Three Important Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation for Homeowners

When your HVAC kicks on, does it circulate a damp, stale smell that makes you wrinkle your nose?  Do you suffer from cold or allergy symptoms that disappear while you’re at work, only to return shortly after you return home?  Has your dehumidifier or sump pump been running far more than it used to? These are all signs that your crawl space is unhealthy and desperately needs your attention. 

If your foundation is suffering from water intrusion, so is the rest of your house.  

Acculevel has been helping people with foundation repairs and waterproofing since 1996, and we can promise you this: excessive moisture will break down just about every element of your crawlspace.  This can have major consequences for the health of your family, your home, and your bank account.

The Process of Crawl Space Encapsulation

First, you have to manage the water that has been getting into your crawl space.  This requires installing a water drainage system and sump pump, to effectively collect and drain the water.  Once you clear that hurdle, you can then move on to encapsulation.

Encapsulation is like installing a pool liner inside your crawl space, except it keeps water out instead of in.  A thick, heavy plastic is placed throughout the crawl space, over the floor and up the walls.  Seams are taped and sealed, and the encapsulation sheeting is secured to the walls.  

Once this is complete, foam insulation is sprayed around the perimeter at the top of the foundation, filling in the open spaces between the joists and bandboard.  As a final guard against humidity, a dehumidifier is installed to keep the air clean, fresh-smelling, and dry.

Completed Encapsulation: barrier is secured along wall and floor, 
with spray foam in the gaps between the joists.White cap encapsulation and spray foam insulation in a crawl spaceThis picture was taken by an Acculevel crew member after installation.

The Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation

1. Encapsulation Will Protect Your Health

Encapsulation seals out moisture, which greatly reduces the chance of mold developing in your home.  Mold is a threat to the healthiest of people, but is especially dangerous for those with allergies, asthma, or compromised immune systems.  Mold exposure increases the risks of developing allergies and asthma in infants and young children because their immune systems are still growing.   

The encapsulation barrier will also improve the quality of the air you breathe.  It seals out the odors, vapors, and gases that come from the soil beneath your home.  This is an important factor because your HVAC system circulates the air throughout the house; whatever vapors are in the crawl space will be in the air you breathe.

 

2. Encapsulation Will Protect Your Home

Water won’t just cause mold in your crawl space; it also degrades the structural stability of your flooring.  Water and humidity contribute to wood rot, which leads to sagging floors.  By encapsulating your home, you protect the structural wooden framing system. As we discuss in our article about crawl space waterproofing, the health and well-being of your home begins at the foundation level. 

The encapsulation will also inhibit unwanted visitors from getting into your home.  This includes damaging insects like termites and powderpost beetles. It also discourages larger invaders like rodents; a sealed environment with no access to water isn’t a good home for them. 

 

3. Encapsulation Will Save You Money and Increase Your Home’s Value

Once the crawl space is encapsulated, you will have cleaner, drier air in your home.  This makes less work for your HVAC system, increasing its efficiency and extending the life of the equipment.  Depending on the size of your home and the age of your HVAC, you can expect a 10-20% decrease in your utility bills.  

The new and improved crawl space will provide usable storage space for out of season decorations or clothing.  Depending on your situation, this can free up closet space in your living area or eliminate the need for a costly storage unit.

All of these benefits translate to a more desirable home, which increases your resale value.  It’s true not all home buyers will have an encapsulated crawl space on their ‘ideal home wish-list.’  But when faced with a choice between your well-maintained home and one with a damp and unpleasant crawl space- the odds are firmly in your favor!

 

Are You Ready for Waterproofing or Encapsulation? 

If your answer is no, and you would like more information about crawl space and foundation repairs, we have more to share!  You can read our other blogs on this topic, which investigate the risks of mold, explain the benefits of waterproofing, and detail the costs to repair water damage to foundations.

If your answer is yes, find an experienced company, and make an appointment.  Before you sign a contract for any service, always verify the company is reputable, insured, and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.   

If you live in Indiana or the surrounding states, contact Acculevel.  Established in 1996, we specialize in foundation repairs and waterproofing basements and crawl spaces.  If you have noticed any problems and would like an evaluation, you can request a free estimate.  An experienced project manager will examine the areas of concern and recommend the best course of action for you, to keep your home strong and healthy for years to come.

 

 

 

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.