The Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation
What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Crawl space encapsulation is one of the most effective methods of sealing your crawl space. This entails coating the floor and walls with hefty sheets of white plastic.
You’d also need a sump pump and a dehumidifier to keep the subterranean space dry and mold-free. Finally, it boils down to a dry crawl space, which has numerous advantages!
Let us investigate.
The Advantages of Crawl Space Encapsulation
Improved Structural Integrity
When you have a moist crawl area, it undermines the foundation of your home.
This is why gutter systems are designed to divert water away from the house. However, having a gutter system is pointless if the crawl area is constantly soaked.
Crawl space encapsulation can help prevent structural problems if you keep the soil that supports your foundation dry.
Enhanced Energy Savings
Adding insulation and air conditioning to your crawl area can help you save money on electricity.
When you choose crawl space encapsulation, you should immediately feel a change.
In the summer, it is much more difficult to cool your home if the crawl area is packed with hot air that remains humid.
When the damp air from the crawl space is removed, your air conditioning system should be able to perform better and more efficiently, keeping your home at the proper temperature all year.
Less pests and mold
Mold and mildew thrive in wet crawl spaces, so if you want to keep them at bay, make sure your crawl space is dry and moisture-free.
Mildew can easily spread throughout the house if it grows in the crawl space. It not only leaves mildew streaks everywhere, but it also rots wood, which can be tough to remove.
Termites, which are attracted to moist wood, can also cause havoc.
With crawl space encapsulation, you can keep moisture, mold, and vermin out of your crawl space.
The Pros and Cons of Crawl Space Encapsulation
Improved structural integrity of the home
Enhanced energy savings and efficiency
Reduction in pests and mold issues
Installation can be costly
Requires maintenance of sump pump and dehumidifier
It doesn’t solve existing pest or mold issues; it only prevents new ones
Crawl space encapsulation can save you much money on energy costs and repairs.
Calling the proper pros to come and make it happen for you will ensure that you receive the crawl space waterproofing that you require.
Get a free estimate by calling us at 615-412-0172.
The air in unencapsulated crawl spaces is often hot and humid in the summer and cold in the winter.
This air can transfer to the living spaces above through cracks and gaps, making your home harder to cool in summer and heat in winter.
By encapsulating the crawl space, you create a sealed barrier between the crawl space and your home’s conditioned air.
Adding insulation to the encapsulated crawl space helps moderate the temperature, keeping summer air cooler and winter air warmer.
The encapsulated and insulated crawl space is a thermal buffer between the ground and your home.
This means your HVAC system can work less hard to maintain the desired temperature. Your cooling and heating systems can run more efficiently, using less energy.
Some key energy-saving benefits of an encapsulated and insulated crawl space include:
- Reduced heat transfer to living spaces in summer
- Reduced cold transfer in winter
- More efficient HVAC operation year-round
- Lower humidity leads to less moisture and condensation
- Potentially smaller HVAC equipment needs
By preventing unconditioned crawl space air from entering the home, encapsulation enables substantial energy savings compared to unencapsulated, vented crawl spaces.
The project cost is usually recouped in utility bill savings within a few years.
The timeframe to recoup the cost of crawl space encapsulation through utility bill savings can vary, but here are some general estimates:
1-3 years – This is a common timeframe cited by encapsulation companies and experts. For a typical 1500-2000 sq ft home with normal HVAC usage, the energy savings from encapsulation often pay back the project cost in 1-3 years.
3-5 years – For larger homes with greater HVAC demands or higher encapsulation costs, the payback period may be 3-5 years. Factors like your climate zone, number of heating/cooling days per year, and energy costs also impact the savings.
5-10 years – In some cases, with lower utility rates, less extreme climates, or minimal existing moisture/air leakage issues, the payback may take 5-10 years. This range requires a more significant upfront investment but can still be long-term worthwhile.
Immediate savings – In damp crawl spaces with high humidity/condensation, immediate savings are possible by reducing dehumidifier runtimes. Less moisture leads to direct energy savings.
The highest return comes from encapsulating crawl spaces with known moisture issues. Sealing the space and insulating ductwork often provides more rapid savings compared to drier crawl spaces. Discussing your specific home with encapsulation contractors can provide a more accurate estimate for your utility bill cost recovery.
Here are some tips to determine average energy costs in your area:
Check with your local utility company
They can provide average rates for electricity, natural gas, oil, etc., in your region.
This will give you an idea of what other homeowners pay.
Use national or state energy cost databases.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes state electricity profiles with average residential rates.
Your state public utility commission may also have data.
Use energy cost calculation tools.
Online tools like the EPA’s Household Energy Cost Calculator let you input your location, home details, and energy usage to get estimates.
Look at your energy bills.
Review bills for the past year to calculate your average monthly or yearly costs for electricity, gas, and other heating fuels. This will show your actual expenses.
Compare costs with neighbors.
Talking to nearby neighbors with similar home sizes can provide a good comparison of energy costs in your immediate area.
Consider heating and cooling degree days.
The more extreme the weather in your area, the more energy is used for heating and cooling. Sites like degreedays.net show degree day data.
Factor in energy rates over time
Historical rate info from your utility can show if costs are rising steadily or subject to fluctuations. This can impact future savings.
Getting a solid understanding of your local energy costs will allow you to estimate potential savings from efficiency upgrades like crawlspace encapsulation.
An energy audit can also help identify your biggest areas for savings.