Weatherseal Insulation offers crawl space encapsulation, basement insulation, basement finishing and crawl space air sealing services throughout the state of Virginia.
Crawl space encapsulation is a relatively new term referring to the process of reducing excessive humidity, prevent mold growth, and eliminate unhealthy conditions in crawl spaces. The process completely isolates the crawl space from the ground and outside air by lining the foundation walls and crawl space floor with an extra-heavy reinforced vapor barrier and installing either a dehumidifier or a conditioning system. The goal is to completely eliminate outside air and ground moisture from entering the building envelope (your living space). The crawl space is no longer neglected, and instead is treated as a part of the home like a basement.
One of the biggest advances in building science over the past decade is the research that proves definitively that vented crawl spaces are not advisable in our climate.
In 2002, Advanced Energy studied a group of 12 houses in their home state of North Carolina. They found that the 8 that had encapsulated crawl spaces had relative humidity that stayed less than 60% all summer, whereas the 4 vented crawl spaces had humidity levels that tracked the outdoor humidity.
The graph to the right shows the results of the research. The red line shows the relative humidity in the encapsulated crawl spaces. (The terms closed crawl space, sealed crawl space, and conditioned crawl space are sometimes used to describe crawl space encapsulation as well.)
The reason the vented crawl spaces had higher humidity is actually pretty simple. Warmer air can hold more moisture, so in the summer time, the outdoor air can bring a lot of extra water vapor with it when it comes into a crawl space through the vents. When that warm, humid air comes into the crawl space and cools off, the relative humidity can go even higher. You can see that in the graph above, as the blue line (vented crawl space relative humidity) is often higher than the outdoor relative humidity.
What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Weatherseal Insulation’s crawl space encapsulation process seals and insulates the entire crawl space for improved energy efficiency and indoor air quality throughout the home. Sealing the crawl space with a combination of poly wrap and insulation, we are able to reduce air infiltration and moisture infiltration, ensuring a healthier and safer home with less risk of mold and reduced energy bills.
How Does it Work?
We begin by surveying your home with our energy diagnostic tools including an infrared thermal imaging camera and a blower door to identify rates of air leakage and areas where insulation is missing or compromised, and where cracks and gaps in the building envelope are leading to air leakage. We then address these areas using air sealing materials which may include a combination of insulation, caulk, weatherstripping, poly wrap, spray foam, and any other appropriate materials. At the end of the project, we will have brought your crawl space inside the building envelope, which leads to improved air quality, lower energy bills, improved comfort and a variety of other benefits.
Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation
There are a variety of benefits of crawl space encapsulation, including, but not limited to:
- A more comfortable home
- Reduced energy bills
- Fewer drafts
- Reduced risk of mold & moisture problems
- Improved indoor air quality
- No more critters
For more information about our basement and crawl space encapsulation services, or to schedule a no-obligation phone consultation today, contact us here!