What Is Crawlspace Encapsulation?

damaged crawlspace
Image courtesy of Jenny Cestnik via Flickr CC by ND 2.0
Crawlspace encapsulation is the process that seals off your crawlspace from the elements. It is a process that can have a variety of benefits for your home including lowering your cooling and heating bills and it can make your home healthier as it can address issues with the cleanliness of the air.

What Happens During Crawlspace Encapsulation?

The entire crawlspace is sealed off. The ground underneath the crawlspace is sealed off with a liner. It will go up to the wood of the home. If you have batting siding, it is usually replaced with board siding. This is helpful because it is more mold resistant. It can also do a better job of keeping your floorboards warm. The ductwork is changed so that the air from your air conditioner is now circulated throughout the crawlspace. This helps your air conditioner and furnace to work more efficiently since the outside air will not affect the system. The vents into the crawlspace are sealed off, and a special door is installed that will seal the space completely.

Why Should I Consider This?

There are many reasons why crawlspace encapsulation is a good option. It can improve your air quality. A crawlspace that is not sealed off can become humid and it can cause the wood to rot, it can also cause issues with allowing old to grow which will affect the air inside of your home. This can also give your home an extra layer of protection against insects like termites or other pests that may invade your home. It keeps the wood in your crawlspace dry and away from the insects.

Can I Do This Project on My Own?

There are a number of different steps that you will need to take and changes that you will need to make to a number of systems. It can take time, and if you miss one step or miss sealing one item, all your hard work may be for nothing. It is better to allow the professionals to take care of it for you. They can do it more quickly and make sure that everything is done correctly. They can address all the issues including possible drainage issues in the crawlspace that you may not recognize on your own. Although you may think that this is a costly project, it will save you money in your heating and cooling bills and in possible termite extermination and other repairs that can happen when your home is not properly cared for.

Winterize Your Home

house covered in snowWith winter coming temperatures are dropping. This can mean an increase in your power bill. It can also mean that different parts of your home are more vulnerable. It is important to take the time to winterize your home so that you can keep your home and family safe and protected. Here are five things you can do to winterize your home.

Check Doors and Window Cracks

Cracks around your doors and windows can let in the cold air and insects. If you notice that a particular window or door is especially cold or drafty, there are steps that you can take to stop the cold from coming in. You can apply a thin sheet of plastic to o the windows. This is done using heat and it shrinks to fit the window. You can also caulk any holes around the windows. Another option is to apply weather proof stripping around the door.

Fix the Crawl Space

Your crawl space may be an area where cold can come in and affect the floors of your home. Make sure the crawl space is secure and free from cracks that can allow drafts or animals in. If you have pipes in your crawlspace or your water heater, you may want to wrap them. This will prevent your pipes from freezing when it drops down to below zero. Wrapping your water heater can help reduce your power bill because it will stop the heat from escaping. You can find the items at your hardware store that can you can safely use to wrap your pipes and water heater, but ultimately sealing your crawlspace is your best long term strategy for eliminating cold air from entering your home.

Check on Your Heating System

Whether you have a traditional furnace or a heat pump system, it is important to make sure that it is ready for the winter. You need to make sure you change your air filters on a regular basis. Turn on the system and make sure it is working before the first cold spell hits. It is a good idea to have your furnace serviced on a regular basis to make sure it is working properly and it is safe for your home. If you have a pilot light with a gas furnace be sure to review how to light it and to see if there are any issues with it in your home.

Check Your Attic

Attics are another source of drafts. Adding an extra layer of insulation to your attic can help trap your heat in during the winter. It can also keep your home cooler in the summer. This is an improvement that is worth saving up to have completed. Addressing the drafts in your attic can significantly cut down on your heating and cooling bill. Your attic can also provide a nice warm environment for wildlife to stay during the winter months. You need check your eaves and roof to make sure there are not holes that will allow animals to get in. If you hear noises at night or find evidence of a nest, you need to take care of the problem quickly. These wild animals can carry rabies and also cause damage to your home by chewing up electrical wires. It can be dangerous to trap an animal on your own. Contact the professionals at EcoTek and they can trap and safely remove any wildlife that you have. They can also help in cleaning up the nest and installing barriers to stop them from getting back in.