If your home has a crawl space, it can be a breeding ground for bugs and mold if it is often damp. Keeping a crawl space dry is challenging. Even if water doesn't drain into the space after a rain, water vapor can rise through the floor and seep through the walls. Plus, if the crawl space is vented, then humid air can come in from the outside. All of these problems can be solved by encapsulating your crawl space. Here's how crawl space encapsulation is done and why it's worth it.
How A Crawl Space Is Encapsulated
Your crawl space may be a creepy area right now with dirt floors and openings that allow animals, bugs, and snakes to enter freely. It may have a musty odor and be humid and hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. All that changes when the space is encapsulated. The entire crawl space is sealed in plastic so moisture and humidity are blocked from the space. Since the area is encapsulated in plastic, it's necessary to ventilate the area in some way so it stays dry. This can be done by routing air from your HVAC into the space or by installing a dehumidifier.
If there's a problem with drainage that can't be fixed, then the crawl space might need a sump pump too. The end result is a crawl space that is encapsulated with vapor barrier plastic, possibly with insulation on the walls, and ventilation in place. All dampness and musty odors are trapped on the outside of the plastic so the inside is clean, dry, and odor free.
Why Encapsulating A Crawl Space Is Worth It
Air from the crawl space mixes with the air in your house so if the crawl space smells musty and is damp, then your home has the same problems. This might even affect your allergies even though you don't realize it. With the crawl space encapsulated, the air quality in your home improves and the humidity level may go down. You may even notice a decrease in bugs and spiders that crawl up from below. Keeping the space under your home dry protects your home from damage that can result from water seeping in and constant dampness.
Plus, when you have a dry and clean crawl space, you don't have to be afraid to go down there because of pests you might encounter, and you can even use the space for storage if you want so it isn't wasted space. You may not realize all the problems a damp crawl space gives you until you've dried it out by having it encapsulated. If the area is often wet and musty now, then you should notice a big improvement once the encapsulation is done.
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