When homeowners hear about crawl space encapsulation, they might believe it only has one purpose – moisture control. While that is the main goal of any encapsulation system, there are a ton of benefits that come along with this handy tool. Who wouldn’t want lower utility bills and cleaner air in their home? Encapsulation is a worthwhile investment that can provide these benefits and more to any home with a crawl space foundation.
What is Encapsulation?
Encapsulation is the process of separating a crawl space from the outside environment with a vapor barrier. Most crawl spaces are built directly over the dirt ground and exposed to open air through vents built across their walls.
Dirt and air make it easy for moisture to build in a crawl space when it rains or becomes humid. Water is absorbed into the soil and evaporates throughout the crawl space, causing condensation on wooden beams and concrete walls. Humidity enters through air vents and causes the same issues.
Eventually, this moisture builds up and causes wood rot, efflorescence, and general foundation damage within your crawl space. Your home suffers and could potentially become uneven. Crawl space encapsulation actively protects against moisture, so you don’t have to worry about these issues from occurring.
This is the first benefit of encapsulation – protecting your crawl space from damage. However, this protection spreads further into your home. Now that you understand the basic process behind encapsulation let’s look into the other benefits that make encapsulation worth it.
Believe it or not, encapsulation actually aids in pest control. Although eradicating all pests on your property requires a pest control professional, encapsulation creates an unattractive environment and makes it more difficult for rodents, bugs, or any critter to get into your crawl space.
Since the barrier separates your crawl space from the ground and closes up any openings, animals have no way of nestling under your home. This can save you some expenses and keep your air quality cleaner as animals won’t leave behind urine, feces, or carcasses below your floors.
Better Air Quality
Speaking of air quality, encapsulation improves your home’s air quality in general. As stated before, it helps deter animals (and all the smells that come with them) from your crawl space. However, encapsulation also protects against mold.
When mold forms in your crawl space, it releases spores into the air. If left unchecked, these spores will make their way into your home through the air conditioning and spread throughout your living space. Spores can cause allergic reactions, musty smells, or in some cases, respiratory issues, and hospitalization. Encapsulation prevents mold in the first place; in turn, your air quality stays pristine.
Prevents Repair Costs
Obviously, encapsulation keeps your crawl space safe from damage. Thanks to this protection, you won’t have to spend exuberant amounts of money fixing rotted beams or replacing moldy walls for your foundation.
However, encapsulation also prevents structural damage from occurring in other parts of your home. When wooden beams in your crawl space are exposed to moisture, it can cause a creaky floor that bends under your feet with each step. If left unchecked, it could collapse completely.
Plus, your walls are directly dependent on the strength of your home’s foundation. Damage to your crawl space is only going to cause damage to your walls over time. Once again, they could be at risk of total collapse if your crawl space damage is unaddressed.
Encapsulation makes it possible to avoid all of these repair headaches. By protecting your crawl space from damage in the first place, it prevents other repairs and saves you money in the long run.
Lower Utility Bills
Encapsulation also lowers your utility bills. Crawl spaces act a lot like caves since they aren’t exposed to the sun – cold, dark, and damp environments. When outside moisture enters the crawl space, it’s almost always warmer than the crawl space air. Warm air always rises from the lowest parts of a structure and tries to escape through the uppermost sections. This process is called the stack effect, and it often occurs in crawl space homes without encapsulation.
Over time, the warm air rises up through your home’s floorboards and distributes across your house. Finally, the warm air continues to rise through all the levels of your home until it escapes through the top level. When that humid, warm air enters your home, it forces your HVAC system to work on overdrive and raises utility bills.
Encapsulation allows your crawl space to remain a controlled environment. Outside air won’t be able to penetrate the barrier and rise up through the floor. Once again, encapsulation saves you money!
Better Quality of Life
All of these benefits lead to increased security for your home, and you can experience all the benefits of encapsulation with joy. Your air becomes healthier, the entire structure of your home stays protected, you don’t have to worry about pests or mold, and you can save money in various ways.
Overall, encapsulation arguably offers the most bang for your buck when it comes to foundation repair methods. With both a monetary value and mental value, encapsulation is a valuable investment for any homeowner with a crawl space foundation.
Learn More with a Professional
Indiana Foundation Service uses the CrawlSeal™ 20-mil vapor barrier, which is designed to be a permanent solution for moisture problems while providing the many benefits that come with crawl space encapsulation.
Plus, our team can provide regular checkups to ensure that your encapsulation system is functioning properly. At Indiana Foundation Service, our team is committed to keeping you and your home safe with quality service. If you want to learn more about encapsulation, don’t hesitate to contact us.