Crawl space encapsulation is a newer term used in the industry, so it’s possible you don’t fully understand what it means.
The crawl space is very important in your home, often overlooked and not cared for but that would be a mistake.
If moisture is in your crawl space, it can cause a lot of problems and costly damage.
Crawl space encapsulation is the process used to remove moisture out of the crawl space.
You can use crawl space vapor barriers on the floor and walls. You do want to make sure these vapor barriers are designed for the crawl space as some vapor barriers are not.
A big myth is that you need vents in the crawl space. That’s not true at all. In fact, those vents are allowing moisture in your crawl space.
So, what’s the main problem? Why would you need crawl space encapsulation?
The answer is “moisture.”
Moisture in your crawl space can lead to big trouble that could potentially leave your home in a non-livable position. You don’t want that, I don’t want that for you, so what can we do to prevent it?
Do you have a moisture issues in the crawl space?
First, you need to find out if you have a moisture problem.
Go to the crawl space and look around. Here’s some things you need to look for.
- Is there any standing water in the crawl space?
- Is floorboards, joist, insulation damp or wet?
- Do you see any damp spots on the crawl space floor? Elsewhere?
- Is there any openings in the crawl space wall allowing air into the crawl space?
- Does your crawl space have a wet smell? Musky smell?
- Are your crawl space vents open? Not completely shut?
- Do you have gaps in the window or door area allowing moisture in the crawl space?
If you said yes to any of the questions above, it’s a good probability you have moisture in your crawl space.
Encapsulating The Crawl Space
The goal with encapsulating the crawl space is sealing out as much moisture as possible.
That means all of the openings you see allowing the outside air in will need to be completely sealed. Make sure you check doors, windows, crawl space vents, crawl space openings.
During the encapsulation, crawl space vapor barriers are used to cover the crawl space walls and crawl space floors.
All vapor barriers will be taped together using crawl space tape. Make sure your use crawl space tape and make sure you tape it correctly.
Product Quality And Selection Matter
There’s a lot of different products out there and what you select will matter.
Not all crawl space products are created equal.
First, you want to make sure you’re choosing crawl space vapor barrier and not plastic sheeting.
When you’re searching for crawl space vapor barriers, make sure you do your research. Read reviews and only on websites that allow reviews so you can get the feedback you need to make a sound decision.
The same is true when you choose a crawl space dehumidifier. Make sure it’s a dehumidifier specifically for crawl spaces.