Are you looking to get a house with a crawl space or do you already have one? Are you wondering what would be the best way to tackle the crawl space problems? Well, here is the crawl space 101 guide along with the latest technology for the crawl space – encapsulation!
A crawl space is essentially a vacant area that lies under houses between the ground and the first floor. The height of the crawl space can be anything from 1 to 3 feet, which as the name signifies is just as big for someone to crawl.
So basically a crawlspace is a subbasement, that is a vertically small underground space located under the main basement or it is a replacement for a basement itself, but one where you can crawl and not walk.
The problem with a crawl space is that it can easily get dirty and damp. Excessive moisture in the crawlspace can cause a nuisance of mold, fungi, termites, and rats.
The vapor enters the crawlspace from the ground. The vapor then moves up from the crawlspace into the house. This can not only causes damage to the rest of your house but it also reduces the indoor air quality which can result in various health conditions.
To avoid these problems, it is important to keep your crawlspace clean and dry. There have been multiple solutions — proper ventilation, installing air pumps, exhaust fans or even dehumidifiers. Some of these methods have turned out to be futile.
For instance, crawl space ventilation does not work well to prevent the dirt and damp. The latest leading technology and the one increasingly gaining popularity is the crawl space encapsulation. Encapsulation is a method where you completely seal the crawl space with a polythene barrier and sealing tape.
Encapsulation involves removing all debris and sharp rocks, sealing all vents and doors and insulating with a thick plastic layer. The encapsulation method is best combined with a dehumidifier to regulate the moisture level.
- It positively reduces moisture to a great extent.
- It enhances the air quality in your crawl space and your house by blocking the vapor, dust or gasses from the soil.
- It gives you healthier living conditions.
- The additional insulation and the blockage of moisture and air leaks help maintain the heat in the house and thus reduces your heat bills.
- It does not permit pests and wood-destroying insects to breed in your crawl space.
- It gets rid of the problem of fungi/ mold.
- It helps maintains the structural integrity of your house.
- It ensures that there is no room for insects and rats, thus protecting your wiring and other substructures from being damaged.
- It provides a safer home.
- As of now, the only visible con is the expense. Installing a crawl space encapsulation can be very expensive. However, that depends entirely on you – your budget, the products you use and the contractor you hire. The cost of crawl space encapsulation can range anything from a thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars.
- If you have wires and piping running through the crawl space – which most people do – then you need to call plumbers and electricians for safety measures and that might add to your expense.
- Also, if you have wires and piping and other such substructures in the encapsulation, anytime you need to access those substructures, you will essentially break the capsule. So we can say it that those substructures have restricted access after encapsulation and accessing them becomes slightly expensive.
So if you’re considering the construction of a crawl space or if you already have the structure in place, then it is highly recommended that you consider investing in an encapsulation. As you can see the only con is the expenditure involved.
That means that all you need to worry about is saving up for an encapsulation. Once that is done, you can end the worry of infestations, bad air quality, unhealthy living conditions, damages to the structural integrity and even poor heating and insulation will be taken care of.
While you might have to shell out for the encapsulation, you will land up saving in the long run as it can reduce your heating costs. Despite the recommendation, having read the pros and cons for yourself, you are now in the best position to make an informed decision for your home.