How Do I Know If My Crawl Space Needs To Be Encapsulated?

Updated: Feb 22



What does your crawl space currently look like? If you’re unsure, it is probably a good idea to have a professional, like The Crawlspace Ace team, pay a visit to your crawl space to do a thorough evaluation. You never know what may be lurking under your home and it’s important to be aware of the condition of your crawl space.


By evaluating your crawl space, we can help you determine if encapsulation is necessary. Odds are, if you have a home with a crawl space in the Western Kentucky region, you need to encapsulate your crawl space due to the humid weather and significant amount of rain we experience in this part of the U.S.


There are a few different options that help protect your crawl space but encapsulation is the best and most effective option for preventing moisture and mold buildup.


Why does this matter? We’re glad you asked.


If water seeps into your crawl space from the outside or condensation forms along piping within the space, it could lead to many problems. Water left standing in a crawl space will often lead to mold. Approximately 60% of the air that circulates in your home comes from your crawl space. If musty and moldy air circulates into your home from the crawl space, this becomes a health hazard for you and your family. No one wants that.


Even more, water buildup can lead to very costly solutions. The quicker you take action to remove and prevent moisture in the space, the better. If the water buildup produces mold, the cost for mold remediation can range anywhere between $500-$15,000. This cost depends on the size of the crawl space, how much mold is present, and how much space there is to work in. If the mold buildup has become so severe that floor joists are rotted out, the cost to repair the structures could range between $5,000-$20,000+. Because of this, prevention is key to avoiding expensive structural repairs in your crawl space.


This leads us to discuss one of the primary differences between a vapor barrier (another way to protect your crawl space) and encapsulation: a dehumidifier.


Let’s talk about why a dehumidifier is important to install in your crawl space:


Water has multiple ways of entering your crawl space and causing mold or other structural issues. You can install a sump pump with drains leading to it and that will help remove the water from under your home. Or you can install a vapor barrier (also called a moisture barrier) to help reduce the moisture in the space, but the moisture in the crawl space will continue to cause a problem. You need a way to continuously remove any moisture that enters your crawl space. That’s where a dehumidifier comes into play.


But that doesn’t mean you can simply purchase a basic dehumidifier from the local store and think it will do the trick. You will need a dehumidifier designed to meet the needs of a crawl space, and which needs to be installed by a professional. An electrician will probably also be needed to install a new outlet for your dehumidifier and draining can be a tricky task, often needing a separate pump for the water. In addition, it will need to be drained properly to either a sump pump or to the outside since they can pull around nine gallons of water out of the air every day. They also have a built-in 200 CFM fan to circulate hot, dry air around your crawl space.


A dehumidifier is just one of the key parts that is installed in an encapsulated crawl space. Together, all of these parts in an encapsulated crawl space help preserve the structural integrity of your home, and the health and wellbeing of your family. Those two reasons alone are excellent reasons to encapsulate your crawl space.


To get an evaluation of your crawl space to determine if encapsulation is needed, click here to fill out our online form or call us today at 270-804-6909.

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