Searching for information about crawl space insulation? If so, don’t hit that back button because that’s what we’re going to talk about in this article.
You may think insulation is enough when it comes to keeping your home’s crawl space healthy.
If you rely on crawl space insulation alone, you’re missing some key components when it comes to maintaining a structurally sound foundation and healthy home environment. To truly protect yourself from the threats of moisture buildup in the crawl space resulting in mold and mildew, energy efficiency losses due to poor indoor air quality, pests and vermin activity below ground level, as well as potential flooding damage – you’ll need to do quite a bit more than insulate your crawl space.
What Is A Crawl Space?
A crawl space is the area between the ground and the first floor of your home that’s just big enough for someone to crawl through (hence the name). Crawl spaces are often found in homes with a raised foundation, and they’ve been a favorite with homeowners for decades because they provide easy access to the home’s plumbing and electrical systems. However, crawl spaces can also present some challenges, such as issues with moisture and heat loss.
Why Crawl Space Insulation Alone Is Not Enough
Crawl space insulation is essential to a home’s energy efficiency and can save homeowners thousands of dollars in heating and cooling costs. However, many homeowners are unaware that insulation alone is not enough to fully protect their home’s structural integrity and maintain a healthy living area upstairs. To do that, you’ll need to seal the vents and cover the crawl space floor and walls with a vapor barrier to prevent moisture and outside air from entering the space. This is called crawl space encapsulation, and we’re going to talk more about it in just a bit. As you shall see, crawl space encapsulation enables a homeowner to create a more efficient and healthy living environment while protecting their home from potential damage caused by moisture.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl space encapsulation is a process that involves sealing off your home’s crawl space from the outside environment. This is done by covering the crawl space’s dirt floor and walls with a thick, vapor-retarding barrier and insulating any exposed pipes or ductwork. The benefits of crawl space encapsulation include improved indoor air quality, lower energy bills, and increased home value.
By eliminating excess moisture and preventing the growth of mold and mildew, crawl space encapsulation helps keep your home healthier and more comfortable. Plus, it can make your home more environmentally friendly by reducing the energy required to heat and cool it. If you’re considering crawl space encapsulation, working with a professional who can guide you through the process and ensure that it’s done correctly is essential.
Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation
By encapsulating your crawl space, you can enjoy a range of benefits, including the following:
- Improved indoor air quality – Some of the air in your crawl space flows into your home’s living space via the stack effect(see the illustration below). If the crawl space is full of mold because of excess moisture, this could cause allergies and other respiratory problems for anyone living in the home.
- A more comfortable living environment – A clean, dry crawl space means lower humidity inside your home’s living area.
- Protect your home’s structural integrity – A damp crawl space is the perfect petri dish for mold, wood rot, and wood-eating pests, which can eat away at the wooden structures in the crawl space and negatively affect your home’s structural integrity. Encapsulation keeps the crawl space dry.
- Increases the overall value of your property – If you’re considering selling your home, an encapsulated crawl space makes it much easier.
- Possibly reduced energy bills – While we can’t guarantee it, we’ve heard from people who say their energy bills were reduced after encapsulating their home’s crawl space.
To maintain a healthy, structurally sound home, crawl space encapsulation is a wise investment.
5 Steps To A Clean, Dry Crawl Space
Fortunately, there are five steps you can take to make sure your crawl space stays clean and dry:
- The first is to install a drain tile system to keep excess moisture from building up in the soil around the foundation. This is crucial if you want a dry crawl space.
- Seal the crawl space vents.
- Insulate the crawl space.
- Encapsulate the crawl space with a vapor barrier which will prevent moisture from penetrating the walls and floor.
- Add a dehumidifier to ensure the humidity level in the crawl space remains low.
By taking these simple steps, you can help protect your home’s structural integrity and ensure that air from the crawl space flowing into your home’s living area is clean and dry.
Other Ways To Protect Your Home’s Foundation
Believe it or not, water causes most foundation problems. That means you can go a long way toward preventing issues by controlling groundwater around the foundation. Here are some ways to do that:
- Install downspout extensions to direct rainwater at least 15 feet away from the base of your home.
- Keep your gutters clean. Overflowing water can seep into the ground and weaken foundation walls.
- Regrade the yard around your home so it slopes away from the foundation. This will keep water from draining toward the foundation.
- Consider relocating any water-hungry vegetation planted right next to your house.
- Install a drain tile system. When it comes to foundation waterproofing, nothing beats a drain tile system.
By taking these preventative measures, you can ensure that your home’s foundation remains in top-notch condition for years.
To sum up…
Crawl space insulation alone is not enough. Installing a drain tile system, sealing the vents, and encapsulating your crawl space will provide more effective protection for your home’s foundation than just adding insulation alone.
If you’re in Chicagoland and want help turning a damp, moldy crawl space into an area that’s clean and dry enough to store things like holiday decorations and tools, contact The Real Seal today to schedule a crawl space evaluation.