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Crawl Space Encapsulation: Pros and Cons

When it comes to crawl space encapsulation, there are certain things you should and should not do to ensure you get the most out of encapsulation.

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Crawl space encapsulation can help maintain the health of your home’s crawl space. The process of encapsulation involves sealing your crawl space off from moisture and air from the outside. This helps keep free of excess humidity, mold, and even pests. Crawl space encapsulation also helps maintain your home’s structural integrity and your home’s indoor air quality. Encapsulation can also ensure that your home is a more comfortable living environment. 

One of the biggest changes you can make to your home is encapsulating your home’s crawl space, which is why it is so important that you know what should and should not be done during the encapsulation process. While there may not be a negative to crawl space encapsulation, there are several dos and don’ts that you should follow when it comes to encapsulating your home’s crawl space. Below, we’ll go over the dos and don’ts of crawl space encapsulation, and why it is beneficial to your home. 

Fully encapsulate crawl space in Virginia and Maryland

How Crawl Space Encapsulation Works

Crawl space encapsulation involves the use of multiple different elements. Without the application of all the different elements, your crawl space will not be properly encapsulated, allowing for humidity and moisture to come through external spaces. The main elements of crawl space encapsulation include: 

Adding a Vapor Barrier: This prevents moisture from entering the crawl space. 

Removing Vents and Open Spaces: Any intentional openings should be removed. 

Adding Insulation: Insulation helps maintain moisture and comfort levels. 

Adding Drainage: If you have high moisture in your crawl space, adding drainage may be suggested. 

Installing a Crawl Space Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier will help maintain humidity levels. 

Without all these elements combined, your home’s crawl space will not be properly sealed off, and your home may be more susceptible to structural instability and excess humidity. 

crawl space insulation being laid in Virginia

The Don’ts of Crawl Space Encapsulation

When it comes to crawl space encapsulation, here are the things you SHOULD NOT do: 

Don’t dismiss the importance of drainage in your crawl space. You may assume that because your crawl space is encapsulated that it was also waterproofed. This is not the case. Your crawl space will need to have some drainage, as some water will still be able to gather in your crawl space. 

Don’t attempt to encapsulate your crawl space if there is no sealable space. Encapsulating your crawl space will not work if you are trying to encapsulate a space with large holes that allow outside air to enter. Make sure you can completely seal off your space to outside air before attempting crawl space encapsulation. 

Don’t use fiberglass to insulate your crawl space. While you really shouldn’t use fiberglass at all, you especially shouldn’t use it as insulation in your home’s crawl space. Fiberglass is not suitable for insulation as it absorbs moisture, making the insulation susceptible to mold and decay. 

Don’t use spray foam as insulation. While it is fine to use in your home, it should not be used in your crawl space. Because your crawl space is an area where some moisture can form, it is not recommended as the spray foam can trap moisture inside the insulation. 

Don’t think you can forego hiring a professional. Encapsulating your home’s crawl space is not something you should attempt to take on by yourself. Because of the different elements involved in crawl space encapsulation, hiring a professional will ensure that you do not miss any of the steps involved. 

crawl space encapsulation installation in Virginia

The Dos of Crawl Space Encapsulation 

When it comes to crawl space encapsulation, here are the things you SHOULD do: 

Do prepare your crawl space. Before you encapsulate your crawl space, you should make sure the area is free of dirt and debris. It should also be thoroughly evaluated for mold and mildew, and the space should be dried out and not damp. 

Do seal off certain parts of your crawl space. You should ensure that your crawl space’s vents, walls, and floor are sealed off. A crawl space vapor barrier should be added to the floor. Vents and any other voids should also be sealed. 

Do evaluate your home for improper drainage. If your home is lacking a working drainage system, then there’s likely water or moisture in your home. If you discover any pools of water under your home, you should consult a drainage professional. 

Do make sure all small spaces are sealed off. In addition to larger openings, you should also make sure even the smallest of spaces are sealed off from external air. Small spaces that you should check include plumbing openings, band joists, HVAC drain lines, and wiring. 

Do hire the right encapsulation professional. At JES, we offer free inspections at no obligation to you. That way you can be sure that your crawl space has been fully evaluated before beginning the crawl space encapsulation process. Contact us to schedule your inspection. 

bad crawl spaceCrawl Space encapsulation with pillars

Should I Encapsulate My Crawl Space?

The short answer is yes. There are no cons when it comes to crawl space encapsulation. You can get a plethora of benefits – like increased structural security and pest and mold control – from encapsulating your crawl space. With crawl space encapsulation, you can greatly improve your living environment, ensuring that it stays comfortable for years to come. If you are a homeowner looking to seal off your home’s crawl space, then encapsulation is the right solution for you.  

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