If you’re seriously considering encapsulating your crawl space, then we advice you to carefully read through this guide that touches on the pros and cons of crawl space encapsulation.
Rather than having full basements, many new homes are being designed with crawl spaces under the home instead. These spaces, which are usually just high enough for someone to crawl through, are incredibly efficient when it comes to protecting the first floor of your home, as well as providing you with a good amount of storage without having to worry about the maintenance of an entire basement. However, many crawlspaces are laid down with a simple dirt floor, which can become quite troublesome as time goes on. Adding crawl space encapsulation to this area can be a great way to avoid these issues.
This encapsulation is done by adding a layer of polythene sealed with a specific tape which then acts as a barrier between your home and the ground itself. Combined with a dehumidifier and good insulation, you’ll be amazed by how incredibly efficient this addition can be. However, many homeowners are left wondering whether or not the investment is truly worth it. Here are some of the pros and cons of crawl space encapsulation to help you decide whether or not this is the best decision for your home.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Pros And Cons
Have you had to use significantly more energy in order to keep your home at the preferred temperature? This could be due to your crawlspace. The lack of insulation in these areas can easily cause the loss of temperature control in your home as you are literally sitting directly on top of the open ground. By adding a crawl space encapsulation, you’ll be giving yourself that extra barrier that will act as a shield, protecting your home from the naturally hot or cold air from the outside, and keeping your perfectly set air circulating efficiently around the home.
Not only will this have a tremendous effect on the amount of energy you spend, and, thus, your monthly electric bills, but it can also dramatically impact the air quality in your home. When you have an open crawl space underneath the first floor, it’s incredibly easy for dust, dirt, and vapors to make their way up to your living area. This can be a particular problem for those with breathing conditions such as allergies or asthma. Your home is meant to be one of the most comfortable places for you and your loved ones to be, so why force yourselves to breathe polluted, particle-filled air? By investing in this quality addition, you can rest assured knowing that you’re breathing clean, clear air day in and day out.
Protection From Rodents and Other Pests
Another serious issue that many crawl spaces can cause will be infestations of rodents and other pests. The dark and isolated nature of the crawl space, as well as the limited number of times you actually need to go down there, make them the perfect location for these unwanted house guests to make themselves right at home. Not only is this an aggravation and annoyance, but it can also be a serious strain on the structure of your home, not to mention your health. Luckily, adding a quality encapsulation can be the perfect solution. This protective barrier will significantly limit the number of ways these pests can enter into the crawlspace and the unfamiliarity of the material will act as an instant deterrent for anything looking to make its home underneath your own.
One of the biggest problems that home’s with crawl spaces face is the amount of moisture that can collect there. This is particularly true for home’s built in more water prone regions such as waterfront properties or coastline houses. Typically, standard ventilation will be enough to keep this from becoming a serious problem, but because crawl spaces are so small, there won’t be enough natural air flow to actually make a difference. Adding encapsulation is the best way to protect your home, especially the foundations, from the serious damage this moisture can cause. While you’ll definitely want to add an extra waterproofing barrier just to be sure, these protective layers will help keep your home in prime condition for years to come.
Maintain Structural Integrity
When your home is having to face pest infestations, humidity, and a lack of insulation between its first floor and the ground, the amount of strain that’s put on the overall structure can be devastating. Adding an encapsulation is a great way to protect the structural integrity of the home. First, pests can easily decide that your home is not only a great place for them to live, but also an all you can eat buffet. Many pests, including rats and termites, will love gnawing down on the wood in your home for food and comfort, which can seriously compromise its safety and strength.
Additionally, wood and drywall can be dramatically impacted by the collection of moisture. Having to compensate for this can end up costing you an unbelievable amount of money as time goes on. Rather than leaving yourself open to these potential problems, making that one-time investment can make a world of difference in terms of the overall safety of your home and the final amount you end up having to pay to ensure its integrity.
No More Mold
One of the most aggravating problems that homeowners can face as a result of open crawl spaces will be the unbelievable amount of mold that can turn up as a result. This can be especially problematic for homeowners with carpeted floors, as you’ll need to pay for constant professional cleanings or even complete replacements on a constant basis. Because crawl space encapsulations address the issue of moisture almost instantly, there will be a dramatic reduction in the amount of mold or fungi your home needs to deal with. Of course, this is a great benefit aesthetically speaking, as no one wants to live in a moldy home, but it can also be extremely necessary in terms of health.
Many molds can dramatically impact the overall well-being of many, particularly when there are children or elders living in the home. By adding this additional barrier between you and these issues, you can feel secure that you and your loved ones are living in a safe and protected environment year after year.
Of course, the biggest drawback that many homeowners will need to face when adding a crawl space encapsulation will be the cost. These additional barriers can end up being quite expensive, especially when you hire quality professionals that use the best possible materials on the market. However, there are many installation teams that understand the strain this can put on your household in terms of finances and will do everything they can to work with you and your budget.
At the end of the day, as a homeowner, you need to decide whether or not the initial cost of the encapsulation is greater than the risk you will be taking with the final payouts from the damage the lack of it could potentially cause. This could depend highly on the area your home is located in, the local climate, and even your current investments in terms of pest control. Speak with a local installer and see how they could work with you to give your home that extra protection without breaking the bank.
Another serious problem that many homeowners can face as a result of an encapsulation addition can be the inconvenience that comes along with it. Many homes are designed with the crawl space acting as the main location for heating systems and other electrical systems. As a result, when you need to have maintenance or servicing done on these systems, these professionals will need to have access to the area, which can be difficult when you’ve had an encapsulation installed. This could result in even higher maintenance bills for you, adding yet another financial pressure you’re simply not looking to add. It’s important that you consider the overall layout of your home and look at all of the ways this inconvenience could possibly be avoided ahead of time.
Having a home with a crawl space can be a great way to avoid the stresses and inconveniences that come with full, standard basements. However, these spaces can also come with their own set of aggravations and annoyances, especially when it comes to the direct connection with the ground itself. Adding a crawl space encapsulation is a great way to take away your concerns regarding moisture build up, temperature control, and even pest control. Keeping your family safe and healthy must always be a priority; however, it all comes with a price. It’s up to you to decide whether or not this price tag is worth the benefits it can bring with it. Take these pros and cons into careful consideration and speak with installation experts about the ways in which they can work directly with you in order to keep your home in prime condition for years to come.