Crawl Space Encapsulation
Studies show that as much as 50% of the air in your home travels up from your crawl space. This air is often higher in relative humidity than your indoor air, and it can carry musty odors and symptom-triggering allergens, such as mold spores, mildew, bacteria, and dust mites. Moreover, too-damp air in your crawl space can damage your home’s infrastructure, wood flooring, and HVAC systems. That’s why it is so important to keep these areas dry and clean through crawl space encapsulation.
What is crawl space encapsulation?
If you’re reading this, there’s a 99% chance you have a ventilated type of crawl space under your home. This is because since the 1800s, homes have been built with the premise that foundation vents should be installed to allow airflow and drainage under the home. At the time, this was actually a great idea. Throughout the 1900s, homes were built out of wood and placed very close to the ground. However, wood easily absorbs moisture and early homeowners quickly realized that ground moisture would quickly rot a house’s structure and floors, so venting was introduced. Venting allowed ground moisture to escape through holes in the foundation walls and this was a great thing that prolonged the life of wood structures for several decades.
In reality, foundation vents leave you at the mercy of the weather conditions outside. If it’s cold outside, it’s cold in the crawl space. Same with humidity in the summer. Plastic was invented shortly after World War II. Builders quickly realized laying ground plastic was a great way to prevent ground moisture from evaporating into the home. Although this may be true, the problem we have in Atlanta and all over the South is very humid summers. Humidity has plagued Southern homeowners for centuries, and until very recently there has been no way to deal with it. The #1 cause of structural failure in residential buildings is water damage. The #2 cause is humidity damage, which includes mold growth. Since it is incredibly humid in Atlanta for half of the year, mold growth has always been a major concern.
Crawl Space Encapsulation is the only guaranteed way to prevent new growth from occurring, since we are removing the key item mold needs to thrive – moisture. By preventing ground moisture with a high-quality plastic, water will stop evaporating from the earth into your home. The next step is to seal off all sources of exterior air intrusion. This is done primarily by closing and permanently sealing foundation vents. Now that you have a sealed space, the air under the home can be easily and efficiently conditioned by installing a dehumidifier. This allows you to control the conditions year-round.
How does crawl space encapsulation benefit me?
An encapsulated crawl space is healthier for you and your home because it prevents excess humidity in the space under the house. It also helps you breathe easier, lowers energy bills, and reduces the chances of costly repairs.
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Waterproofing • Encapsulation • Foundation Repair • Concrete Services • Mold Remediation • Atlanta, Georgia • South Carolina • Western North Carolina