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After Crawl Space Encapsulation: Routine Maintenance for Homeowners

A crawl space after encapsulation.

Encapsulation is the absolute best way to maintain a crawl space.  Done properly, it keeps your crawl space clean, dry, and free of biological growth.  But like any other customized home feature, it includes some items that need regular maintenance.

Acculevel is a family-owned and operated company that specializes in foundation repair, waterproofing, and encapsulation.  Since our start in 1996, we’ve helped more than 35,000 homeowners maximize their home’s strength and potential.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the equipment that is used to keep your encapsulated crawl space in optimal condition.  We’ll explain how you can maintain this equipment yourself, if you’re comfortable working inside a small, enclosed area like a crawl space. 

 

If You Are Not a DIY Homeowner

On a personal level, I have absolutely zero desire to enter the small enclosed area under my house.  But I like knowing it’s in good condition, and want to keep it that way.  Maybe you’re like me, or your mobility is limited, or you’re claustrophobic.  It doesn’t matter, and we’re not here to judge you.  Our goal is to answer your questions and provide you with the resources you need.

So if you understand the value of regular maintenance and upkeep, but don’t want to enter your crawl space, sign up for our HIP (Home Inspection Program).  One of our highly trained service technicians will come to your home and perform all of the tasks on the checklist below and more!

 

Three Steps to Maintain Your Crawl Space Encapsulation  

There are three essential pieces of equipment you need to check on a regular basis: the sump pump, dehumidifier, and discharge line.

How to Maintain Your Sump Pump 

  1. Unplug the sump pump and battery back-up before cleaning.
  2. Clean the pump (wipe it down with a damp rag) and clear out the pit.  You want to make sure both are free of leaf litter or debris.
  3. Clean and test the battery back-up.
  4. Plug in the battery back-up and test it, by pouring a gallon of water into the pit.
  5. Then, plug in the main pump and test it the same way.
  6. Make sure the discharge line is properly connected and removing the water from your crawl space.

 

Crawl space after encapsulation.
This photo was taken by an Acculevel team member after encapsulating a customer’s home. 

 

How to Maintain Your Dehumidifier 

  1. Unplug the unit, then wipe down with a damp rag.  
  2. When you plug-in the dehumidifier, check the settings.  They should be set around the 50% mark.
  3. If the dehumidifier does not kick on, briefly turn it down until it kicks on.  You need to verify that it’s working.  
  4. While the unit is running, check the water line for any cracks or leaks.  It should be draining into the sump pump pit. 
  5. Remember to set the humidity level back to 50% when the test is done!  Running the dehumidifier at a lower level is not optimal for your air quality and it will cause the machine to work harder than necessary.

 

How to Maintain The Discharge Line

  1. This step is easier if you have an assistant.  Then one of you can pour water into the sump pump pit, and the other can check the discharge line. 
  2. If you are working by yourself, pour several gallons of water into the pit.  This ensures it will still be removing water when you get outside to check it.
  3. The discharge line should have a pop-up style drain that pulls the water out from the crawl space.
  4. If it is not working, remove the top of the drain and check for any debris that may be blocking it.  The top of the drain should be secured by a single screw.  Make sure you replace this screw when you’ve cleared the line.  If you don’t, the drain top may get caught in your lawnmower.

 

Did You Uncover Any Issues? 

Both the sump pump and the dehumidifier that Acculevel installs are covered by a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.  If you have discovered that one of your components is broken or malfunctioning, please contact our service department at 866-669-3349.  We will repair or replace the faulty component and return it to the manufacturer for you. 

 

Interested in More DIY Opportunities? 

We have a checklist that will walk you through an inspection of your entire foundation and property.  This guide covers everything on the list above, plus much more!  We recommend performing this review twice a year.  You could consider a sort of spring & fall exercise before the more extreme seasons begin. 

Remember, any foundation issues that you find should be addressed promptly.  It is always easier (and less expensive) to fix small problems in the beginning stages.  

 

 

Kelly Kater

Over her twenty year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.

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