Crawl spaces were originally designed to create space between the ground and your home, but these foundations have led to some unforeseen problems. Generally, this has to do with exposure to humidity from the outside. Certain situations cause more water damage than others, but crawl space encapsulation protects your foundation from all forms of moisture.
How Crawl Space Encapsulation Works
Crawl space encapsulation involves the use of multiple solutions which ultimately protect your crawl space from all forms of moisture. Here’s what you can expect on installation day.
- Surveying and Removing Debris: The first step in encapsulation requires our team to survey your crawl space for any debris that might impede installation. Removing any faulty insulation, liners, and organic material ensures that your crawl space solutions don’t get damaged. Once everything is removed, we put it onto our truck and dispose of it, so you won’t have to deal with any loose debris below your home.
- Regrade the Soil and Install Drainage: Next, our team regrades the soil – shifting it so that any pooling water that might be present in your crawl space moves the outside edges of the foundation. Around this perimeter, we recommend installing CrawlDrain, a 4-inch-thick crawl space drainage pipe that redirects groundwater away from your home with protection against clogging.
- Install a Sump Pump and Vent Covers: After the crawl space drain is installed, our team recommends installing a sump pump below your home. Not only does a sump pump provide further protection from rising water levels below the ground, but it can also connect to and coordinate with CrawlDrain. We also recommend covering any crawl space vents, as these gaps make it much easier for outdoor humidity to infiltrate your foundation and cause mold growth or wood rot.
- Insulate Walls, Install Vapor Barrier, and Dehumidify: Lastly, our team will install specialized wall insulation, which better controls the temperature below your home. Plus, our insulation is made with termiticide to protect against pesky termites that might try to feed on wooden beams in your crawl space. Next, we cover your entire crawl space with a 20-mil thick vapor barrier, which is virtually tear and puncture-proof. Finally, we install a dehumidifier in the crawl space to remove and defend against water vapor.
Why Our Crawl Space Encapsulation Stands Out
- Defends against all types of water, from vapor to liquid, keeping your crawl space prepared for any situation that might arise.
- Can greatly increase your homes air quality and energy efficiency which saves you money in the long run and keeps your home healthy.
- Discourages pests from entering your crawl space and prevents mold from infesting the entirety of your home.
Signs Your Home Needs Crawl Space Encapsulation
Mold is one of the most common problem signs that your crawl space can face. That’s because mold thrives in humid environments made with organic matter. Since wooden beams are used to build the frame of your home, they serve as the perfect feeding ground for mold. Mix this with humidity and moisture damage from outside elements, and mold is quickly able to multiply in your crawl space. Without crawl space encapsulation, mold growth is uncontrolled and might eventually spread into your home or cause structural damage in your crawl space.
Another common problem in crawl spaces is wood rot. As mentioned, crawl spaces utilize wooden beams to support the structure of your home. Without encapsulation, these beams are exposed to outdoor conditions like rain, humidity, or flooding. Once water penetrates the wood, the support beams begin to break down until they are too weak to properly support your home – leading to structural damage throughout.
If humidity levels in your home are consistently high, it likely has to do with your crawl space. Another side effect that goes along with the aforementioned problem signs is rising humidity below your home. After all, when any kind of moisture gets into your crawl space, it eventually evaporates and causes high moisture levels. Eventually, through a process known as the Stack Effect, this humid air moves up into your home. This process hikes up humidity in your living space and makes your energy bills skyrocket.
Typically, homeowners’ insurance will not cover crawl space encapsulation unless your home’s crawl space has recently been damaged by a flood or a severe leak. Although homeowners’ insurance does not usually pay for crawl space encapsulation, it can still be a very good investment for homeowners since it protects against mold growth, improves your indoor air quality, and may increase the value of your home.
Absolutely. Crawl space encapsulation can end up saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars in a few different ways. First of all, it prevents water damage from ruining the structural integrity of your home. With crawl space encapsulation, you can avoid major repair fees and feel confident that your crawl space is permanently protected. Additionally, crawl space encapsulation also makes your home more energy efficient by controlling humidity levels. In turn, your energy bills are lowered.
We don’t recommend attempting a DIY encapsulation of your crawl space. Crawl spaces can be difficult to navigate, and you could cause injury to yourself, or damage to your home, with any missteps. Moreover, encapsulation requires specific tools, and store-bought solutions cannot compete with professional options. Even if you were able to obtain professional-grade tools, the process of encapsulation requires precise measurements and perfect installation to be effective. For your safety, leave encapsulation to the professionals.
Call Foundation Support Specialists for a Free Inspection
Clients in San Antonio and Austin, TX choose FSS for their crawl space encapsulation services because they know when they hire us it’s the start of a partnership, not just a one-and-done transaction. Each and every crawl space is different, which is why we will work with you to develop a plan that meets your home’s individual needs. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a free inspection with one of our technicians to start protecting your crawl space today.