Crawl Space Repairs: Which Options Are Right for Your Home?
There’s a lot of information out there about specific crawl space repairs or solutions, but how do you know which option is right for your home? From a crawl space vapor barrier to an encapsulated crawl space, all of the solutions have pros and cons for homeowners. In this blog, we’ll review some of the solution options as well as their benefits and drawbacks so you can make an educated decision about which crawl space service is right for you.
Encapsulated crawl spaces are like the Rolls-Royce of crawl spaces. Encapsulation provides the most protection of all the crawl space repair services as it includes thick plastic sheeting placed on the walls, floors, and piers of the crawl space. In addition, crawlspace vents are often sealed off for maximum protection against water seepage. This system protects your foundation from excess moisture and pests, which can lead to crawl space repair costs down the road, like mold removal, insulation replacement, and even structural repairs. It also acts as a barrier for your home and helps improve your home’s air quality as well as improve energy efficiency. At Managed Services Group, the materials we use for encapsulated crawl spaces have a 25-year warranty so you can rest assured that the service and materials will effectively protect your home for over two decades!
To summarize, crawl space encapsulation benefits include:
- Protecting the home’s foundation and wood structures
- Improving indoor air quality
- Decreasing energy costs
- Minimizing the risk of pests
The biggest drawback to crawl space encapsulation is cost. Because this solution involves the use of a vapor barrier plus materials to cover the walls and piers of the crawl space, costs can quickly rise for materials and labor. However, when making the decision to encapsulate or not, you should also weigh in the cost savings you will see from improved energy efficiency, as the crawl space will relieve some pressure from your HVAC system.
Installing a crawl space vapor barrier is a step down from encapsulating your crawl space as it only covers the floor of the crawl space. However, this impermeable layer – usually plastic sheeting – also helps prevent moisture from permeating the crawl space and your entire house and assists with humidity reduction. The long-term benefits of preventing moisture from entering your home include protecting the structural integrity of the house and improving indoor air quality.
At Managed Services Group, we offer a variety of vapor barrier options to help protect your home against moisture entering through the crawl space. And our experienced installers can help you select the best option for your family’s needs.
Current home standards require builders to include a vapor barrier in the crawl space, but these builder-grade options generally only last for a few years. So it’s important to periodically check your existing vapor barrier to see if it has become brittle and therefore ineffective. In fact, regular crawl space maintenance is helpful for ensuring the long-term health of your home.
In sum, crawl space vapor barrier benefits include:
- Protecting your home from moisture damage
- Improving indoor air quality
- Cheaper than encapsulation
Crawl spaces are prone to dampness since they are dark, enclosed spaces and have dirt floors, which allow moisture from the ground to seep in. Too much moisture in your crawl space can lead to mold growth, decay of wooden sub-frame structures, and issues with insulation. Crawl space dehumidifiers help curb these effects by controlling the moisture level in the crawl space. These devices are relatively small and quiet, yet they can remove 50-70 pints of water per day or up to 80% relative humidity levels, making them effective and reliable tools for keeping your crawl space dry and healthy.
Crawl space dehumidifiers are often installed when other crawl space services are performed, like encapsulation or installing a vapor barrier. The addition of a crawl space dehumidifier adds another level of protection against moisture and ensures that the air entering your home through the crawl space is not too moist to cause issues like mold or order-causing bacteria that can lead to musty smells in your home.
Summary benefits of crawl space dehumidifiers:
- Ensures healthy moisture levels
- Improves indoor air quality
- Helps curb musty smells in the home
Crawl Space Insulation
While vapor barriers and encapsulation mainly deal with keeping moisture out, crawl space insulation deals with keeping warm air inside your home and thus has the biggest impact on reducing energy bills related to heating your home. It also prevents chill-inducing drafts while making sure cool air stays indoors during summer months.
Main benefits of crawl space insulation:
- Keeping your home warmer in the winter
- Keeping your home cooler in the summer
- Reducing your heating and cooling costs
The primary downside to crawl space insulation is the expense involved in getting it installed. But, like the other crawl space repairs discussed, it can have long-term benefits in terms of monthly energy cost-savings if maintained properly.
Managed Services Group Offers All the Crawl Space Repairs
When considering crawl space repairs, often some combination of the above will be your best bet for ensuring the long-term health of your home. Whatever crawl space issue you are facing, our experts can walk you through a plan to remedy the current problems and prevent future issues to keep your home and your family healthy. Contact us today for a free estimate.
Since 2008, Managed Services Group has provided comprehensive moisture control and basement waterproofing services to homeowners throughout the Greater Richmond area. As a licensed and insured Class A contractor, we have the experience and knowledge to back up our passion for home improvement. Give us a call today at (804) 972-3007 (434-299-9382 for Charlottesville) for a free estimate. We’ll schedule an inspection with you, make a recommendation, and, in most cases, give you an estimate right on the spot.