If you live in an older home that's built on top of a crawl space, you may have constant problems with odors and humidity trapped in the space. If the air in the crawl space is bad, the air quality of your home is affected too. One way to combat this problem is to have the space encapsulated. Here's why.
Water Vapor Rises From The Soil
Water vapor is always rising up through the soil and creating a damp area in the crawl space since it is enclosed and traps the vapor. When older houses were built, they had vents put in to help this problem, but as it turns out, vents make the problem worse. Instead of humidity going outside through the vents, humid air from outside gets inside the vents and makes the humidity worse. One step in crawl space encapsulation is to cover the vents and another step is to install a vapor barrier over the soil to control moisture in the air.
Excess Moisture Makes Its Way Inside Your Home
When there is too much humidity in the crawl space, it finds its way inside your home. This can cause your home to smell musty and have problems with insects. Humidity can also cause wood to slowly rot and metal items to rust. The way to eliminate all the humidity in your home is to dry out the crawl space by having it encapsulated.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Keeps The Space Dry
When you have the crawl space encapsulated, it is wrapped in a vapor barrier and sealed from moisture on the ground and walls. This keeps the air inside the encapsulation dry as long as a dehumidifier is installed as part of the process. With the encapsulation dry and free from odors, your home will no longer suffer from the negative effects of damp and musty air rising up from the ground and crawl space.
Different factors contribute to how wet the crawl space under your home gets. If runoff from rain is a problem, then a sump pump may need to be installed in the area as well. The result of encapsulation is a dry space that's also clean and protected, so the air inside it stays clean too.
If you've been battling problems with too much dampness and musty odors in your home, then talk to a contractor about your crawl space. The contractor can determine if there's a drainage problem or if the condition is due to water vapor rising off of bare soil. Crawl space encapsulation with a dehumidifier added could be the best solution for keeping the space under your home dry so your house is protected from the damaging effects of too much dampness.