ENCAPSULATION of Crawlspace is about how this Architect of custom homes specifies and details his project crawlspaces to be clean, dry and pest-free.
Many people don’t understand what the big deal is about encapsulation until it’s too late. Too late for what?
5. Excess humidity.
6. Damage to materials.
How does encapsulation fix those conditions? Or make them never happen in the first place?
Well, encapsulation is typically a 12mil to 20mil white vinyl or reinforced polyethylene continuous sheet over the entire earth “floor” and up the interior side walls (up to within 3″ of the wood structure above). It is held to together with very sticky, very thick white vinyl tape, in continuous lengths. At the top, continuous sealant is applied to keep creepy crawlies and moisture from venting out the top edge. Okay: so nothing gets through that.
Next, you install a dehumidifier in the crawlspace. A good one, of at least 70 quarts a day capability. You have a Plumber hard pipe that through the wall and it drips the condensate from the dehumidifier directly to the outside. You don’t have to empty anything.
Then, you install a cheap WalMart box fan ($20 or less) on top of a concrete block, plugged into a 24 hour 1/2 hour segment automatic on-off timer, that is plugged into a GFCI electrical outlet in the crawlspace.
So what does this all do? You end up with an internally ventilated, dehumidified crawlspace that is 99.9% resistant to pest infestation and controls the humidity to an acceptable level. Who wouldn’t want that?
It took USI a day for 2 guys to install this.