Like most Harrisburg and Central PA homeowners, your crawlspace is an “out of sight, out of mind” part of your home. We get it—crawlspaces are dark, dirty, and damp. Yet those characteristics are exactly why your crawlspace should demand your attention. The crawlspace encapsulation experts at Energy Smart Home Improvement have five very good reasons to seal your crawlspace vents.
Moisture Control in Your Crawlspace
Crawlspaces are often vented and were once thought to help move moisture out from under the house. Yet building scientists now know that these passive vents allow more moisture in than out. Once moisture settles in your crawlspace, it can lead to a host of problems with mold, mildew, wet insulation, and poor indoor air quality. Encapsulation is one way to prevent moisture in your crawlspace and the rest of your home..
Insect and Rodent Infestation
An unsealed crawlspace can become a haven for damaging insects and rodents who like the warm, damp environment with plenty of nesting and food (wood) supplies. Termites and carpenter ants thrive on wet wood surfaces and can really cause some serious damage to your York PA home’s underpinnings. Mice, squirrels, racoons, and other varmints can create stinky and unsanitary conditions you can smell in your house.
An important component of crawlspace sealing is upgrading the insulation. By some measures, up to 40% of your home’s interior air comes from your crawlspace. An unconditioned crawlspace with inadequate or ineffective insulation can result in rooms that are damp, and difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Heat and Cooling Loss
An unsealed crawlspace allows air to circulate relatively freely and brings outside temperatures right under your home’s living spaces. With inadequate sealing, your expensive heated and cooled inside air will be replaced with the outside air seeping into your home through air leaks in the floors. While ventilated crawlspaces were considered an acceptable, less expensive means to reducing moisture, in fact the opposite is true. Those gaps and cracks can lead to significant heat and cooling loss and over time can really add up! Encapsulation is not just an effective crawlspace moisture control method, but also a way to avoid wasting energy.
Improve Energy Efficiency
When your Harrisburg PA crawlspace is sealed and properly insulated, your home energy bills can drop by as much as 18%, depending on the size and condition of your crawlspace. Not only will your energy costs drop but your overall comfort will improve with better temperature regulation and moisture control.
How Does Encapsulation Prevent Crawlspace Moisture?
Once the crawlspace team cleans out the crawlspace, a 45 mil thick reinforced liner is laid on the floor of the crawlspace to create a moisture barrier. Then the foundation vents are sealed to create an effective pressure boundary. The next step is applying spray foam to gaps at the top of the foundation where the wooden band board meets the concrete. Finally, we install a rigid insulation board to prevent thermal transmission of heat into the crawlspace.
Top Crawlspace Services for Central PA homeowners
Fortunately, the crawlspace pros at Energy Smart Home Improvement have the expertise and training to transform your stinky, scary crawlspace into a dry and well insulated space beneath your York or Carlisle PA home.
While your wet, vented crawlspace may be causing some of your home comfort issues, there may be other home efficiency challenges that are best identified through a home energy audit by Energy Smart Home Improvement. This scientific approach to your whole house can help us provide a complete solution that improves energy efficiency, comfort, and home health.