Some Positive Aspects of Encapsulated Crawl Spaces

A Frequent Dilemma

Property owners sometimes wonder whether or not they should encapsulate crawl spaces in a home? Spending funds to address this issue may seem unnecessary (since numerous residences do not offer concrete-enclosed crawl spaces). Perhaps for this reason, builders frequently do not supply encapsulation as a feature of new construction. The process frequently requires considering some type of ventilation system for the crawl space area in order to prevent the buildup of mold and mildew; encapsulating may ultimately increase the total cost of building.

Yet seeking crawl space encapsulation services from a qualified contractor frequently holds some distinct advantages, particularly in certain situations. Just consider a few of the most important benefits crawl space encapsulation offers:

Obtaining Additional Room For Machinery Components

Today, a growing number of consumers choose to install complex machinery assemblies in residential properties. An area set aside initially for a crawl space sometimes furnishes a suitable out-of-the-way location to place some types of mechanical components. For instance, have you considered installing a residential elevator or mechanical lift platform or even a large wine cooler? Depending upon the architectural design, reducing the area devoted to a crawl space may offer additional room for the placement of some bulky mechanical components. It usually proves helpful to encapsulate the remaining crawl space after conducting this type of major renovation.

In many older homes, for instance, a dumbwaiter system permits cooks to effortlessly transport meals and serving equipment from a basement or ground-level kitchen to upper floors in the building. Securely encapsulated lined crawl spaces may provide an ideal backdrop for installing this equipment. Similarly, concrete-enclosed crawl spaces themselves offer a good site for ductwork in some floorplans. These locations may supply a hidden network of channels or passageways beneath or within walls inside a building.

Discouraging Unwelcome Infestations

Horror stories abound online concerning homeowners who purchased residences without encapsulated crawl spaces, only to discover these hidden subterranean cavities beneath a home sometimes become appealing sites for nesting wild animals, such as burrowing moles or raccoons, or even vermin. Rats and field mice may thrive in open crawl spaces, in fact. Their activities and odors may eventually come to the attention of dismayed residents.

Crawl spaces also sometimes become a pivotal point of access for unwanted insects, such as termite colonies, enabling insect populations to move from the surrounding natural area through interior unseen channels within a home. In some environments, an unexpected buildup of moisture inside a crawl space may lead to rotting in damp wood, a situation which attracts termites.

Encapsulating strategies

By encapsulating the crawl space in concrete and adding appropriate ventilation, a contractor may seek to provide a physical barrier limiting contact between the earth and wood used in framing. They also must reduce moisture buildup inside the enclosed space. Today, builders enjoy a wide array of options for seeking to create dry, well ventilated crawl spaces. Some rely extensively upon pumps, drains, plastic liners and specialized coatings to help control dampness. Homebuilders or contractors who perform encapsulation will usually set out a termite and fungicide barrier as an additional precaution before applying a concrete surface to an underground crawl space.

In recent years, some contractors have favored insulating crawl spaces against dampness in lieu of ventilating in some structures. Whether this strategy will work effectively may depend on a number of factors, including the design of the building, the specific local climatic conditions and the available construction materials. It remains very important to consult local building codes for guidance, of course.

The Future

As the Internet of Things begins transforming society during the newt few decades, big changes will likely occur in residential construction. Already the concept of a fully-Internet connected home has become trendy.

Soon crawl spaces may contain automated sensors to alert residents to issues such as moisture buildup, for instance. Just as automotive technology increasingly performs a proactive role in alerting drivers to potential hazards, real estate design may soon begin incorporating useful safeguards to let property owners know about conditions promoting the growth of mold and other common environmental hazards.

Contact An Experienced Contractor

If you’ve considered seeking the encapsulation of craw spaces in your residence, consulting an experienced local builder usually remains a wise step. You should also make sure you possess familiarity with any applicable building regulations concerning enclosed crawl spaces. Your contractor may request an engineering report prior to undertaking work on your property. The layout of the building and the location of structural support walls may enter into decisions involved in the encapsulation process.