You’ve noticed some weird smells in your home that you can’t place, and the air around your feet is always cold like the heat is leaking out. If this sounds familiar, the problem may be with your crawlspace.
You probably don’t think about your crawlspace much, but maybe you should. Half the air in your home comes through your crawlspace, and if it’s moldy, it could affect the whole house. Crawlspaces are often neglected and can be really gross.
What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
One increasingly popular solution is crawl space encapsulation. This involves covering your crawl space with a plastic vapor barrier (picture a large plastic sheet covering the floor and walls).
An article from Sylvane compared it to adding lining to a swimming pool, only in this case you’re keeping water out instead of in. People will also sometimes add a sump pump to keep the crawlspace dry.
You should never seal the vents in your foundation. As The Columbian explained, “Blocking the vents in your foundation may keep heat inside during the winter, but it’s never a good idea. It traps moisture and carcinogenic radon gas under your home, which can lead to a host of structural and home health problems down the road. Some folks justify the practice by saying it prevents pipes from freezing in cold weather, but that problem can be avoided by wrapping pipes in insulation.”
Advantages of Crawlspace Encapsulation
Encapsulating your crawlspace should improve the air quality in your house and hamper fungi and mold growth. It will also make your crawlspace less hospitable to insects and animals. You can also use the space to store items now that it’s cleaner.
Disadvantages of Crawl Space Encapsulation
One disadvantage is the cost. Crawlspace encapsulation can be expensive, though it should pay for itself through energy savings. You’ll also want to think about the additional maintenance costs after the initial purchase. Not only does maintenance cost money, but it can take up a lot of time.
Should I Encapsulate My Crawl Space?
This depends on a lot of factors. How humid is the weather in your area? How many problems have you had with your crawlspace? Have you noticed mold, odd smells, cold temperatures? What is your current financial situation?
If you do decide to encapsulate, you can either do it yourself or hire a company. Doing it yourself can potentially save money, but it’s difficult and time consuming.
Crawlspace Doctor has 17 years of experience helping customers like you. We’ll handle all the concerns so you don’t have to. If you’re unsure whether or not you want to encapsulate your crawl space, contact us. We’ll evaluate your situation for free and help you weigh your options.