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Encapsulating a crawl space is a common way to deal with moisture or flooding. It is also an easy way to quickly get control of the air quality in the home and lockout rodents and insects. When you’re thinking about “green-ovating” your home, or simply getting control of the moisture or humidity, when you have a crawl space, you must encapsulate.

Encapsulation does a great deal for the crawlspace and for the home above.

digging out a crawl space

What the process is and what it does

The practice of encapsulating or “sealing off” a crawlspace is done to lock out moisture and cut off the connection between moisture, water and the joists of a home. By running a vapor barrier down the walls of a crawl space to completely cover the floor, you essential separate the outside from the inside of the home.

This vapor barrier will be the flexible membrane between the walls and floor and the rest of the home. A properly designed vapor barrier will limit the transfer of moisture through it while regulating the speed at which air will naturally pass through. This helps to limit and control the amount of moisture that will find its way into the air space and completely segregate liquid water and direct it to a sump location.

mold in crawl space under house

5 helpful tips when having a Vapor Barrier installed in your crawlspace:

1.) Not all vapor barriers are made for this task – careful. There are many products out in the world that claim to be able to fully encapsulate a crawl space. Make sure that your vapor barrier has a low “perm” rate and that it is at least 14mil thick. If you’re planning to use the space for storage make sure that a flexible sub-flooring product is also placed on top of the vapor barrier to protect it.

2.) Cover the walls too – all too often contractors forget to also encapsulate the walls of the crawl space when installing a vapor barrier. This can still allow water and moisture into the basement and therefore render the whole project useless. Take care to make sure it’s installed properly.

3.) Don’t use sprays. – Sealants and sprays aren’t designed to be applied on the interior of the basement. They are good in many circumstances as the “first line of defense” but as the last, they can’t hold the pressure and moisture trapped in a wall.

4.) Install a sump and a dehumidifier – to totally control the moisture level in the crawl space it’s imperative that you have a sump pump and a dehumidifier installed. Moisture will still exist, although not to dangerous levels, but a sump will remove any liquid water your encapsulation traps, and the dehumidifier will deal with any residual moisture that naturally collects in the space.

Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Basics

digging out a crawl space

Crawl spaces are proven to be one of the most convenient floor setups because they can provide sufficient space for air conditioning, ventilation and heating systems, but vapor can really destroy your crawl space, and this is where a crawl space vapor barrier can help you.

Too much moisture under your home can be a real headache as this can affect the structure of your home. Mold and mildew not only destroy your crawl space but they can spread to your wooden flooring and carpet too. By installing a crawl space vapor barrier, you are leaving no room for mold and mildew to survive under your home. This way, you can maintain the strength and aesthetics of your home for several years.

A disappointing fact that I have observed is that many homeowners often underestimate the importance of installing moisture controllers and by the time they realize the importance, it will be too late. Termites and molds would have eaten up a good part of their crawl space. Second scenario is even worse: homeowners who find out that their home structure is under serious threat will install a vapor barrier, without ever considering its quality. Apart from wasting a significant amount of money, you will be left with no results because such insulations won't work well more than a few years and in some cases, only a couple of months.

If you do not miss the nitty-gritty of a professional installation, you can lead a healthy life in your home for several decades.

· Measurement: Before buying the barrier, you need to measure the length, width and height of your crawl space. This will give you an estimate on how much barrier sheet you need. It's always a good idea to buy some extra so that you won't run short on materials even if you wasted some sheet.

· Energy Efficiency: There are two benefits in buying energy efficient liner sheet. They will help you to save a good amount on energy bills, which will provide you excellent comfort in your home and the second advantage is the tax benefits. I have noticed that some store owners stress on the cheaper price and mislead their buyers on the long-term benefits of energy efficient sheets. You will be using them for several years and an energy efficient insulation will cut down your energy bills significantly all these years.

· Product Quality: Ideally, sheets with 60mil thickness provide you the best protection. Your sheet should provide you a minimum warranty of 20 years and it should be antimicrobial, rodent proof and termite proof. If you can't see these certifications on the sheets, you most likely are going to face a huge loss.

These are some of the important things to be considered when you are on the lookout for a crawl space vapor barrier. Needless to say, maintaining your home is the best idea compared to buying a new one because you can significantly improve the living quality of your home for a much lower cost. By installing energy efficient barriers with tax benefits, you are also fulfilling your social responsibility of conserving energy.

Crawlspace Vapor Barrier Mythbusters

digging out a crawl space

Many homeowners try to cut costs and increase their home's comfort level by installing a crawl space vapor barrier. This will instantly make your home healthier for you and your family, and prevent moisture damage, mold, mildew, foul smells and odors.

Most homeowners tend to look at their crawl space as separate space from their home, but in reality, the two are one. Water vapors that surface from the ground are continuously entering, creating undesirable conditions for you, your family, and your home.

Purpose

The purpose of a crawl space vapor barrier is to stop moisture and wetness from entering and affecting the floor and walls of your basement. Moisture tends to flow from warmer to colder spaces.

Many homeowners don't realize the importance of the proper installation, in order to keep moisture and water vapors from getting in the walls and floor of your basement-- condensation can lead to expensive structural damage. Also, if you can help control the moisture and dampness, you can greatly reduce the amount of energy required to cool and heat your home.

Preparation

When considering the installation of a vapor barrier, take into consideration two spaces in your home; the crawl space and the attic. Humidity tends to build in the walls of both these areas causing mold, mildew and dry rot. This can cause severe health issues for adults and children, especially for those with asthma, breathing difficulties, and allergies. In addition, it can cause severe structural damage to your home.

