If you are like most homeowners, the thought of spending thousands of dollars on a part of your house you probably never go in seems ridiculous. The idea of this e-book is to inform you as to why investing in the crawl space will not only improve your home’s value but also the health, structure and efficiency of your home.
Let’s begin with why your crawl space is there. Most builders utilize the crawl space on uneven terrain because it is less expensive than grading or building a basement. The added benefit to the homeowner is all those unsightly plumbing, electrical and HVAC air ducts can be installed in the crawl space. This not only adds to the aesthetics of the home but also gives you more room. Some will even install the HVAC unit or water heater in the crawl space and even use it for storage.
Who Should Do the Crawl Space Encapsulation?
One word of caution I’d like to say is the following information is assuming the crawl space encapsulation is done correctly. The 5 reasons I am sharing with you is based on a Hybrid Crawl Space Encapsulation System performed by CrawlSpaceNinja.com and their highly trained professional installers.
Reason 1 to Invest in Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl Space Encapsulation May Prevent Bugs and Even Termites
Many crawl spaces built over the years and even today utilize materials that are great nests and even food for bugs. Also, damp crawl spaces attract termites. Termites thrive in an environment that is moist because they need moisture to support the colony. According to pest control companies:
“Subterranean Termites. Subterranean termites live in colonies in the soil. They require moisture from the soil to survive, and can tunnel hundreds of feet to reach feeding sites. To reach food above ground, they build mud tubes to protect them from exposure to light, air and enemies.”
Here are other bugs that are looking for moist crawl spaces like yours to inhabit and support their way of life:
These insect pests can be found in residential interiors that provide them with a warm moist environment. They can inhabit plant-based insulation, fiberglass insulation, and the moist wood of crawl spaces or attics. Their propensity for boring into wood fibers can cause severe damage to your home.
Bumblebees are one of the least alarming of stinging insects, generally being mild-mannered and lacking finesse in their flight. They do, however, love to make their nests out of materials like insulation.
Many homes that are not well-sealed and insulated properly will see an influx of cockroaches in the winter months. Unfortunately, cockroaches can spread disease, and their droppings and saliva can be a trigger for asthma attacks.
These weird looking bugs generally live and breed in the least accessible parts of a building. They often live in and eat cellulose or plant based insulation. Infestations can quickly become severe — and incredibly unpleasant for the residents.
Cave Crickets can become a pest in and around the home. Most pests want to live where people live, but these crickets are different. They love dark, damp, cave-like settings where they can hide and breed. These environments must provide both water and food.
How Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Help Prevent Bugs and Termites?
Again, I want to be clear that not all crawl space encapsulation companies are performing the Hybrid Crawl Space Encapsulation System which utilizes our borate treated foam board and removal of sub-floor insulation. By removing the sub-floor insulation and properly air sealing major penetrations in the sub-floor, we remove the nesting materials and minimize the ability for bugs to pass from the crawl space to the living space.
Reason 2 to Invest in Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl Space Encapsulation May Prevent Rodents, Possums, Raccoons, Snakes and more
Ok, so this one goes along with number one but I felt it needed its own category because snakes and larger animals like skunks and raccoons can pose more harm. Sealing up the crawl space vents and area around the HVAC with our pest resistant foam board is a great deterrent to these pests as well.
Reason 3 to Invest in Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl Space Encapsulation Controls Humidity
Controlling humidity does more than most people realize. High humidity can lead to all sorts of problems but low humidity in the crawl space can actually lower the humidity in the rest of the home. Did you know that? Your home breathes from bottom to top. This is called the stack effect. Wet crawl space air travels to main floor and can cause hardwood to cup as well as put a strain on your HVAC unit. One other problem is high humidity increases mold and dust mite growth.
The #1 Cause of Allergies Among Children is…DUST MITES!
Did you know that dust mites thrive in humid environments? They love the dark too. In fact, the reason you wake up stuffy in the morning could be from those 2 million dust mites living in your mattress and the other 500,000 living in your pillow.
Imagine this, you lay your head down to get that peaceful rest you deserve not knowing that dust mites are nocturnal because sunlight kills them and they have been hiding deep in your pillow waiting for…..wait for it…..YOU! Now that you are there shedding your skin in the covers like a reptile, I love writing this, because that’s their food source, they can begin 1st and 2nd breakfast.
Ok, now that I have grossed you out, the point is dust mites wreak havoc on our kids. Here is what The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America has to say:
How Common Is Asthma?
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 13 people have asthma.
- About 25 million Americans have asthma. This is 7.6 percent of adults and 8.4 percent of children. Asthma has been increasing since the early 1980s in all age, sex and racial groups.
