Crawl Space Encapsulation: What Is It?
Crawl space encapsulation is a broad term that refers to a crawl space that has been protected from moisture by installing a vapor barrier on the floor and walls. Encapsulation, in other terms, refers to sealing up your crawl space and keeping moisture outside.
In the early twentieth century, various basement waterproofing franchises used and still use this moniker. Crawl space encapsulation has become synonymous with the installation of a white vapor barrier to cover the crawl space’s floor and walls.
You’ve probably heard the term “crawl space encapsulation DIY,” which basically means performing the encapsulation yourself rather than paying a crawl space professional.
We also get a lot of inquiries regarding how much it costs to encapsulate a crawl area. This is determined by a variety of criteria, the most important of which is the size of your crawl space. A solid rule of thumb is that the larger your crawl space, the more it will cost.
Better Than A “Closed” Crawl Space
With a few exceptions, an encapsulated crawl space incorporates all of the features of a closed crawl space.
The vapor barrier is extended up the foundation wall and sealed with vapor barrier tape to the floor vapor barrier to create an encased crawl space. All supports and piping that runs through the soil and walls are likewise sealed. To seal the moisture under the barrier, a polyurethane caulk or two-sided foundation tape (such as Foundation Seal TapeTM) is put between the foundation wall and the crawl space vapor barrier. In most situations, the vapor barrier is built of high-quality polyethylene reinforced with polyester mesh. Although some businesses offer clear visqueen acrylic purchased from a local hardware store as a cost-cutting measure.
Crawl Space Environment Management
The goal of crawl space encapsulation is to provide a controlled environment. The open crawl area is so awful because the environment is permitted to change on a daily, if not hourly, basis. The stages to encapsulating a crawl space should conclude with an atmosphere that you control, and so you have conditioned the air, similar to building a swimming pool and refusing to fill it with water due to the extra money and time. Crawl space encapsulation will transform the space into a place that is part of the house, making it cleaner and healthier for your home and family.
Encapsulation is required.
Perhaps you’ve heard or read on this site that a crawl space is similar to a basement in many respects. Yes, it is. In relation to the air quality and moisture penetration in the home.
Crawl space encapsulation is essentially the same solution for a crawl space as a basement concrete floor. A vapor barrier is installed beneath the concrete floor to control moisture. The concrete on the floor is only for walking or durability. When a high-quality vapor barrier is utilized to enclose a crawl area, it will withstand crawl traffic and will not tear like flimsy plastic.
It Isn’t Just Plastic
Although not all crawl space vapor barriers are created equal, the truth is that they all aid in some manner. A high-quality vapor barrier, such as the SilverBackTM brand, can survive for 25 years or more, but a 6 or 10 mil clear plastic from the hardware store may only last 3 to 5 years. The true investment is in the time and effort required to execute it well, so for a little extra money up front, your efforts will bear fruit in the long run. If odor is an issue, make sure the vapor barrier is built of polyethylene rather than PVC. PVC liners will emit an odor similar to that of a pool liner. If a PVC liner emits odors in the crawl space, you will notice it in your home.
The Radon Gas
Radon gas is an issue for all types of dwellings and foundations. Before installing any crawl space vapor barrier, it is a good idea to test for Radon (we provide free radon test kits with every SilverBackTM order). The SilverBackTM vapor barrier prevents 98.6% of radon gas migration, however if there is a Radon gas concern, additional precautions must be done to protect your family.
If you do not adequately test and investigate the right measures to minimize Radon gas, you risk exacerbating the situation. Radon gas is a highly serious and even fatal problem.
For professional crawl space vapor barrier installation, contact Crawl Space Makeover.