An Overview Of How A Crawl Space Is Encapsulated To Prevent Moisture Problems And Increase The Air Quality In Your Home

Vented crawl spaces are bad for a home. A study performed by the research firm Advanced Energy in the Southeastern part of the United States showed, among other things, that vented crawl spaces led to moisture, mold, and mildew problems that buckled hardwood floors and lowered the quality of air in houses. The study determined that the best way to correct these issues was to encapsulate the crawl space with a material that serves as a barrier against moisture and air leaks. If you are having problems with moisture and quality air control in your home and are thinking of having your crawlspace encapsulated, here is an overview of the process that will take place to seal off the crawl space from outside elements.

Eliminate Water & Venting Problems

The first thing that has to be done is to eliminate any water leaks that end up pooling in the crawl space. Foundation work may have to be done before encapsulation works start, or a sump pump can be added to the space to remove water that leaks in. The contractor will also redirect any vents from appliances like dryers and hot water heaters so they release the gases outside instead of into the crawl space. Once the crawl space gets encapsulated, dangerous fumes and gases could build up in the space and become a hazard to you and your family.

Install a Vapor Barrier

The contractor may put borate solution on the wood for the joists, foundation, and walls before covering them with a vapor barrier. The solution is used to deter termites and other pests from eating and living in the wood.  The contractor will then install the vapor barrier along the walls and floors of the crawl space.

A mat is typically placed on the floor before the vapor barrier is installed. The mat helps provide drainage for any water that does get under the barrier during rainy weather or snow melts, and it helps protect against the barrier getting punctured when people walk over it. The vapor barrier will normally be made out of a polyethylene material.

Insulate Crawl Space

Once the vapor barrier has been installed, the contractor will typically insulate the walls with foam insulation. The spaces between the joists and the top of the foundation will typically be insulated using an insulation that can be sprayed into the spaces.

Seal Door

The last step will be to seal and insulate the door that enters into the crawl space. Weather stripping is often used to seal the edges around the door frame and door.

Once the moisture, mold, and mildew problems are eliminated in your crawl space, you should notice an immediate improvement in the air quality in your home. For additional information on crawl space encapsulation, contact a company like Atlantic Heating and Cooling.