About Crawl Space Encapsulation
Not so long ago, almost every crawl space the was built had air flowing freely through it. In the past decade or so, many Ohio homeowners have benefited from encapsulating their crawl space with a vapor barrier. As the term suggests, encapsulation is the process by which you protect the area under your home from moisture, bugs, critters, water, and virtually all elements of the natural environment from entering the crawl space area.
A vapor barrier is part of any crawl space system. There are many different types of vapor barriers to choose from. The Basement Doctor™ always seeks to use what we believe are the finest products to fix any problem we encounter.
Our vapor barrier is called WhiteCap™ and is available in two different heavy duty mil thicknesses. We often hear a comment from people,"it's just plastic, so why doesn't it cost a lot?" The answer is simple, not all crawl space vapor barriers have the same quality or construction, will last like ours does, or will perform properly to ensure the vapors from the ground stay "out" of the crawl space. WhiteCap™ is going to last for several decades, while a cheap box store brand liner will not ever serve to truly encapsulate the space but will deteriorate in a short period of time. Cheap crawl space liners often give off a nasty odor. Since odor is one of the things an encapsulation takes care of, poor quality liners just defeat the purpose.
Encapsulated Crawl Space
An encapsulated crawl space uses all of the features applied to a closed crawl space with a minor couple of differences. To be an encapsulated crawl space, the vapor barrier is continued up the foundation wall and sealed (taped) to the floor vapor barrier. Plate seal barriers are used, and many times, crawl space floor supports, as well as plumbing that comes through the dirt and walls are also sealed. Using a variety of tapes and products, we completely "seal" up the space between the foundation wall and the crawl space vapor barrier to seal the moisture under the barrier. This ensures bad vapors and musty smells stay away. In most cases, the vapor barrier that is used is made of high quality polyethylene with a polyester mesh reinforcement.
Clean Healthy Air - Lower Utility Costs
Control of your environment is the key to doing encapsulation of a crawl space. An open crawl space has continual temperature and climate change, so whatever the conditions are outside, they are also the conditions inside a crawl space. Many times over the years, the moisture builds up, vapors leak from the dirt below your home, and the air you breathe becomes very unhealthy. If you can control the environment, you can control the air you breathe. A huge concern with regard to health is Radon. Radon is linked to cancer and it's a standard item our basement specialists will help you to understand. Fixing the issue is relatively simple, but we strongly recommend you make sure you test for Radon. If the levels found warrant installing a Radon mitigation system, you need to do so as soon as possible. To learn more about Radon gas and the effects of Radon on humans, visit the EPA's website at, www.epa.gov/radon. This site has a lot of very authoritative information, including Radon concentration maps for all of the United States of America, including Ohio.
Do you have creaky or sagging floors over your crawl space? Are the support beams not completely keeping the floors level and noise free? It is common to find floors above a crawl space with little load bearing support. Not to worry, The Basement Doctor™ has top grade floor supports made from high-strength steel. These floor supports will stabilize and even can raise floor joists with little or no mess.
Once you rid your crawl space of water, mold, Radon, and properly insulate the space, our floor stabilizers allow you to rid the upper living space of instability. The Basement Doctor™ can install these supports usually in just a single day and no excavation or major machinery is required to do the work. These support beams have the flexibility of being tweaked, so if you do have any further settlement issues, the supports can be adjusted quite easily.
Our crawl space stabilizer installers can set up our supports, and the price is very affordable. You have peace of mind with a floor that isn't so squeaky. Please call us today to learn more about our systems and to find out how you can get your crawl space fixed once and for all. We provide our services to homeowners in Ohio. We look forward to hearing from you soon!