In this step-by-step crawl space encapsulation guide, we’ll look at the correct steps to take in order to properly encapsulate your crawl space.
Step 1 – Crawl Space Evaluation
While encapsulating a crawl space can fix your crawl space problems, if not done correctly, it can cause new issues and concerns. It’s very important to know exactly what you’re doing to ensure every step in this guide is followed. Do not skip anything. Everything concerning encapsulation can be found in the guide.
The very first order of business is to determine if your crawl space can be encapsulated as-is. Some of you may have a crawl space that can’t be encapsulated. If not, you have to determine if changes can be made to encapsulate or you must decide not to encapsulate at all. Using the proper approach, techniques and materials matter. You’ll hear us say this a lot. Not all products are created equal in this industry. A cheaper price doesn’t mean a cheaper product and visa versa.
Main Crawl Space Concerns
There’s 3 main things you need to be aware of when encapsulating the crawl space. First, you have to be aware of water problems. Some crawl spaces can have more than one water source, so you have to make sure you locate all of them. Secondly, pest control. Animals, rodents and insects in the crawl space can cause a wide range of issues. Lastly, looking at the possibility of backdrafting combustion appliances in your crawl space. All 3 are important and deserve proper evaluation.
Now, even with the problems and issues above, you can still encapsulate your crawl space. However, only when these problems are corrected can you seal your crawl space up.
Most water problems in the crawl space are due to bad drainage. In a lot of cases, this is due to bad water drainage outside of the crawl space. If you do indeed have water issues in the crawl space, it could be caused by an outside source. In such cases, you may need a sump pump in the crawl space or an outside perimeter drain. You also want to check the drainage of pipes and appliances as water problems can steam from these sources also.
You also need to check your current drains. I’ve known a few contractors that run drains in the crawl space and the drain ends in a corner. You don’t want this, make sure all of your drains are running outside and to appropriate draining sources. A dehumidifier can be placed in the crawl space to collect moisture, turning vapor water into liquid. Then you can get a sump pump to handle the water.
Usually when you have moisture and water problems in the crawl space, you have odor issues as well. You also have to be aware of radon gas in the soil. It’s very important to check your soil before you spend a lot of time encapsulating your crawl space.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Guide