What is a crawlspace, and why do Some homes have them?
A crawlspace is a basement-like area that's ventilated to the outside air. Some crawlspaces are full-height, just like a basement, while others are only three feet tall or less, forcing you to crawl about on your belly. Anything over three feet high is normally considered a basement.
So, what is the purpose of a crawlspace in a house?
Crawl spaces are common in homes for two reasons: affordability and accessibility. Crawl spaces operate by allowing outside air to flow under the house. There are various advantages to constructing a home's floor off the ground (rather than on a concrete slab-on-grade), including:
- Cost: Moving soil to level a sloping property for a concrete pad can be costly; a crawlspace eliminates that requirement.
- Access: A crawlspace can make a convenient location for installing an HVAC unit and plumbing, as well as water and sewage distribution throughout the house. This also simplifies future repairs and replacements.
Some of the downsides to a crawlspace
Unfortunately, not everything about a crawlspace is positive. Because of the crawlspace's surroundings, homes constructed over a crawlspace are prone to moisture-related concerns. Mold, wood decay, and termite infestation are all common outcomes of moisture issues in crawlspaces. One effective technique to counteract this is to install a vapor barrier and dehumidifier in the crawlspace, which will significantly minimize the quantity of moisture. Some of the most common issues are:
- Mold and mildew
- Wood rot or structural damage
- Floor failure
- Poor insulation
- Higher energy bills
- Insects or dust mites
- Poor air quality
How to Protect Your Crawlspace
Fortunately, managing the humidity in a crawlspace fairly easy! We do encapsulation of crawlspaces, waterproofing, and installation of moisture management systems. We recommend sealing crawlspace vents first, then placing a crawlspace vapor barrier on the walls and floors. A dehumidifier is an excellent finishing touch, drying out the room and assisting you in the preservation of your property. Living in Georgia, we experience a lot of humidity year round. Learn more about managing humidity level and mitigating damage.
How Does Crawlspace Encapsulation Work?
Crawl space encapsulation is the installation of a heavy-duty moisture barrier on the crawl space floor, as well as sealed foundation vents, insulated walls, and a crawl space dehumidifier.
Crawl space encapsulation is most effective when the space is completely sealed. Once the space has been encapsulated, you can use a dehumidifier to help regulate the moisture levels in the area.
How is Crawlspace Encapsulation Different from Insulation?
Many homeowners mix up crawl space encapsulation with crawl space insulation. However, they serve quite distinct purposes. Crawl space encapsulation is ideal when dealing with concerns like ground dampness and damp air. Crawl space insulation, on the other hand, is only useful for combating chilly flooring.