Crawl space encapsulations are becoming very popular in the battle against moisture issues under the house. But do you really have to spend thousands of dollars for a professional to come out and encapsulate your crawl space? It's a good question, especially since no one wants to spend that kind of money on a crawl space! I mean, you're not going to have your friends over for a bbq and go "Hey, come check out my amazing crawl space! I just spend $10k on it, bring a chair and let's hang out inside." No, the crawl space is forgotten before and even after an encapsulation. But that is actually the point. Before, the crawl space is forgotten but there is a good chance there may be issues, you'd just rather pretend they don't exist. After a professional encapsulation though, you can safely forget about the crawl space, knowing that everything is in good shape under there.
There are a few reasons why an encapsulation is your best- and really only truly comprehensive- option to combat your moisture issues in your crawl space. Let's say you have water entering your crawlspace. You can put a sump pump in with drains leading to it and that will help remove the water from under your home. But that water still got in and will add moisture to the area. You can install a basic 6mil plastic vapor barrier on the floor of the crawl space to help with moisture problems and it will definitely help. But once again, some moisture will escape. Lastly you have your foundation vents, which if open, will allow the humid air from the outside to seep into the crawl space and if closed, will create stagnant moist air which is even worse.
This is where the encapsulation shines. If you have water intrusion issues, I still recommend installing a sump pump system. But when that water does enter an encapsulated crawl space and work its way to the sump pump, that moisture will stay on the back side of the liner instead of rising up into your crawl space. With the liner being installed on the floor and up the foundation walls, it doesn't allow any moisture to escape from the soil or through the foundation. Proper sealing of the liner to the foundation and also taping all the seams really creates a good seal of the area. Additionally, all proper encapsulations include a crawl space dehumidifier. Which is why you can safely seal off your vents. The dehumidifier will not only remove the humidity, but also circulate dry air throughout the crawl space.
Without encapsulating your crawl space, you are leaving it vulnerable to mold growth, wood rot, and other issues. Just make sure you choose the right contractor to do your encapsulation, because if they skip steps or don't offer a good warranty on their product, you can find yourself paying twice for a product that you should only ever have to pay for once. When you encapsulate your crawl space you are not paying for a kitchen or bathroom upgrade that you get to enjoy on a daily basis, but you are paying for peace of mind and preventing damage to your home. You want to be able to know that even though you never go under the house, your home and health are protected from moisture issues.
Here's a video on what comes with our premium encapsulations: https://youtu.be/3f3fhn7x0Jo