Your home’s crawl space is one of the most important areas of your house. Along with providing approximately 50% of the breathable air that enters your home, your crawl space can contain the plumbing, cables, wires and HVAC duct systems that allow your home to perform its various functions. Oddly, this part of any house is often ignored by owners – perhaps it’s just “out of sight, out of mind.”
But when the crawl space is neglected, the high moisture and humidity levels down there can make it a haven for wood rot and mold growth. Mold and rot can compromise the wood framing, leading to damaged drywall, uneven floors and a number of other serious issues. Encapsulated crawl space installation is the perfect solution. For instance, moisture in your home’s crawl space can damage your insulation and provide a perfect environment for snakes, rodents and other pests to thrive. Dealing with these problems in your crawl space involves a process known as crawl space encapsulation.
Signs of Crawl Space Problems
• Cracked drywall
• Moisture and condensation
• Standing water
• Mold growth
• Rotting wood
• Presence of pests and vermin
• Uneven doors and floors
• Damaged vapor barrier
• Damaged insulation
• Damaged or loosely hanging cables and wires
• Loose debris
Some of the more unpleasant aspects of your home can be found in your crawl space. Rodents, spiders, insects, and even snakes can take up residence there. In addition, there is frequently standing water, high levels of moisture, mold, loose insulation, hanging wires and wood rot. If this is what you or home’s crawl space looks like, it doesn’t really have to. All you have to do is address these issues by making improvements in your crawl space.
But if you leave these problems unaddressed, the airflow coming from your crawl space can easily bring the mold and even the rodent feces up into your home. Many homeowners experience allergies and asthma as a consequence of this contamination – and sometimes even more serious health issues. Another concern is the possibility that you have flammable debris in your crawl space that was left there by workmen or blown in by a dryer vent. But most of the issues found in any crawl space can be dealt with by simply addressing the problem of moisture.
• Crawl space encapsulation
• Vapor barriers
• Crawl space dehumidifiers
• Drainage system
• Sump pumps
• Replaced insulation
• Sealed vents
Many people like to believe that issues like the ones mentioned above happen to other people, but the simple truth is that in many homes the crawl spaces are major problem areas. While a crawl space is a cramped, unpleasant place, ignoring it doesn’t make its problems go away. Facing this problem will allow you to protect your health and your home. The following four easy steps in clear up your crawl space troubles.
1. The water in your crawl space has to be drained out and you have to prevent any more water from entering. If your home is below grade, this can mean installing drainage or sump pumps.
2. Your home has to be isolated from the moisture laden dirt underneath it. This is where a durable vapor barrier comes in. Once a vapor barrier is properly installed and all of the seams are sealed, it should be very effective at keeping moisture from the soil away from your home.
3. The vents will need to be sealed so as to keep moisture filled air from the outside from getting into the space. This is because when hot air enters your home’s crawl space through vents and cools, humidity levels skyrocket – leading to moisture accumulation.
4. The final step to addressing the problems with your crawl space requires the installation of an efficient dehumidifier to extract the moisture from the air. This will help to minimize mold and wood rot and protect your home from damage. But keep in mind that this vital piece of equipment will be useless if you haven’t first sealed off your crawl space – since it will otherwise essentially be trying to cool your entire neighborhood.
Taken altogether, these four steps provide a basic solution for controlling moisture in a crawl space. A more complete encapsulation system might also include re-insulating the space. An expert can help you choose the ideal crawl space moisture control solution for your home. Following through on this project will allow you to protect your family’s health and preserve your investment in your home by preventing unnecessary damage.