- February 18, 2021
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If you do not have a basement, your home is most likely built on a crawl space. It’s not a place most homeowners ever visit, so it can become an “out of sight, out of mind” sort of thing. But if you’ve noticed a musty smell in your home, indoor allergy symptoms, cold floors in winter, warm floors in the summer, mold and mildew growth on the first floor, cupping and swelling flooring, or an increase in the pest population, your crawl space could be to blame.
Open up your crawl space access. Shine a flashlight in there. Do you see standing water? Do you see visible mold growth? Is the insulation falling? Can you see outside sunlight through open vents? Evidence of standing water? All clear signs that you could benefit from crawl space encapsulation. There are several steps in the encapsulation process, including:
1. Get a Crawl Space Inspection
The first step is to schedule a professional crawl space inspection. Value Dry Waterproofing provides this service at no cost to homeowners. The inspector will inspect inside and outside the crawl space, and take a video or photos while in your crawl space. Afterward, the inspector will share their findings and make recommendations on what to do to improve the area.
2. Prepare the Crawl Space
Before we do any work on your crawl space, we need to clean it up. This means removing any standing water, trash, plastic, and/or other debris from your crawl space floor, and creating a fairly leveled out floor inside the crawl space. We would also remove any moisture-ruined insulation at this time.
If we see visible mold on your floor joists or HVAC equipment, we can treat it with an anti-microbial, or bring in one of our mold-remediation referral partners to address it, before proceeding. If there is any wood rot visible, it is a structural problem and should be addressed as well.
3. Address Seepage and/or Standing Water
Next, we need to address foundation and groundwater seepage issues. This would involve installing a drainage system with one or more sump pumps, along with a battery backup sump pump. Your crawl space may appear dry as a bone and you may elect not to install any drainage. We do always have to recommend it however because if it rains enough, then you will likely have a problem.
4. Install Crawl Space Vapor Barrier on Foundation Walls and Floor
Next, we install insulation in between the rim joist along the band board on top of your foundation, and an insulated vapor barrier option on the walls, drainage matting and a 20 mil vapor barrier on the floor of your crawl space. The vapor barrier and drainage matting are sealed to the wall insulation chosen to help prevent moisture from the dirt and the walls from entering into the air in the crawl space .
5. Seal Vents and Around Pipes
Before the insulated vapor barrier is placed on the wall, we seal the crawl space vents with insulation. We will also attach the insulated vapor barrier to a new installed composite crawl space door. We are looking to insure a proper seal of all gaps and cracks.
6. Seal the Vapor Barrier Seams Tightly
Next, we seal all vapor barrier seams with tape for the tightest seal. The tape that we use is strong, waterproof, durable, and resistant to moisture and temperature fluctuations.
7. Condition and Ventilate the Space
Now that we have dealt with water seepage issues and sealed the crawl space walls and floor tightly, it’s time to condition the space. Crawl space conditioning involves installing a crawl space dehumidifier, a crawl space ventilation system, or a combination of the two. We always recommend this step. Different crawl spaces require different solutions. We suggest installing the EZ-Breathe ventilation device in each and every crawl space we work in. Sometimes humidity issues associated with particular homes also require a crawl space dehumidifier.
Once your crawl space encapsulation is complete, you may notice a positive difference in your indoor air quality, as well as in your energy bills. You will also have peace of mind knowing that you are protecting your home’s value. In addition, your floors and feet will be warmer in the winter months!
Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost
Your final crawl space encapsulation cost depends on a number of factors, including:
- Who you hire to do the job
- How large your crawl space is
- The extent of water infiltration and water damage
- The materials and products they use
Of course, we’re biased, but we feel crawl space encapsulation is worth every penny. In addition to protecting your home’s foundation and giving you cleaner air to breathe, you will likely also see reduced heating and cooling bills. Crawl space encapsulation can also increase the value of your home.
Schedule a Free Crawl Space Inspection
If you want to protect your home’s value and your family’s health, you may want to look into crawl space encapsulation. We must warn you that this is not a DIY job, especially if you want it to work as it is supposed to. We can’t tell you how many times we have had to fix problems resulting from someone who didn’t do the job correctly.
An easy first step is scheduling a free crawl space inspection. Value Dry Waterproofing provides this service at no cost to homeowners throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia, as well as Kent County and Sussex County in Delaware.
Our inspectors are knowledgeable, thorough, and honest. We’ll show you what we found, give you our recommendations to improve and condition your crawl space, and answer any questions you have. If you decide to move forward, we offer competitive rates and superior products. If you hire us, we can generally complete your crawl space encapsulation in 2-5 days.
Give us a call at (888) 768-2583 or fill out the online form and our office will get in contact with you to schedule a free inspection.