Some homeowners think that because they insulate the floor joists there is no need to do any additional work, but these items do not serve the same purpose!

Tips for Installation

One of the most popular do-it-yourself vapor barrier products is polyethylene, or plastic sheeting. This plastic sheeting comes in various thicknesses; 4mm, 6mm and 10mm.

With today's technology, this product is made from a high quality material, resistant to rips and punctures. Always check the soil so there aren't any objects or materials that may damage the lining. The slightest puncture, rip or tear could compromise the entire system.

Always, make sure the space is dry before you begin any repairs. To remove the moisture, you may need a dehumidifier.

Overlap the barrier a minimum of 12 inches on the side walls. Be sure it is tight. Use furring strips and masonry nails to firmly secure the lining then caulk along the joints.

Seal all the seams with a heavy duty tape. However, it is recommended not to use tapes that are not specially designed for sealing vapor barriers. When working in the basement you will be forced to contend with pipes, make the proper cuts and seal securely with tape.

The completion of your crawl space vapor barrier will be the best investment you can make in your home.


Crawl Space Repair In Yorkville TN

Crawl Space Waterproofing & Mold Remediation

There is a very good reason as to why companies like Crawl Space Repair in Yorkville TN exist – not everyone is comfortable with the idea of making his or her way through a crawl space in order to troubleshoot problems in a home or a building. With humidity levels being consistently high regardless of the seasons in Knoxville, TN, you can be sure that mold growth, as well as dampness in a building, is going to be a constant menace that needs to be remedied. Crawl Space Masters is a reliable name when it comes to basement waterproofing and crawl space repair in Knoxville, TN.

Some of the services offered by Crawl Space Masters include crawl space humidity, crawl space insulation, crawl space mold removal, and removing the presence of water in crawl space.

Crawl Space Humidity

Crawl space humidity is an issue when humidity levels hit the 55% figure or more. Too much crawl space humidity will normally result in mold, wood rot fungus, the nasty and unwanted presence of insects and dust mites, as well as utility bills which will shock you at the end of the month. Too much crawl space humidity will affect even hardwood flooring and different kinds of floor coverings. Solutions offered include the use of French drains or curtain drains, in addition to making use of an interior drain system and sump pump to minimize humidity levels.

Crawl Space Insulation

The importance of hiring an experienced crawl space repair company in Yorkville TN for crawl space insulation cannot be understated – it will not only ensure a high level of energy efficiency in your home, ensuring that you remain nice and warm during winter and cold in the summer. Even after crawl space encapsulation, crawl space insulation is still an essential part of any building as evident in the requirements of local and national building codes. Depending on the property that is being looked at, foam board insulation, as well as closed cell spray foam would be used.

Crawl Space Mold Removal

As mold loves the dark and damp places to grow, the crawl space is one of the perfect places to facilitate the growth of mold. Inadvertently, this will lead to poor indoor air quality for everyone living at home. Hence, make sure that you get in touch with the right company to perform crawl space repair in Yorkville TN, when it comes to upgrading to a closed crawl space so that there is a moisture barrier on the floor and liners which will extend all the way up to the walls. This is also good for your monthly utility bills as heating and cooling costs will be reduced along the way.

Signs You Need Crawl Space Repairs

crawl space insulation Nashville, Tennessee

crawl space insulation 

Professional contractors have the experience and knowledge to determine the cause of the problem and offer the right solution. But when do you know it is time to bring in a professional crawl space repair contractor? Here are some signs you should look out for:

1. Presence of water

If there is water in your crawl space, most likely there is a major problem. You have to fix the problem before it causes further damage to your house. Letting it sit for a long time can also lead to other issues like weakened foundation, molds and mildew. Make sure to install a vapor barrier right away.

2. Insect infestation

Dark and damp areas like a crawl space are breeding grounds for insects. If you notice the appearance of insects like spiders or roaches in your house, this is a sure sign that your space is having problems. It’s true that insect infestation can be remedied by using insecticides or calling pest control, but the problem will just return unless you have your crawl space fixed.

3. Damp and heavy air

If there is moisture below the house the air becomes damp and heavy. This is not just limited to the affected area as air travels upwards to every part of the house. You need to have your space repaired immediately to avoid more severe problems in the future. It can also help avoid the health hazards that accompany moist air.

4. Higher electricity bills

There are several reasons why your electricity bills are skyrocketing like poor insulation or improper use of appliances. But crawl space problems can also be a factor. If it is properly insulated, it helps better air circulation in your house. This means that there is little need for an a/c; thereby, lowering your electrical consumption.

5. Sloping Floors

Another sign that you need a repair is when the floors and walls in your house slope or sag. Slopping floors and walls are an indication of a weakened foundation due to water damage. Moisture and water will cause the beams to rot. If you notice this in your home, make sure to call professional repair company right away.

Understanding the signs of damage helps prevent bigger problems in the future. When you see any of the signs given above, don’t hesitate to call a crawl space repair contractor immediately. Set an appointment with a local company for an assessment. Professional contractors can tell you what the problem is and the methods to fix it. But before you agree to anything, make sure that you compare different contractors first. This will help you make an informed decision regarding your problem.

If you are experiencing any of these crawl space symptoms it’s time to call in the professionals. Crawl Space Masters provide a wide range of services to help solve any crawl space problems that are affecting your home.