The Benefits of Having an Encapsulated Crawl Space

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Unless driven by some compelling need, many homeowners avoid the crawlspace beneath their house. It’s understandable since it’s a cramped, lightless space that probably houses spiders and other insects. If you’re very unlucky, you might even find raccoons living in the crawlspace.

Of course, the real threat from your crawlspace is not pest infestations, but moisture. You can usually tell if there is moisture in your crawlspace based on the musty smell or water stains.

Dealing with or preventing the problem of crawl space moisture almost always boils down to some form of waterproofing. A popular option in recent years is encapsulation. Keep reading and we’ll tell you some of the benefits of an encapsulated crawl space.

1. Prevent Mold Growth

Most crawlspaces enjoy limited ventilation and no natural light. These are ideal conditions for mold growth. Mold also proves a common sign that your crawlspace lacks the necessary waterproofing.

Preventing mold infestations is a crucial step in long-term home health. Mold can damage organic components of your home, such as the wood 2x4s in your walls, which compromises the structure.

Encapsulation prevents moisture from entering or sitting in your crawlspace. This makes it very difficult for mold to get a foothold. 

2. Protects Your Health

Mold doesn’t just threaten your home’s structural integrity. It can pose a threat to your family’s health. 

If mold infiltrates your heating or cooling system, the system circulates the spores everywhere in your home. You end up breathing the spores. That can cause symptoms that resemble a cold, such as:

  • sneezing
  • irritated eyes
  • fatigue
  • headaches

Unfortunately, these symptoms will persist for as long as the mold remains. By preventing the mold with encapsulation, you avoid the ongoing health issues.

3. Discourages Pests

Remember those spiders and raccoons from earlier? Here’s some good news. Encapsulated crawl spaces provide a much less inviting environment for insects and rodents.

This also lets you avoid common issues that go along with pests, such as damage to wiring, insulation, and wood. Fewer pests also make it a lot less miserable to visit your crawlspace for a quick inspection once or twice a year.

4. Protects Flooring

Many homeowners enjoy the look of wood flooring. The problem is that most wood flooring is only sealed on the interior surface. The wood beneath remains exposed.

The exposed wood will absorb moisture from the crawlspace. The more moisture, the more absorption.

If the wood flooring soaks up enough moisture, you can see problems like boards cupping or warping. That leaves you with an uneven and unattractive floor.

In the worst-case scenario, your flooring can even start to rot beneath your feet.

5. Better Air Quality

An encapsulated crawl space basically traps the particulates that can damage the air quality of your home. Mold and mildew prevention contributes to better air quality, as does preventing pests from moving into your crawl space.

6. Lower Utility Costs

Heating air inside a building with a dirt floor crawlspace causes the hot air to vent from the top portions of the house. This causes something called negative pressure in the crawl space.

Air from outside gets pulled into the crawl space and makes the entire lower portion of the home colder. This makes your heat kick back on and reinforces the negative pressure problem.

In essence, your attempts to keep it warm inside end up costing you money because you’re also dragging in cold air. Encapsulation helps you limit the negative pressure in your crawl space. That means your furnace runs less and costs you less.

7. Longer Use Life from Your HVAC

Most HVAC components get an expected useful life in the two-decade range. Of course, these estimates come from the expected wear-and-tear of using your HVAC system under “normal conditions.”

That typically means in a house without an encapsulated crawl space or basement. Since you’ll need less work from your HVAC system to keep your home warm or cool, you can expect a longer lifespan from your system.

8. Helps Sell the House

There is a good chance that you will sell your current home someday. An encapsulated crawlspace can prove a solid selling point.

As information about the pitfalls of old-style crawl spaces becomes common knowledge, it makes people more wary about buying a house that has one that is not encapsulated. 

Letting potential buyers know that you already dealt with all of those potential problems can make the house more attractive. In fact, it might even encourage them to overlook other minor problems with the house.

9. Tax and Rebate Benefits

There is a wide range of potential tax and rebate benefits that go along with home improvements that boost efficiency.

Check with your utility company and see if they offer rebates on encapsulation services. Check with their competitors as well. You might find out that it’s worth the hassle of switching utility companies.

Check with a local accountant regarding tax benefits. They should know what state-specific benefits apply to your home, as well as any federal tax benefits.

Parting Thoughts on Encapsulated Crawl Space Benefits

The typical crawl space creates a lot of potential problems. An encapsulated crawl space can help you avoid or limit many of them.

An encapsulated space can all but eliminate the chances of mold and mildew problems. Not to mention protecting your floors from cupping and warping. It also makes your crawl space unattractive to pests.

Armored Basement Waterproofing specializes in basement water repairs, including crawlspace encapsulation. Ready to put your basement water problems to bed? Contact Armored Basement Waterproofing today.