Here we will be looking at the benefits and negatives to crawl space encapsulation.
Basement moisture issues are real threats property owners have to deal with.
This is mostly the case with homes located around high humidity areas. Now, the natural response is to have such property moisture-proofed.
This is in addition to finding other moisture sources within the home and having them fixed.
Crawl space encapsulation is what we seek to focus on. The crawl space area is one vulnerable point through which moisture easily gets into a home.
Having this space or area encapsulated helps prevent moisture penetration. This article takes a look at the benefits derived from this activity.
About Crawl Space Encapsulation
For the sake of those having no idea what this process is about, let’s briefly state what this process is about.
Crawl space encapsulation is simply the process whereby your crawl space is covered with materials impermeable to moisture.
This protective barrier seals up the dirt as well as any gaps through which moisture or water vapor gets into the structure causing all sorts of problems. What more?
The simple action of crawl space encapsulation increases heating and cooling efficiency by up to 20%.
Is Crawl Space Encapsulation Really Necessary?
Sometimes, homeowners may doubt the efficacy of crawl space encapsulation.
This is likely to be the case in situations where a wide variety of moisture protection techniques (asides from crawl space encapsulation) have been deployed with little to no results.
However, the truth remains that crawl space encapsulation does a lot of good in the prevention of damage.
The effects resulting from exposure to moisture are likely to include musty odors, buckling or warped floors, peeling paint as well as mildewed carpets.
What more? You’re likely to notice rusts with the metal components of your structure.
Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation
Several benefits are derived from crawl space encapsulation.
These include the increased comfort on floors, improvement of air quality, enhanced energy efficiency as well as a reduction in pest infestation.
Others include protection from mold, the prevention of structural damage, and the creation of storage space.
There are more crawl space encapsulation benefits. Additional benefits are the enhancement of healthy living. Are there any negatives?
Let’s first discuss the benefits before anything else.
Increased Floor Comfort
One of the noticeable signs of an encapsulated crawl space is the improvement of floor comfort. Such comfort comes by way of a moderate temperature during the winter season.
Instead of the usual cold floors, encapsulation prevents cold floors.
An added benefit of encapsulation is that it eliminates the wet and humid feeling of floors during the summer months.
On the whole, there’s a remarkable increase in comfort as your floors tend to be easier to walk on under different climatic conditions.
Improvement of Air Quality
Improvement in air quality is one of the key benefits of crawl space encapsulation. The air quality within a home is mostly affected by moisture presence.
There’s usually a musty feeling that arises from moisture penetration from a crawl space. With encapsulation, there’s a general improvement in your home’s air quality.
Humid air no longer circulates within your home and damage to structural components is contained. Another benefit derived from improved air quality is enhanced health.
Cleaner air within a home eliminates the likelihood of respiratory-related illnesses.
Enhanced Energy Efficiency
The presence of damp air in a home is one of the main causes of inefficient heating and cooling.
Such damp air arises from the crawl space. With encapsulation, all that is contained. Your HVAC systems tend to function much better as they provide more efficient heating and cooling of your interior spaces.
This impacts your utility bills as you tend to pay less than usual in utility costs. With significant improvement in efficiency, your heating and cooling systems should also last longer as they aren’t overworked.
Energy efficiency has a multiplier effect that impacts positively on several other areas.
Reduction in Pest Infestation
Pests are known to be drawn to moisture.
Asides from food and shelter, moisture is another major source of attraction. Now a home without an encapsulated crawl space has lots of moisture issues.
This is in turn leads to increased insect pest presence and activity.
The opposite is true when crawl space encapsulation is performed. Problematic pests like termites have no moisture incentive to start a colony around your home.
Of course, encapsulation needs to be professionally done to have a real chance of pest prevention.
Protection from Mold
The enclosed space or area of a crawl space serves as a mold breeding ground.
This is made possible by moisture presence. This mostly occurs when the area isn’t dried enough after exposure to significant amounts of moisture coming from pipe leaks or flooding.
With encapsulation in place, all of that is resolved as the crawl space is shielded from moisture.
With the absence of mold growth, the inhalation of mold spores resulting in respiratory illnesses and allergies is significantly reduced.
Prevention of Structural Damage
Without a doubt, structural damage is what results from continued exposure to moisture.
Wood rot arising from exposure to water can easily spread to flooring, wood frames, and other wooden sections of the home. Before long, such spread leads to significant structural damage.
Crawl space encapsulation helps prevent all of that because it keeps out moisture, thus making it unlikely for wood rot to begin.
However, such encapsulation has to be done early as existing wood rot is unlikely to be reversed through encapsulation. Extensive repair will have to be done to fix such a problem.
Creation of Storage Space
With crawl space encapsulation comes suitable space that can be used for a lot of things including storage. You can declutter your home by storing some boxes within the crawl space.
Here, there’s no fear of moisture damage as the entire crawl space is sealed up.
The Downsides of Crawl Space Encapsulation
Since there are several benefits to crawl space encapsulation, this moisture-proofing process has its downsides.
First off, it isn’t a cheap procedure, plus, it may require an upgrade of your HVAC system which can significantly increase project costs.
These are the several benefits of crawl space encapsulation.
We’ve concluded this article by also looking at the disadvantages of crawl space encapsulation.