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Crawl Space Encapsulation

Encapsulation Vs Vapor Barrier What Is Ideal For Your Crawl Space?

Posted on November 15, 2022

Crawl space Encapsulation refers to the narrow and vacant area present beneath your house. It is much similar to a basement but smaller in size. So, you only have the option to do a little in this space. 

You can decide to leave this space empty. But, it is not a good idea as it can attract several problems such as pest infestations, poor air quality, high humidity, mildew, mold, etc.

The crawl space of your house can even impact the quality of air flowing inside your home. Due to this reason, it becomes essential to conduct regular check ups in this part of your house. Your main goal should be to prevent the buildup of moisture in this space. Otherwise, you would end up compromising the health of you and your family members.

Now, one question that may arise in your mind is how to prevent moisture buildup. You can address this concern in many ways, such as ensuring that your foundation is well insulated, getting a humidifier, sealing your crawl space floor, etc. 

Many people even choose to deal with this problem by adopting different techniques that are specially designed for this. Out of these, the two most popular methods are crawl space encapsulation Raleigh NC and vapor barrier. Both of these methods are typically used for sealing a crawl space. However, both methods have their pros and cons. 

If you are now confused between these two, then don’t be concerned anymore! This comprehensive guide will discuss these techniques and their unique advantages and disadvantages. 

Reading this blog post from the start to the end will help you clarify which particular method to rely on when it comes to your crawl space. So, let’s get started:

Understanding Crawl Space Encapsulation In Detail

 

Crawl space encapsulation is a technique intended to protect your crawl space. When compared to installing a vapor diffuser barrier, this particular approach is known to be more intensive. 

With encapsulation, you will see that every inch of your crawl space gets covered in white plastic. The plastic utilized in this case typically acts as a heavy-duty moisture barrier. In this case, the encapsulating layer is positioned at the top of the soil below your house and on the walls of your crawl space. 

So, encapsulation means complete sealing of your overall crawl space. You must install a sump pump and a dehumidifier whenever you choose encapsulation. Doing so can reduce the buildup of moisture inside your crawl space. It helps reduce the risk of mold, thereby improving air quality. 

Now, let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this technique in the following section:

Pros

 

Several benefits come with crawl space encapsulation. We are going to talk about some of those in the following section. Let’s find those out:

  • Ensures Better Quality Of Air: By choosing to encapsulate your crawl space, you can ensure the inflow of clean air all through your house. And thereby making it healthier to breathe for you and your family members. 

On the contrary, unsealed crawl spaces attract moisture and other related problems like molds. Crawl space encapsulation helps in removing all the moisture, which ensures that the humid air no longer flows in your house. 

  • Boosts Energy Efficiency: Encapsulation of your crawl space helps increase energy efficiency as your HVAC unit does not have to deal with damp air created by a moist crawl space. 

So, it can function with much less energy, lowering your monthly energy bills. 

  • Eradicates Pest Infestation: Rodents and bugs love moisture, so when your crawl space is moist, you attract pests to your house. Thus, by doing crawl space encapsulation, you can prevent this problem. 

Cons

 

  • The cost of encapsulating your crawl space is on the higher side. 
  • It would help if you also considered additional maintenance costs.

Digging Into Details About Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

 

Crawl space vapor barrier or diffusion barrier is the technique that incorporates the placement of 6-millimeter black plastic (known as Visqueen) on your crawl space floor. This plastic acts as a layer of protection and directly sits at the top of the soil underneath your house. 

So, there is no guarantee that it covers parts of your foundation piers. Another essential thing to note is that, as the barrier fails to enclose the air vents and thus, it is not required to install other moisture management features. It includes a sump pump or dehumidifier.

Pros

 

  • Improves The Quality Of Air: The diffuser barrier has the potential to get rid of dampness. It is known for deterring mildew and mold. And thereby helps in enhancing the quality of indoor air. 

So, you can rest assured that the air you and your family are inhaling is healthier and fresher.

  • Regarded As A Cost-Effective Solution: As the installation process is simple and incorporates buying and installing the Visqueen, it is a cost-effective means to deal with crawl space problems.
  • Offers Space For Safe Storage: By reducing excessive moisture, you can make your crawl space suitable for storing items. The best part is that you do not have to worry about any decay or damage by choosing to place objects in this place.

Cons

 

  • Although vapor barriers help reduce moisture, this method cannot completely stop the buildup of moisture. It is because the space is partially sealed in this case. 
  • It also means there are still chances for mildew and mold to appear in your crawl space. 
  • Due to the excessive dampness, your house may be at risk of structural damage, especially long-term.

Which Specific Method To Choose In Between These Two?

 

Now that you have read both methods’ advantages and disadvantages, which is better? Well, the answer to this question is based on many different factors. It includes your unique requirements and your budget.

However, you will find many of the experts recommending the encapsulation method over the vapor barrier. The encapsulation technique helps seal off more areas in the crawl space. 

Also, this method aids in sealing off the vents, cracks, and holes so you can see less moisture in the crawl space. Once you have considered all of these factors, you can make a better decision. 

Final Words

 

Hopefully, now you have decided about the option for your home’s crawl space after weighing all the pros and cons listed above. 

Have you decided to go for crawl space encapsulation? If yes, it becomes crucial to hire a reputed service provider for this task. One such recognized name to consider is Atlantic Foundation & Crawl Space Repair. We are a leading crawl space encapsulation company that offers best-in-class services. For more details, contact Atlantic Foundation & Crawl Space Repair today. 

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