The Good & The Bad That Goes with Crawl Space Encapsulation
What Exactly is Crawlspace Encapsulation?
Encapsulating your crawlspace involves the installation of a vapor barrier under your home to seal the space and keep moisture and pests out. The vapor barrier is usually composed of thick plastic or polyethylene that covers the ground and the foundation wall and is sealed with special tape to keep moisture from getting through.
The quality of the plastic that you use during encapsulation will determine how long it will provide protection from moisture and pests. Six or ten-milliliter clear plastic might only last three to five years, but a thicker, high-quality brand can last up to 25 years. With the proper encapsulation process and materials, your crawlspace can almost serve the same function as a basement.
The Advantages of Crawl Space Encapsulation for Pest Control
There are many advantages to using crawl space encapsulation for your Maryville, IL home.
Moisture control: One of the biggest reasons that pests might invade your crawlspace is that it has a steady supply of water. Encapsulation seals the space and helps to keep water out, and the humidity of the area low.
Natural pest control: Complete encapsulation of your crawlspace provides insect control, particularly of wood-eating carpenter ants and termites that might feast on your wooden braces. It can keep your home from the damaging effects of pest infestations, ultimately saving you money and labor.
Energy Savings: When your crawlspace is enclosed, the area under your home is cut off from the outside air, leaving it much warmer during the winter and helping you to cut down on your heating expense. It can also provide some protection from heat during the summer since it doesn’t let hot air under the home.
Additional Storage: One of the most significant advantages of crawlspace encapsulation is that it provides space under your home that is dry and clean. It offers you a place to put seasonal decorations, extra canned goods, and items you aren’t using in the house at the moment. Of course, you should never store combustible materials under your floors, such as fuel or solvents.
Possible Obstacles to Crawl Space Encapsulation
HVAC Upgrades: If your HVAC system needs circulating air to run efficiently, an encapsulation under your home can keep your air/heating system from providing the service you need. This might require that you upgrade your heating and cooling equipment to keep the inside of your home at a consistent temperature. You may also have to have your ductwork inspected to make sure you don’t have any leaks that could allow moisture under your home.
Incomplete Pest Control: Even with a crawl space vapor barrier that encapsulates your home, some pests can still enter your home through ductwork, plumbing, wiring holes, and dryer vents. To keep insects out of your home altogether, you will have to plug possible entryways or use other pest preventative measures like chemical barriers, which can be applied by a professional pest control company like Brady Pest & Termite Management.
Humidity Problems: While crawl space encapsulation may keep the space under your home from getting wet from the exterior, you may still have a problem with humidity if you live in an extremely humid environment. In this case, you will have to invest in a dehumidifier, an extra expense that can also require work on your part to keep it emptied regularly.
The Final Decision
Crawl space encapsulation provides the Maryville, IL homeowner with many benefits to reduce the chance for pest infestations like termites, carpenter ants, and other insects. There are also some disadvantages if you live in particularly humid climates, or you have gaps or multiple paths that insects can use to enter your home. The final decision should come from careful consideration of the benefits and disadvantages that apply to your living situation.