Sealing your crawl space vents is just one part of the encapsulation process. There are actually many steps in the encapsulation process because it can be difficult to complete encapsulation fully. Here’s an overview of that full process.
Address Standing Water and Leakage
First off, you need to address any standing water or other leakage you might be experiencing in the crawl space. For example, some people have puddles of water that come from previous water leaks, condensation, or faulty water drainage in your existing crawl space system. You have to address these problems first.
There is a number of ways to address standing water. If standing water is a regular problem, like if the home’s build causes water to accumulate in the crawl space on a regular basis, you may need to install a crawl space sump pump. However, in other cases, you might just need to vacuum the water out, because you won’t have recurring issues with crawl space water. It all has to do with the overarching problems, which a JES expert can help you uncover.
Install a Vapor Barrier Liner
The next step is to make sure you’re considering how water can come in from the ground. If you have a dirt crawl space, it’s important to realize that you’re never going to be able to have a fully dry crawl space unless you install a heavy-duty vapor barrier liner. Dirt without something over it will always have a direct connection to the water table, so water vapor will move up through this dirt, even if it looks totally dry on the surface.
There are ways to avoid this moisture issue, however. JES uses a 20-mil CrawlSeal vapor barrier to seal your crawl space dirt off from the moisture that wants to come up through it. CrawlSeal is well-manufactured and highly trusted, making it a great option for anyone who needs encapsulation for their crawl space. This is a great solution even if someone may need to inspect your crawl space in the future because it’s so thick.
Seal Exterior Openings
This is the current step: sealing the crawl space vents. Of course, crawl space vents aren’t the only exterior openings. You may have a loose crawl space door or even issues with other exterior openings.
Some crawl spaces have an entrance to the outside, often by means of a below-ground crawl space entrance. All of these entrances can be a breeding ground for pests and an easy place for moisture to enter if you’re not careful.
Closing your crawl space vents is an important part of sealing all exterior openings, but it’s obviously not the only thing you should be thinking about. You might need to replace your crawl space doors, install additional crawl space barriers, or otherwise seal various openings that allow your crawl space to have access to all types of moisture.
Add a Crawl Space Dehumidifier
In many cases, it’s a good idea to add a dehumidifier to your crawl space. Not all crawl spaces will need a dehumidifier, but it’s a great way to know exactly what the humidity level of your crawl space happens to be. That way, you can adjust or change things if you need to move anything around, and you never have to worry whether you’re maintaining a healthy level of humidity in your crawl space. The dehumidifier will do that automatically.
If you’re worried about whether or not your energy bill will go up dramatically due to your crawl space dehumidifier, rest assured that JES uses an energy-efficient crawl space dehumidifier that will provide as much dehumidification as possible while still only using a very small amount of energy. Plus, when you remove this significant source of humidity, as previously mentioned, you may actually find that your energy bill will get lower.