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How to Encapsulate a Crawl Space

How to Encapsulate a Crawl Space

Are you tired of being cold in your own home? Or perhaps you live in Texas or Arizona and you find that all of the cool air you pump into to keep you cool is seeping away?

Then it could be because you haven’t encapsulated crawl space, the space between your bricks, the floor and even the roof to ensure that nothing can get in or out.

But don’t panic. There are ways to stop this. It just requires a little persistence and hard work. Begin your new year’s resolutions at your home by giving it a makeover with crawlspace encapsulation. Here’s how to encapsulate a crawl space.

Can You Encapsulate It?

The first thing you need to figure out when you consider crawl space encapsulation is if it can be encapsulated.

Some holes require much more extensive structural renovation so first, you must investigate.

First of all is it physically possible to fill up the space? If it appears too difficult or too awkward a shape then it is probably best to leave it.

There are a few other things to look out for, one of which is pests. Insects and other small animals are pretty persistent. So if they have created a nest in the space or are likely to penetrate any crawl space encapsulation you attempt then it is best to leave the job until you have carried out pest control.

Water is another problem to be on the look for. If the space regularly fills with water you are either going to need to waterproof it first or attempt to stop the leak of the water into the hole. You may need to invest in better outside drains first. Hire a plumber to investigate if you think this is a problem.

Even if you feel now is the right time to sell your house it is worth getting all of these problems under control before you sell it.

Clean It Out

The next step of preparation before you being the process of crawl space encapsulation is to clean out the space. If there are no serious problems that might come back to haunt you after encapsulation it’s time to get down and dirty on your knees.

Clean out any dead rats, leaves, or any other debris that has found its way into the crawl space.

Plastic Vapor Barrier

After carrying out the appropriate preparation, it’s now time to install a plastic vapor barrier.

Cover the walls first with a special plastic — a type of cross-laminated polyethylene that also has reinforcing scrim. This will be last a lot longer than normal plastic. Attach it using a gun and strong glue to ensure it stays in place.

Next, it’s time to get to work on the floor. Lay a drainage mat first. This is like an insurance policy if water seeps from the plastic you are about to lay on top of it.

The plastic material covering the floor is even thicker than the material covering the walls. Be sure to lay it correctly and be sure to follow appropriate building regulations.

 How to Encapsulate a Crawl Space

Insulate Those Walls

The next step is designed to stop you from getting cold in the winter months and too hot in the summer — insulation. After covering the walls and floor with plastic you now need to install insulation.

Consider spray foam but also be sure to enquire as to what is the best insulation for your home. You want to make sure that the insulation you use is appropriate to your home and does not leave you out in the cold. Variable factors include the age of your house, the number of floors and the overall space in the house.

Read advice from the experts and consider also asking a reputable insulation company to come in and assess your house.

Time To Close the Door for the Final Time

After you have insulated your crawl space it’s time to close it up for the final time. You need to ensure the door is airtight so nothing can get in or out. You also need to ensure the door is insulated as well as the walls.

The most important thing about the door is that it is hard to access and remains locked at all times. There might even be a case for not installing a door at all but in creating a new wall and locking down the crawl space entirely.

Close the door on the crawl space for the final time and say hello to your new home that retains the heat and the cold as you see fit.

Consider a Dehumidifier

The final step is to consider a dehumidifier for the crawl space seeing as it will now have a different temperature and different conditions from the best of the house.

Your goal is to ensure that the humidity levels in the crawl space are below 50%. This way your encapsulated crawl space will save lots of energy in the long run.

How to Encapsulate a Crawl Space? Prepare and Ask an Expert

If you want to know how to encapsulate a crawl space then the key is to do lots of preparation. You do not want to end up in a situation where you dive in too fast and carry out the procedure wrong.

Remember it is not possible to encapsulate every crawl space and you might need to take care of other issues first such as pest control and water drainage systems for the whole house.

Be sure to consult experts as to what is the best insulation to use and the best way to encapsulate the crawl space in your home as every space and each home is different.

If you are interested in learning more about crawl space encapsulation be sure to check out the rest of our site.