Here are the pros and cons of crawl space encapsulation. We’ll be looking at both the benefits and problems of this process.
One of the issues a lot of homeowners deal with is the issue of humidity or moisture. This is known to cause structural problems in addition to attracting destructive pests such as termites.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Pros And Cons
Crawl space encapsulation is among the most effective ways of resolving moisture issues.
Molds grow best in areas with sufficient moisture content. With crawl space encapsulation, this problem is dealt with. Plus, your crawl space is turned into a dry and clean area.
Without a doubt, crawl encapsulation offers tons of benefits. However, there are also downsides to performing this maintenance activity.
Steps Involved In Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl space encapsulation follows a definite process. This begins with the preparation of the scrawl space, sealing it, insulation and conditioning.
We’ll briefly run through these before focusing on the pros and cons.
Preparing the Crawl Space
Preparation is key when it comes to crawling space preparation.
Because the floor is mostly covered with insulating plastic, such a floor needs to be cleared of all debris. All sharp objects are evacuated from the targeted area.
Now, you’ll need to flatten or grade the ground. It should be level enough to ensure the insulating plastic is laid properly.
This next step is crucial to the encapsulation process. It’s sealed to prevent airflow in addition to serving as waterproof. Targeted areas include sidewalls, doors, and vents.
The success of the task depends on proper sealing.
Thick plastic is usually used as an insulating layer. This is laid across the floor as well as against the wall.
To hold the plastic in place, you’ll need to use a stapler. In areas where additional sheets are needed to cover an area, they should overlap by at least a foot of space.
After sealing the crawl space, the moisture left behind must be gotten rid of. This is done through vents that lead into the living area of your home.
Is Crawl Space Encapsulation Good Or Bad?
When considering this maintenance activity, your decision should be hinged on its pros and cons. What do you get to benefit and what could go wrong? All these are important points to consider.
Let’s begin by providing you with both the pros and cons of crawl space encapsulation.
i. Crawl Space Encapsulation Benefits
The reason why crawl space encapsulation remains popular is due to the many benefits it offers homeowners.
Such benefits are never in short supply as seen by the following;
Reduction of Odor
One of the obvious benefits of crawlspace encapsulation is that it eliminates odors. Now, crawl spaces contribute a great deal to home odors. The presence of mold, mildew, and pests worsens this bad smell.
However, crawl space encapsulation comes in handy as it gets rid of such by covering up the ground beneath.
Reduction in Heating Cost
The plastic barrier or covering used for sealing a crawl space leads to the lesser escape of air.
Over time, this advantage adds up as it saves you cost on heating costs. Less air gets to escape, thus, making your heating to be more efficient.
Moisture issues can be very damaging to a home’s structure.
With encapsulation, you’re in effect waterproofing your home. This offers a wide range of benefits including the elimination of favorable conditions for pests. You also get to prevent fungal growth, mold, and mildew.
Your health is also safeguarded through this process.
Comes Handy for DIY Freaks
Are you a DIY freak who loves to dabble in just about anything you find amusing? Crawl space encapsulation is one way to put your skills to the test. It’s a project you can perform yourself without any issues.
However, to ensure that a perfect installation is made, ensure you understand the process. Luckily, this isn’t complex and can be learned by searching for online materials.
Space Be Used For Storage
Having blocked out humidity from your crawl space, space can be put to good use by using it for storage.
Unlike previous times, there’s no moisture to ruin your property. This is even more beneficial for persons having larger crawl spaces.
ii. Crawl Space Encapsulation Problems
Despite its many advantages, crawl space encapsulation also has its downsides.
First is the issue of cost. Crawl space installation costs can be significantly high. Additional maintenance costs, certain items can’t be stored in the encapsulated area, and the likelihood of upgrading your HVAC system.
As long as a dehumidifier is used, it will need to be regularly serviced. All of these have their negative impacts on your choices as well as impacting on your overall costs.
Let’s discuss each of these crawl space encapsulation disadvantages.
The cost for crawl space encapsulation may add up to a couple of thousands. On average, you’re likely to end up paying anywhere between $1,500 to as high as $15,000.
Additional Maintenance Costs
For a crawlspace to be well sealed, it will require all the different components that require its effective functioning.
Now, most of these components will require monthly maintenance. This takes out money from your pocket.
Maintenance costs are even more in high humidity areas or locations.
Certain Items Can’t be stored in the Encapsulated Area
Remember we earlier said you could use the encapsulated area of your crawl space as a store. However, certain items such as volatile liquids should completely be excluded from such areas.
Doing so prevents an accidental fire among other likely hazards.
Likelihood of Upgrading your HVAC System
The basic operating principle of crawl space encapsulation is the prevention or exclusion of moisture. While that is the case, such encapsulation also results in less air movement.
Heating systems (especially combustion-based) will require more oxygen.
To make up for the shortfall in oxygen supply, you may have to replace your HVAC system.
Regular Servicing of Dehumidifier
One of the likely situations that will warrant the regular servicing of your dehumidifier is when your home is located in an area with lots of humidity. You’ll need to discuss the best way out with your technician.
The points provided above highlight the pros and cons of crawl space encapsulation. It’s necessary to understand these points as they enable you to make informed decisions.