What is encapsulation? Encapsulation refers to the installation of a vapor barrier that has been overlapped and properly sealed/taped, a dehumidifier, crawl space vent sealing, and performing tasks such as insulation replacement, raking of crawl space to clear away debris and repairing any structural damage or mold remediation.
This process results in a water-tight, air-tight seal that can benefit your family year round and prevents many of the problems that a moist crawl space can invite into your home.
Wood Rescue Team recommends Encapsulation for the following reasons:
Crawl space mold – A musty smell in a crawl space is a sure sign of mold. Mold can be a serious problem because of the potential for a wide range of adverse health effects in humans. Many people are allergic to mold. Mold also degrades building materials; it can lead to wood rot that damages your home’s structural elements.
Insect and rodent pests – A crawl space that isn’t sealed away from the exterior of the home and has high moisture content can become an ideal habitat for termites, ants, bees, and rodents. Think about it! Constant temperature, water source and even a readily available food supply. If you have excessive moisture, consider encapsulation.
Poor indoor air quality – Musty odors and airborne mold spores can make their way into your living space from the crawl space below. This is especially true if you have ductwork in the crawl space, as even a small point of failure in a duct seal can create a vacuum that literally PULLS the gross air and bacteria into your home.
Dust buildup – In addition to supporting bugs below your home, excess moisture supports dust mites inside your home. Humidity is the most important factor in determining whether a house has high concentrations of dust mites. Dust mites do not drink water like we do; they absorb moisture from the air. In areas with low humidity, like deserts, dust mites cannot survive. (Source: https://www.lung.org/clean-air/at-home/indoor-air-pollutants/dust-mites)
Did You Know? As you may have guessed, dust mites thrive on dust. And, dust mite droppings are the most common trigger of allergy and asthma symptoms, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
Moisture damage – Moisture in the crawl space can easily saturate and degrade the insulation installed between floor joists. This puts your joists, girder, rim joists and subfloor, potentially even wood flooring above, at risk. Not only does this increase in moisture invite the multitude of problems listed above, but it can also cause rust damage or corrosion to any equipment installed or operating from within your crawl space.
Energy loss -Higher moisture content in the air overall causes strain on heating and cooling systems, causing them to work harder with less desirable outcomes. This can cause more frequent service issues, higher household heating and cooling costs and shorten the lifespan of equipment.