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Best Ways to Maintain Your Crawl Space Encapsulation

Installing a vapor barrier in your crawl space is not enough to protect your home from moisture; you need to maintain it as well. Here is how you do that.

Schedule Free Inspection

If mold infestation and rusted pipes are a constant problem in your home, you may want to check your crawl space. So many issues in your house can be resolved with encapsulation. Cold and damp floors, moldy windows, and earthy smells are problems that should not be fixed with heaters, cleaning products, and scented candles. If you want them gone for good, you should encapsulate your crawl space. By laying down a vapor barrier, you can keep your crawl space protected from moisture, so the outside elements won’t be able to damage your home. Installing the barrier is not a big job and can be done by professionals in no time at all. 

However, after the encapsulation, you cannot completely neglect your crawl space for the next 20 years. Just like any other part of your home, the vapor barrier needs to be regularly maintained, or otherwise, it will become ineffective and prone to damage. On the other hand, if you take care of it, it will serve its purpose for years. 

maintain your crawl space

Red Flags You Should Pay Attention to During the Crawl Space Inspection Checklist 

That small space underneath your house can easily become a source of large problems, so do not neglect it. Remember to schedule an annual crawl space inspection o, and you will keep potential problems from escalating. Some homeowners have their crawl space and the vapor barrier checked only when they wish to sell the house, but that is not a good strategy. Instead, annual inspections can save you a lot of trouble. Some of the signs that something is wrong with the crawl space are mold and mildew, cracks in the foundation, rats, termites, mice, condensation, water presence, damaged insulation, and warped materials. Some other problems such as electrical wiring, plumbing, and ventilation issues should also warn your local expert that something is off. With regular inspections, you will be able to fix these issues before they get out of hand. This way, you will minimize the damage and save a lot of money you would otherwise spend on repairs. 

When Is It a Good Time for  Encapsulation Maintenance? 

What time of year is best for crawl space maintenance?  You should schedule an inspection every time you suspect that something is wrong with your foundation. For instance, if it has been raining for days, it is wise to get the crawl space checked and see whether it is dry or not if you suspect that it isn’t. You should also schedule an assessment right before winter and prepare your home for this cold season. 

Keeping Your Encapsulation in the Best Shape

A vapor barrier is not the only thing that should be working towards keeping your crawl space completely secure. Seasonal changes can cause moisture buildup in the crawl space, which is why a  dehumidifier is also needed. With it, you will be able to control humidity levels and prevent potential problems. Your crawl space expert can recommend a powerful dehumidifier that can easily keep such a large space dry.

They can also check for air leaks around your crawl space door or ducts. If there are any, moisture could enter the crawl space through them and turn your clean crawl area into a moldy mess. 

Some homeowners use the crawl space as a shed. This is not a great idea since sharp edges could easily damage the vapor barrier and make it completely ineffective. Also, ripping the vapor barrier can create an entryway for critters. 

The crawl space beneath your home isn’t a pantry, either. Don’t use it to store bags of flour and sugar, but instead keep them in the kitchen. If you move them down there, you will easily attract pests and end up with an infestation problem. 

Top Signs That Your Crawl Space Encapsulation Is Damaged 

Although encapsulation failure is never good news, there is one good thing about it—it is very noticeable. If your vapor barrier has been damaged, you will soon start to see moisture on your walls and floors, they will become cold and the paint will start to peel off, and your heating costs will suddenly become much higher. In addition, you will be able to see that the wood is changing its shape, and your house might become home to different types of rodents. If you notice a musty smell, it is a sign that you should schedule a crawl space inspection, because something might be wrong with the home’s encapsulation. Any of these signs are good reasons to contact expert contractors in the Traverse City, MI, area and see what is happening with your encapsulation. 

Luckily, most of these issues are fixable. After your home’s damaged encapsulation has been fixed and any humid air dealt with, they will slowly begin to disappear. For a proper inspection of your crawl space call local contractors in Traverse City, MI. Don’t hesitate to contact the expert team at Foundation Systems of Michigan to schedule a free inspection and repair quote. We will gladly help you repair the existing issues and could also help you maintain your encapsulation so it can protect your home for years to come.

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