Crawl spaces and basements are known for being damp, dark, and musty—but did you know that approximately 40% of your home’s air comes from its lower levels? That means you and your family are likely breathing in that musty air—and all of the pollutants it contains.
That’s why the team at Total Home Performance recommends including your basement or crawl space in your home’s thermal envelope with our encapsulation services. Through our 4-step process, we can improve your indoor air quality and even help protect your home from structural damage.
How the Lower Levels Affect the Rest of Your Home
Your home’s basement or crawl space is one of its most vulnerable areas when it comes to moisture and mildew. This is because the lower levels of your home are usually poorly ventilated with gaps and cracks in the foundation, or in many cases, a dirt floor. Not only does excess moisture lead to mold growth and poor indoor air quality, it can lead to other problems as well, such as:
- Pest infestations - Moisture attracts insects and other pests and when your crawl space or basement is unsealed, they have easy access into your home.
- Wood rot - Though it’s similar to other types of mold, wood rot can deteriorate the materials that make up your home’s foundation and lead to severe structural damage.
- High heating & cooling bills - When air can easily flow in and out of your home, you’re losing valuable energy, leading to more wear and tear on your HVAC system and high energy bills.
What Is Encapsulation?
Encapsulation helps keep conditioned air in your home. Whether you have a basement or crawl space in your home, the Total Home Performance 4-step encapsulation process is the same.
Before we can effectively fix the problem under your home, we first need to understand what and where the issues are. If you have insulation in your crawl space, we’ll remove it in order to check the area for signs of moisture, standing water, and pests.
Insulation & Air Sealing
We will install spray foam insulation anywhere that lets in the outside air—like around your vents, ducts, and plumbing—as well as along the walls of your basement or crawl space. Spray foam offers an airtight seal and a high R-value of insulation to keep the area protected from moisture and pests.
Vapor Barrier Installation
We will then install a heavy-duty polyethylene barrier to completely cover the floors and walls of your basement or crawl space. This step adds further protection from moisture and unwanted airflow in and out of your home.
The last step is to install a dehumidifier to ensure that your basement or crawl space stays at the ideal humidity level. The EPA recommends that homes stay in the 30-50% range of humidity to prevent mold growth and structural damage.
Protect Your Home With Total Home Performance
If you suspect that your basement or crawl space can benefit from an encapsulation, give our team a call. We’ve been helping families breathe easier with our comprehensive services since 2009 and can evaluate the lower levels of your home to solve several home comfort and health issues, like: