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What is crawl space encapsulation?

The next few blog posts will be a series that investigates crawl space encapsulation and moisture control services.

There’s no doubt that if you live in Hampton Roads, you have heard about crawl space encapsulation but might not know exactly what it is. Recently, it has become the go-to solution for crawl space moisture issues. But is it for you?

Lets start by describing the process. Encapsulation is the process of sealing your crawl space to prevent humid, outside air from entering. The majority of humid air normally enters through vents, the crawl space floor, the foundation wall, and the crawl space door. So to complete an encapsulation these areas have to be addressed. How?

The foundation vents:  A plastic or a Styrofoam type product is most common. These are held in place with a silicone or similar sealant.

The foundation wall: 4 mm plastic is sufficient here. It is attached to the wall with sealant or fasteners. Some companies recommend Styrofoam on the foundation walls before the plastic. This is an unnecessary expense that won’t significantly increase the effectiveness of the system. Caution: There should be a 6 inch gap between the sill plate and plastic on the foundation wall. This will allow accurate future termite inspections.

The foundation floor: 6mm plastic also works well here. 6mm will withstand annual termite inspections, occasional plumbing repairs, or any other repair work. Upgrading to 8-10 mm plastic can be a good option but not always necessary. Some companies offer 20mm which is extremely strong. It is also extremely expensive and will add $1000′s in extra and unnecessary costs.  The plastic should cover 100% of the ground, be overlapped by a foot or more, and stapled to the ground.

The crawl space door: If your door fits correctly now, it can probably be reused.  But if it is loose, falling, or in otherwise bad shape you will need it replaced.

Well that’s the what of Crawl Space Encapsulation, next time we will talk about the why.

If you’d like a free moisture inspection give us a call at 757-499-1078 or contact us here moisture control specialist.

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