that will regulate humidity levels in this area.
4. Allergy Prevention
When your crawl space is not encapsulated, pest infestation and mold and mildew growth can easily happen. Both of these things can cause problems for those with allergies and respiratory problems in general. When the contaminated air from the crawl space warms up, it moves up and enters the living area, where airborne allergens wreak havoc on your family members.
5. Lower Energy Bills
Have you noticed how your energy bills are really high? If you have not encapsulated your crawl space, your heating and cooling systems need to work hard to keep the temperatures in your home under control. Moist air is much more difficult to heat or cool, so your appliances will use more power, which will reflect on your energy bills. Homeowners with crawl spaces without encapsulation could spend 15% to 25% more on their bills than homeowners with encapsulated crawl spaces.
If you believe your home will benefit from encapsulation, contact local crawl space professionals and have them install it for you. They will lay a plastic 20-mil vapor barrier on the crawl space floor and attach it to the walls. This will keep moisture out of your crawl space. Foundation experts will also seal off all vents and openings to the outdoors and air seal all the gaps and cracks. If you tend to have a very humid home, they will also install a dehumidifier to regulate moisture levels.
How to Properly Maintain Your Encapsulation
While encapsulation seems like a rather simple solution, it still needs to be properly maintained. Only that way it will be able to serve you for years to come. It is recommended to check if there are any air leaks around the door and the ducts from time to time. Moisture can sneak into your crawl space through these openings, and turn your crawl space into a moldy and damp mess. To make sure your encapsulation is in perfect order, schedule regular maintenance services with your local foundation experts. Foundation Repair of Western Colorado specialists can perform annual checkups, thereby nipping any problems in the bud.
Also, do not keep your tools in your encapsulated crawl space. Some homeowners use this space as a backup tool shed, but keep in mind that pointy tool boxes could rip the barrier and create a convenient opening for moisture as well as pests such as mice and other rodents. With that said, don’t use your crawl space as a pantry, either. Keeping food in the crawl space is never a good idea since it can lure in various pests that will then inhabit your home and cause a lot of damage.
Signs of Crawl Space Encapsulation Malfunction
If something has happened to your vapor barrier, you will be able to notice moisture on walls or the floor. In addition, your floors could become very cold and you will suddenly have increased heating costs. Also, your home will get that musty smell and you could even notice an increased pest activity. If this happens, contact your local crawl space expert and have them take a look at your crawl space. If you wish to install encapsulation in your home in Grand Junction, CO, contact professionals at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado and schedule a free inspection and quote.