Problem: Wasted Space
Crawl spaces are small areas under your home that make installation and repairs on plumbing and wiring possible. These areas as called ‘crawl spaces’ because they are often too narrow to stand up in and require crawling or hunching in order to gain access. Oftentimes, crawl spaces aren’t finished; they usually have gravel or dirt floors, sometimes with a thin plastic vapor barrier (a specially designed plastic sheet) layered on top. A finished crawl space with a real floor and proper insulation can be put to use as a storage area, but homes rarely come with these.
Even though crawl spaces aren’t as large as basements, they are underground and lack the basic waterproofing that basements have. Since crawl space often have no floor, if you have a typical foundation, there is nothing separating your crawl space from the earth. This make crawl spaces particularly susceptible to leaks and flooding, particularly if your crawl space is situated near the water table.
Crawl spaces may not be particularly visible, but you should still be concerned about the state of this area of your home. Even a small amount of moisture can cause mold to grow, releasing allergens into your home. An unsealed crawl space is not properly insulated and can drive up your heating. Leaks in your crawl space can add unwanted humidity to your home. Any of these factors can rob you of the storage space that a maintained crawl space can provide.
Sealing Off Your Crawl Space
Different waterproofing steps may be necessary depending on what state you crawl space is in. Before encapsulation takes place, your crawl space may need crack injections, interior drain tile installation, or other waterproofing services. These preliminary precautions give us a dry crawl space to encapsulate. It will also help prevent leaks and flooding in the future.
Once initial waterproofing services have been performed, we can approach your crawl space in one of two ways depending on your specific circumstances.
This older method involves laying down a vector barrier, or a thick sheet of plastic designed to insulate and waterproof your floor. A 2 to 3” concrete floor is then poured over the vector barrier. This method does not address wall insulation and waterproofing concerns, but it does provide a waterproof floor for your crawl space.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
Crawl space encapsulation is a more modern approach to crawl space waterproofing that fixes both the walls and floor of the area. It involves fitting specially designed, heavy-duty insulation and polyethylene vector barriers across the floor and walls of your crawl space. The high-grade barriers are sealed into place for an insulated and waterproof finish.