If your crawlspace isn't tall enough to stand in, you may never go down there because it's spooky, musty, dusty, and you might fear there are spiders, snakes, or rats living under the house. If you never go in your crawlspace, you won't know if there's a moisture problem or if the wood is rotting away. That allows damage to escalate due to neglect.
If you suspect your crawlspace has a problem of some sort, call a crawlspace encapsulation service to take a look and recommend a way to restore the space. Here's when to suspect your crawlspace might need help and what a crawlspace encapsulation service might do.
Signs Your Crawlspace Has A Moisture Problem
Moisture is an issue for a crawlspace since it leads to mold growth and rotting of the structure of your house. This might cause a musty, foul odor to invade your living space. Since pests like damp places, you could also notice problems with roaches, silverfish, or even rodents. Mold could even spread to the rest of your home, and if the underside of the floor has water damage and rot, the floor of your home could get spongy, sag, or even rot through.
Things A Crawlspace Contractor Looks For
The crawlspace encapsulation service starts with an examination of the area to assess the damage. They may use a moisture meter to check how much moisture the wood is holding. They'll also look for rotted wood that needs to be replaced so the structure of your home isn't in danger. They also want to make sure there are no drainage problems that cause rain to roll under your house. Once they know the nature of your problem, they can recommend the right approach for drying out your crawlspace.
Repairs That Get Your Crawlspace Dry
An important step in crawlspace encapsulation is to cover the floor with a vapor barrier. Much of the moisture in your crawlspace wafts up through the soil in the form of water vapor. By covering the soil with thick plastic sheeting, water vapor is blocked. The plastic vapor barrier is placed over the floor, around piers, and up the walls so the entire crawlspace is encapsulated.
Another important step is to install a dehumidifier in the crawlspace. The dehumidifier pulls moisture out of the air and out of damp wood. The equipment is designed to run on its own so you don't have to go down in your crawlspace if you don't want to. The dehumidifier has a condensation pump that pumps out water so you don't have to worry about emptying it manually.
A crawlspace dehumidifier often comes with a remote sensor that you keep in your living space that gives you a constant readout of the temperature and humidity in the crawlspace so you know the dehumidifier is working and that the space is staying dry.