Crawl space encapsulation is a term used to describe a crawl space that is protected from moisture by using a vapor barrier on the floor and walls. The purpose of the crawl space encapsulation is to create an environment that can be controlled. A controlled crawlspace will reduce the amount of mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria that forms in your crawl space.
In Middle Tennessee, about 85% of the homes have open crawl spaces. The term “Open Crawl Space” is generally used to describe a foundation that has an exposed or partially covered dirt floor. Open crawl spaces are BAD for your home and your health!
In the last 15 years, the open crawl spaces were studied and found to be ineffective and harmful to your home. In Middle Tennessee, our spring and summer seasons are generally hot and humid. Since our weather changes daily, the open crawl space allows warm, moist air to be drawn into the crawl space via the stack effect (add link) and condense. As the warm, moist air condenses on organic building material (wood), it forms mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria, which all can excrete toxic compounds called mycotoxins in certain conditions. As air within the home warms, it rises and draws crawl space air (like a vacuum) into the living space of your home. Likewise, as crawlspace air is pulled upward into your home, the moist air rushes into the crawl space through the foundation vents. If the crawl space air is moist…you may have a problem. It is estimated that 50% of the air you breathe comes from your crawl space! Are you and your family breathing toxic air?
Crawl Space Encapsulation Can Prevent
•Poor air quality in living space (musty & moldy odors, potentially toxic)
•Minor allergies to severe infections (breathing difficulties)
•Uncomfortable humidity levels in summer, cold floors in winter
•Higher heating & cooling costs (15% to 35% higher) and decreased life
of HVAC unit and ducts.
•Structural decay – rotted sills, joists, floorboards; stuck doors/
windows; buckled hardwood floors
•Condensation on air conditioning equipment, duct work, insulation,
water pipes, and truss plates.
•Radon gas (causes lung cancer)
Many times, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor is the first to be called by the residents to examine and diagnose the problem. Data shows that the problem is rarely due to air conditioning system failure, but results from poor moisture control in the crawl space.
Free Crawl Space Inspection Includes:
• Collect information on your home (age, foundation type, etc.)
• Establish an inspection time with the homeowner
• Thoroughly inspect your crawl space and identify moisture issues
• Educate you on the latest available technology and techniques
• Offer an expert opinion on how to best meet your needs
• Provide a quotation for performing the work
Not all crawl space barriers are created equal
At Barrier Waterproofing, we strive to associate ourselves with the best available materials to give you a long term and cost effective solution. Any type of HDPE barrier covering the crawl space should help in some way (assuming no standing water). A quality vapor barrier like BarrierTite™ brand will last for 25 years or more, while a 6 or 10 mil black recycled plastic from the local hardware store might last 3 to 5 years due to filler materials that are susceptible to soil chemicals. The real investment is in the time and effort it takes to prep the area and do a proper installation. Therefore, a slightly higher investment up front will have a long lasting positive effect on your health and home value.
Benefits of the BarrierTite Crawlspace Encapsulation System
•Dry crawlspace – no costly floor repairs
•Enhanced comfort – no cold floors in winter, house won’t be muggy in
•Lower energy bills
•Minimized odors and gases
•Bright, brilliant, and clean appearance
•Properly controlled environment
•Level ground, free of voids and debris
•Usable for storage
•Attractive selling feature Flawless finish
•Qualify for rebates and tax incentives
•Heating and cooling equipment and ducts last longer