Monday, June 5th, 2017 by Brad Nieman
Why You Should Encapsulate Your Crawl Space
If you look into your crawlspace, you may notice stagnant water, moldy insulation, sagging insulation or a bad smell.
Your crawlspace could be wet for several reasons:
Moisture in your crawl space will cause the growth of mold which leads to unwanted smells. If left untreated the mold will cause rot and structural damage to your home.
Vents in your crawl space often fail when the air flow is impeded when the vents get blocked by plants or other object outside the vent. When this occurs, water that collects around the home or drips down the exterior walls can enter your crawlspace creating moisture problems.
40% or more of your homes air comes from your crawlspace. Air in your crawlspace seeps up into your home through the floors, and around heating and air ducts. The air quality of your crawlspace can have a negative impact on your home if there is excess moisture and mold. Common health issues caused by poor crawlspace air include headaches, fevers, and respiratory problems.
Its All About the Vapor Barrier
According to the EPA, a vapor barrier will keep your home drier and is especially recommended for older homes to control dampness. In areas where humidity is an issue, your crawlspace likely has moisture and a vapor barrier will help keep the moisture down because it will prevent moisture from escaping from the soil. Installed correctly and spread uniformly across the soil and the walls of your crawlspace, the vapor barrier creates a barrier between moisture and your home. Most homes with crawlspaces have ductwork running underneath their home, and many have their HVAC systems located there. It is important to keep moisture at a minimum to prevent metal from rusting and corroding. Many crawlspaces also have wiring. Water and electricity do not mix well. Accumulation of excess moisture is a potential fire hazard and could create an unsafe environment for anyone that enters the crawlspace.
Since excess moisture in your crawlspace can enter your home through the floor boards, keeping the moisture to a minimum will also help maintain moisture levels in your home.In addition to a damp free home, a vapor barrier will also reduce your utility bills because your air conditioner will operate more efficiently.The risk of excess dampness and moisture in your home is mold. If your crawlspace is wet and that moisture enters your home, you will not only have mold problems in the crawlspace but your home.
Your crawlspace is an area of your home that you can potentially use for storage. In order to ensure that your crawlspace is a safe and clean environment, a vapor barrier will reduce moisture and also keep the area clean and less inhabitable for rodents and insects. The most important role that a vapor barrier plays is keeping the moisture in the soil. At the same time, it will help maintain a cleaner and safer environment for you, should you choose to use it for storage or other uses.