- Asthma is the leading chronic disease in children. It is also the top reason for missed school days.
- Asthma is more common in adult women than adult men.
- Asthma is more common in children than adults and more common in boys than girls.
- Currently, there are 6.2 million people with asthma under the age of 18.
- African-Americans in the US die from asthma at a higher rate than people of other races or ethnicities.
- More than 11.5 million people with asthma, including nearly 3 million children, report having had one or more asthma attacks in 2015.
- In 2015, 1 in 12 children had asthma.
- In 2013, about 13.8 million missed school days were reported due to asthma.
Learn more at http://www.aafa.org
High Humidity and Your Air Conditioner
Your homes air conditioning system must remove moisture from the air in order to cool the air. When humidity levels spike, however, most systems can't cope. Humidity affects air conditioning negatively because it cancels out the cooling effect. When the humidity is too high, your home will feel warmer than it actually is plus your HVAC will use more energy than needed which adds more to your cooling bills.
Hardwood Cupping is Bad and Not Normal
I recently went to do an assessment and the gentleman had the house built and the general contractor told him that hardwood is supposed to cup in the summer and it will go back to normal in the winter. I informed the homeowner that the cupping was because of the very humid crawl space and the insulation was trapping moisture against the sub-floor. Here is a video if you’d like more information about hardwood cupping, click here.
Reason 4 to Invest in Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl Space Encapsulation Controls Mold
Most, if not all crawl spaces we encapsulate have mold because they have high humidity. Just because you can’t see the mold doesn’t mean it is not there. Many times, mold is hidden by insulation or even growing on the paper backing of the insulation. Remember, mold spores are microscopic and typically you smell mold before you see it. This is the musty smell that mold spores give off when it is airborne and looking for a new food source.
Mold Can Enter the House from the Crawl Space
Do you remember the stack effect I mentioned earlier? The interesting thing is the air in the crawl space is slower to rise in the summer but rises more rapidly in the winter. Heat wants to leave the home through the top floor ceiling and out the roof. This is where Attic Encapsulation would help buy greatly reducing the air exchange between the living space and the attic.
As heat tries to escape through the attic it creates a greater draw on the crawl space. The taller the home, the greater the draw as well. That nasty wet crawl space that is full of mold has probably begun to dry because the outside humidity is lower in the winter. But, you are getting even more moldy air transferring due to the higher pressure the heat is putting on the home’s stack effect.
Now your home is in a never-ending cycle of high moisture and more mold growth in the summer and higher volumes of air and mold entering the home in the winter. Proper crawl space encapsulation includes mold removal and warranty to ensure it will not return. Our Hybrid Crawl Space Encapsulation System makes sure your crawl space is protected in the summer and winter. How does a worry-free crawl space sound?
Reason 5 to Invest in Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl Space Encapsulation Makes Your Home More Energy Efficient
We actually have competitors that tell our customers that you don’t need to insulate your crawl space. Can you believe that? If that is true why is insulation required by building code and why do home inspectors tell homeowners to insulate their crawl spaces during inspections? Some companies will even go as far as to say that the vapor barrier insulates the crawl space. That is just down right laughable. Remember, most crawl space inspectors will tell you anything to get you to sign today, including deep discounts that expire once they leave.
Crawl Space Companies and High-Pressure Sales Tactics
I only bring this up because this really annoys me. I hate high pressure, act now sales tactics. If you must resort to that then your product must not be the best. We work to be the best, not the cheapest and not the biggest…..THE BEST!
Anyway, back to energy efficiency. If your home is drafty or parts of it are cooler than others, starting in the crawl space is a fantastic way to address your homes insulation shortfall. Keep in mind the attic is the most prominent place to ensure your home is properly insulated which is why we offer our exclusive Attic Encapsulation System but the crawl space is a real close second. Make sure your crawl space encapsulation includes proper air sealing and insulation to ensure a warm home in the winter and cool home in the summer.
Final Thoughts on Crawl Space Encapsulation
We have a motto at CrawlSpaceNinja.com, We do it right or we don’t do it at all. With that being said, you need to know we are not the cheapest and we are not the most expensive. We offer excellent quality at a fair price.
We have had homeowners literally thank us for being courteous and cleaning up after ourselves because they didn’t expect us to do that. Unfortunately, contractors have made a name for themselves as being rude and even condescending, especially towards women. I hope you find, we will do everything to make the process of fixing your crawl space as painless as possible while offering great customer service backed by an Industry Leading Warranty.
If you are in the Knoxville, TN or Chattanooga, TN area, I hope you will give us a call at (865) 659-0390 if you’d like to schedule a free crawl space encapsulation assessment or visit us online at CrawlSpaceNinja.com.