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Crawl Space Encapsulation: A Step-By-Step Guide

Crawl spaces are naturally prone to moisture and heat problems that can damage the structure of your house. When this happens, the insulation that traps the moisture and heat can weaken, making it more difficult for you to control what’s going on inside the crawl space. 

Moisture from the soil that often seeps into the basement through cracks in your foundation is the reason that you have these problems. 

The insulation underneath acts like a sponge, causing moisture to be trapped against its surface when it’s dry and ineffective when it’s wet.

 While you may want to replace your old insulation, a better solution for your crawl space is encapsulation.

What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Crawl space encapsulation is a new process that involves replacing the existing insulating blanket with additional insulated coverings on top of the foundation. 

When this is done, a crawl space will be much less susceptible to dry rot and other problems, as well as to cold spots in the winter months.

The cost of crawl space encapsulation will generally be competitive with the expense of replacing an entire foundation. 

While crawl space encapsulation does not prevent water from getting into the existing crawl space soil, it can help reduce moisture and its harmful effects.

How Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Work?

Under normal conditions, a crawl space will be filled with a layer of damp soil that absorbs moisture from the air that enters through outside openings. While this is not unusual, if the soil is saturated with water, it won’t hold up to the weight of the insulation or other material.

Crawl space encapsulation Richmond VA involves installing an eVent waterproofing system and thick foam insulation on top of the foundation. 

The process seals the entire crawl space so that there’s no way for any outside elements to get inside except through vents explicitly designed for airflow and temperature control while eliminating any risk of mold or mildew growth. 

This protects against both water and cold spots by preventing moisture from reaching its surface and insulating it simultaneously.

Why Should You Consider Crawl Space Encapsulation?

First and foremost is that it keeps the heat in, which can slow the rate at which your foundation rots. Another benefit is that it prevents moist soil from becoming loose and causing dry rot in the insulation. 

This can help you keep your home cool while still reducing moisture that might lead to damage or poor performance. 

The next most important thing to consider when thinking about crawl space encapsulation is your budget. If you want to replace an entire foundation, you will likely spend more. 

The cost will be less if you only want to make the crawl space more efficient and less vulnerable to dry rot damage. 

Another thing to remember is that crawl space encapsulation offers plenty of advantages over just keeping a foundational system in place. 

As mentioned before, crawl space encapsulation isn’t a replacement for an entire foundation. It’s a solution for compromised soffits and foundations because of water infiltration and inadequate insulation. 

The good news is that many other cases of moisture penetration are prevented. With a proper application of this process, moisture penetration caused by water leaks, condensation, and damage from hurricanes can be avoided.

Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation

The following are some of the benefits of crawl space encapsulation;

It Can Help Reduce Condensation

One of the most significant benefits of crawl space encapsulation is that it can prevent water from getting into the crawl space, leading to condensation.

If you have a sealed foundation, this is less likely to happen. It won’t have any air getting into it except through vents designed to regulate temperature and airflow while keeping out all other elements.

Airflow is Improved

With a crawl space encapsulation system in place, your crawl space will be better protected against the elements and water infiltration, which causes moisture and mold growth.

By creating an airtight seal around the crawl space, you eliminate drafts and other sources of moisture. 

That keeps your home warm in winter and cool in summer, which can improve your HVAC function and efficiency.

It Improves Your Home Value

By providing a clean, dry crawl space environment, you significantly increase your home’s value. After all, nobody wants to buy a home with a moist basement (which is essentially what a dirty crawl space is). It’s disgusting! 

Clean up the environment and reduce humidity levels. You’ll find that having a clean crawl space will improve the overall feel of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

It’s Environmentally Friendly

A clean crawl space is better for the environment and the planet. Since there isn’t any moisture, it won’t attract termites and mold growth. 

Even better, you won’t have to worry about water seeping into the ground beneath your home.

Instead of pooling up beneath your foundation, it all absorbs into the linear system.

How Much Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost?

Crawl space encapsulation can cost between $1,000 and $1,500 to cover an 8 ft x 3 ft crawl space with a ground wound R-22 insulation blanket. 

There is not much room in the attic, so there are no extra costs associated with extending the insulation down into the crawl space.

The more contamination present in your crawl space, the more insulation you need to provide cold weather protection.

Some people use an air gap to help insulate the crawl space. An air gap is simply a void in your concrete slab or crawlspace foundation where the wall terminates.

How To Save Money On Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Here are some ideas you might consider to help you save money on Crawl space encapsulation;

Do not over-insulate your crawl space. This can cause a fire hazard.

 When using a vapor barrier, please do not install it tightly against the backside of the insulation blanket. Otherwise, moisture will condense on the blanket. It will be pulled through by your HVAC system as dust in the winter and build-up in the summer months.

Do not use vapor barriers for crawl spaces that face the ground. The ground will be your most excellent heat source in the winter, so it needs to be well insulated.

 Consider adding a second layer of insulation to prevent heat loss through air leakage around the perimeter of your crawl space.

Avoid applying sealants or adhesives that contain petroleum products or urea formaldehyde-formaldehyde foam insulation board. When they are cured, these products can cause off-gassing, and air leakage will allow additional heat loss in the winter months.

Signs That you Need Crawl Space Encapsulation

If you notice moisture on your foundation, this is a sign that you need to have the insulation fixed.

 If the insulation is old, damaged, or missing altogether, you’ll need to have it replaced.

 If the temperature underneath your home remains above 68 degrees during the winter months, you may need to install insulation.

Another sign that a crawl space encapsulation Richmond VA solution may be suitable for your home is if you notice mold build-up or see signs of a musty odor in the area below your home.

How to Find a Legit Crawl Space Encapsulation Service in Richmond, VA?

Are you in the market for a company to do crawl space encapsulation Richmond VA? Consider these factors:

Call the Better Business Bureau to see if they have received any complaints about the company.

Ask friends and family if their installer is any good.

Get at least three quotes from different contractors.

Be sure you are getting R-19 insulation installed and not just a piece of fiberglass carpet that will work for now but will soon wear out with time.

Never hire someone who says they will do the job in a couple of hours.

If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Ask for a copy of your warranty and make sure you read it before you sign anything.

If you plan to get some work done on your home, be sure they can provide a license and insurance.

Important Things To Keep in Mind

 When looking for a crawl space encapsulation solution, ensure that you are working with a reputable organization.

If the company has little or no experience in crawl space encapsulation, they will most likely struggle to do the job correctly. They may suggest a quick fix.

They’ll be able to install the insulation correctly if they’ve had experience with it. In addition, you will not have any material left over from previous installations as there are not any thin layers of dirt or debris underneath.

This means that there will be no gaps between the walls, and you won’t be putting extra and unnecessary weight on your foundations.

If the company has designed an assembly line installation method, there will probably be a gap between the sheeting placed on the ground and the product being installed on top of it. You will also be putting extra weight on your foundations since it is now supported by plastic and not wood.

More experienced companies are easy to communicate with, so you will know exactly what to expect when visiting their offices. The way they conduct business is also consistent and straightforward.

Bottom Line

Crawl Space Encapsulation is a great way for homeowners to protect their main living spaces from dampness and mold. 

If you live in a crawl space or unfinished basement, chances are a condensation problem that can cause the walls and flooring to mold up.

When your crawl space becomes wet and moldy, it can lead to severe problems for anyone living in your home. 

To prevent any unpleasant surprises when moving out of the house, you must consider this issue before vacating the property.

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