A Close Look At Common Mistakes Made During Crawl Space Encapsulation

Posted on: 10 October 2017


When most homeowners think about making their home more efficient, they look at places like the attic or around the windows and doors. However, the crawl space under your home could be one of the biggest reasons you have issues with heating and cooling loss or high humidity levels in the house. Thankfully, crawl space encapsulation is a good way to get a handle on this issue. Unfortunately, unwitting homeowners who go after this project as a DIY process often make critical mistakes that hinder their end result. Here is a look at the most common mistakes to avoid during crawl space encapsulation. 

Mistake: Assuming that crawl space encapsulation only means sealing the floor. 

There are two different things that can be done in the crawlspace to make it more efficient: sealing and encapsulation. Basic sealing primarily involves covering the floor with plastic so dirt and moisture does not radiate up from the ground and through the floor. Total encapsulation means sealing off the area completely, from laying plastic on the floor to adding insulation and plastic around the underside of the house, including around floor joints and other components. Both sealing and encapsulation will make a difference, but total encapsulation is the most efficient way to see a major change. 

Mistake: Not properly sealing off the access doors in the crawl space. 

The access door that leads into your crawlspace must be sealed off just like the rest of the area. This can be difficult to do without completely blocking your access point, but it is still possible. The door itself should be insulated and strips of insulation foam need to be used around any open gaps around the door. If this is not done properly, you hinder the whole encapsulation process because moisture and pests can still slip right in. 

Mistake: Not installing a dehumidifier in the crawl space when the work is complete. 

Think about what happens in an enclosed space that is airtight when the temperature rises. In most settings, this can cause excess humidity levels and condensation, which is not something you want in your newly encapsulated crawl space. Therefore, installing a dehumidifier when the work is complete is the critical final step of the process. Even still, this is a part that many DIY-ers leave out because they assume that if the space is sealed, humidity levels should not be a problem. 

If you want professional help to avoid these mistakes during crawl space encapsulation, contact an HVAC company, such as Atlantic Heating and Cooling, that offers this service.