How to Reduce Heating Costs with Crawl Space Encapsulation
- November 19, 2020
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Buying your home was probably the biggest purchase you ever made and if you’re like most of us, you’re looking to protect your investment. You also want a cozy and healthy home. With winter coming, the family may be arguing about where to keep the temperature.
Did you know that homes with a crawl space cost more to heat? If your crawl space is vented to the exterior, those vents allow winter air underneath your home and cause your floors to be cold in the winter. As a result, it takes longer for your heat pump or furnace to warm your home.
A dirt floor crawl space also increases the humidity in your home. Damp air is more difficult to heat and cool, and requires more energy to get to your comfort level. Crawl space encapsulation and conditioning works to remedy this.
Crawl Space Encapsulation is an Energy Efficient Home Improvement
You could have the most energy efficient windows and doors, LED lighting, and HVAC system, and will have enormous heating and cooling bills, all because of your crawl space. With crawl space encapsulation, we take a multi-pronged approach. When we’re done, you’ll have what’s known as an encapsulated and conditioned crawl space.
This will not only help reduce your heating and cooling costs, but also:
- Help protect your foundation
- Help prevent floor rot
- Work to prevent mold and mildew proliferation
- Reduce unwanted pests
- Improve indoor air quality in your crawl space and the rest of your home
The issues we address with crawl space encapsulation include:
If there are noticeable puddles or evidence of them, you have foundation seepage and drainage issues. This water can get into your crawl space foundation walls and soak the soil, increase humidity, and endangering your foundation and wood subfloor. To fix the groundwater issues, we will install a sump pump and drainage system engineered for tight spaces.
Wet Walls and Damp Soil
To prevent damage to your foundation and reduce the possibility of mold and mildew growth, as well as reduce your heating and cooling bills, we need to reduce the humidity. This is where we would execute an entire crawl space encapsulation. We install a heavy-duty polyethylene liner and drainage matting over the bare earth, insulate the walls, and seal around all of the joists, pies, and crevices. This encapsulation system creates a vapor barrier to the foundation seepage cannot affect the first floor of your home and is trapped behind the insulation and beneath the liner.
Sealing and Insulation
Next, we seal all of the open air vents. Then insulate the walls and band board.
Ventilation and Dehumidifying the Air
In addition, we always advise installing a dehumidifier, small exhaust fan, or an air circulation/ventilation device. This can include the EZ Breathe or Santa Fe Dehumidifier.
Building a New Home? Encapsulate the Crawl Space
You might be interested in a conditioned crawl space guide from Talbot County, MD which indicates that ‘conditioned crawl spaces do not cost more to construct than vented crawl spaces.’ The government guide goes further to say, ‘Crawl spaces should be designed and constructed as mini basements, part of the house – within the conditioned space.’
The International Residential Code (IRC) clearly states that if a new home is built with a conditioned crawl space, it does not need to be vented. Prevent crawl space issues and high heating and AC costs before they start.
Is Crawl Space Encapsulation Worth the Cost?
Crawl space encapsulation of an existing home may cost you $5,000- $15,000. It all depends on the square footage of your crawl space, the condition of the crawl space, and who you hire do to the job. Encapsulating your crawl space is not a DIY job. Half measures in crawl spaces can do more harm than good.
You need to hire professionals with proven experience in waterproofing and encapsulating crawl spaces. As with any major home improvement, you will want to get multiple estimates, check references, and get written quotes.
Now back to the question of whether crawl space encapsulation is worth the cost. We’re biased, but we would say wholeheartedly, from our experience, ‘Yes!’ In the humid locations of Maryland and Virginia, encapsulating your crawl space has many cost-saving benefits, including:
- Protecting your home’s foundation from needing costly repairs
- Keeping your home healthier by reducing the risk of mold and airborne particulates
- Helps to alleviate the cost of mold remediation
- Helps save on energy bills
- Helps give peace of mind
- Helps to increase the value of your home (stay tuned for more on home value in our next blog)
Get a Free Crawl Space Inspection
If you would like to learn how you can potentially save 15 to 25% on your energy costs and create a healthier home, crawl space encapsulation is for you. Value Dry Waterproofing offers a free inspection to homeowners through Maryland and northern Virginia, as well as Kent County and Sussex County in Delaware.
We’ve been in business for more than 20 years and we know our stuff. After the inspection we will tell you what we found underneath your living space, give you our recommendation to improve and condition your crawl space, and answer any questions you may have. Just call us at (888) 768-2583 or fill out the contact form and our team will contact you to schedule a free inspection. And remember, we offer a Lifetime Transferable Warranty on our crawl space workmanship.