Top 3 Reasons to Encapsulate Your Crawl Space
Your crawlspace is part of your home.
Dirty Crawl Space
Take a look at the picture above. How would you feel about entering this crawl space? Our guess is you would probably not be too thrilled. Now let's ask another question. How do you think the air quality is within this crawlspace? Our guess is you are thinking the air quality is not good. And you're right.
One last question. What does your crawlspace look like?
Your crawlspace is part of your home. When you purchased your house, your purchased the crawlspace. And whether or not you go down there often or perhaps just a few times a year (if at all!), it's condition is very much affecting your quality of life.
Here are 3 reasons why you should encapsulate your crawlspace.
1. Improving Your Air Quality
Most crawlspaces have an exposed, dirt floor. Often times when this dirt is dry, it is soft and sandy. This means whenever the dirt is disturbed or moved around, it instantly becomes a cloud of dust. There is also the dust from fiberglass insulation that stirs around as well. Ultimately, this dust rises and enters your home above into your breathable air space. Yuck.
Other crawlspaces don't have a dust problem, but do suffer from moisture. Where there is moisture, there is usually rot, mold, or bacteria. These are things just below your feet in your home, that slowly but surely find their way into your breathable air. Again, yuck.
This alone is reason enough to want to encapsulate your crawlspace. With a vapor barrier installed, the problems mentioned above are no longer a concern. Dust is controlled, and moisture is prevented from entering the space. To further control moisture and air quality, it is also recommended you have a dehumidifier in your crawlspace.
2. Preventing Moisture Issues
Building off of the moisture concern mentioned above regarding air quality, there are other reasons moisture is a problem. If your crawlspace has a water or moisture problem, this is going to cause a lot of damage down the road. And for homeowners, damage means unwanted expenses.
Moisture is going to stick to organic materials in your crawlspace, like the wood joists and beams that make up your flooring system. Eventually, this will cause the wood to lose it's stability and integrity, leading to sagging floors that creak. Or even worse, beams that completely fail and collapse. The wood will need to be replaced, which is a costly and disruptive project for any homeowner. And if the moisture problem is not corrected, it will become an ongoing issue.
By encapsulating your crawlspace with a vapor barrier, this problem is solved. Moisture is controlled, and rot and mildew are kept at bay. It should be noted though, for crawlspaces with large amounts of water leaking in, a sump pump and drainage system will also be recommended in order to completely solve the water problem.
3. Improving Home Efficiency
Homeowners love it when they hear they can save money on heating and cooling by updating their windows or properly sealing their doors. Well, the same can be said about properly sealing your crawlspace. In New England, if you have a crawlspace that allows outside air to enter it freely, this is going to lead to cold floors. Even if you have fiberglass insulation, there is only so much that can do.
Let's think of it another way. If you had a full basement, would you leave the bulkhead door open, or your egress windows open, allowing the outside air to blow into your home throughout the year? The answer is no, because then your home would be freezing in the winter! Well, the same can be said about your crawlspace. As a homeowner, you should not be okay with letting air flow into your crawlspace throughout the year.
By properly encapsulating and insulating your crawlspace at the perimeter, the walls of the foundation, you are then preventing cold air from flowing directly beneath your floors. And that's how it should be. This will help your home be much more efficient, saving you in heating costs, and overall improving your quality of life.
Do you have concerns with your crawlspace in New Hampshire or Massachusetts? Do you want better air quality, less moisture concerns, and better home efficiency? Our team is on hand to crawl in their for you, offer a free inspection, and provide you with an estimate on what it will take to properly encapsulate your crawlspace.