Your home is the greatest investment you will ever have in your life. It is imperative that you take care of your investment. Did you know, water could be the catalyst to harming that investment, which is why crawl space encapsulation is imperative. Water is known as the elixir of life, but it also has a double-edged sword that is as devastating as it is life giving. All life survives with water and dies without it, and so your home can become a victim of water damage from a variety of problems such as pest infestations and damaging growths that can compromise your home’s structure and your families health. Your crawl space is one of the most important aspects of your home that should be a priority and encapsulated, but it is often the least priority and overlooked until it is too late.
Waterproofing A Crawl Space By Encapsulating The Space
Crawl Space Encapsulation is by far the best way of waterproofing a crawl space, and it should be a priority for many reasons. Nevertheless, there are some reasons that stand out more than others. Obviously, you may be wondering why if you are a new homeowner or never had to deal with such matters before, how important could it be? It is more important than you realize. As a consequence, there are a few main reasons you need to consider when you purchase your home and of course to protect your biggest investment yet.
Imagine not taking it seriously and you find that down the line, you have serious problems that impact your home’s structure, your health and of course your financial investment. All you needed to do was take some precautions to reduce the threat, and you failed. Let’s look at those reasons more in-depth and why you should be pro-active rather than reactive.
If your crawl space encounters water on a regular basis, either from a penetrating source or weather issues, you may encounter a serious problem with mold and mold remediation could cost you severely. You may not even know that it is happening right under your nose. Consider; When was the last time you looked under your crawl space to check on it when the inclement weather was a problem? Probably not — right! Obviously, mold is one of the things you most definitely wish to avoid in or around your home. It can have disastrous consequences for your health and your wallet.
Health Concerns From Your Crawl Space That Has Not Been Encapsulated
Mold has shown to cause a number of health issues over the years. As a consequence, researchers have been looking into the effects of mold on the human body and how mold causes so many ailments. Common effects of mold exposure include throat irritation, nasal congestion, eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, and even skin irritation. Needless to say, removing mold from your home and keeping it at bay should be your first priority. It might shock you to know that much of that problem can start with an untreated crawl space. However, mold is only one issue, rot, as we will see next can compromise the structure of your home.
In addition to mold, wood rot is another problem you may encounter if you fail to waterproof your crawlspace. Wood basically holds onto water and can even absorb it from its environment. In other words, this water will start to interact with the wood as soon as it encounters it. The microorganisms can begin to break down the wood and of course, the presence of moisture is one of the necessities for the development and growth of rot.
Wood rot is a problem caused by the presence of different fungi. As a result, the wood becomes very brittle and can break with an absolute minimum of force. Obviously, this problem becomes even more serious when the damaged wood is part of the structure of your crawlspace and your home. If these break, then you could be looking at thousands of dollars worth of damage not only underneath your home, but in the very quarters where you abide. If crawl space wood remains untreated, it could lead to problems further in your house such as floors and walls becoming compromised.
Perhaps one of the greatest dangers in not waterproofing a crawl space that is in parallel to mold and rot, is the danger from invading pests — some which carry diseases. Let’s face facts, as we mentioned before, all life requires water for survival. Not waterproofing a crawl space underneath a property will make it a prime attraction for pests. If the environment becomes conducive to the survival of life, it is a natural aspect of nature to become the home for a variety of pests.
Termites, especially subterranean termites found in the US, cause billions, not millions of dollars worth of damage every year. It is estimated around 5 billion in damage by Termite infestations alone, which could have very easily been prevented. The crying shame is that many Termite Issues are not covered by insurance policies, making the onus upon the homeowner to protect the investment at any cost.
Signs of Termite infestations can often go unnoticed until it is too late and due to the behavior of the invading species of Termites, your crawl space is almost always the first point of infestation due to the conducive conditions that exist for colony survival. However, one important point to note from our expert Kenny Sicilian can be summed up in the following statement.
When you find signs of termites in your crawl space, you can be guaranteed that there are more than one colony of termites active at any one time. This makes it imperative to take the proper precautions.
Disease Carrying Vectors
Standing water is of course the attraction factor to many vectors, but one is more notorious and is the most dangerous vector known to man. A home that is prone to water problems, such as standing water or elevated moisture levels in and around the home offers the perfect environment for mosquitoes. The mosquito carries a wide range of diseases passed through transmission when the mosquito is feeding. These parasites and bacteria are deadly, and prevention starts with removing the environment and conditions needed for survival.
Some diseases carried by a mosquito are as follows;
- Zika Virus
- West Nile virus
- Lime Disease (Shocked that its not just ticks)
- Chikungunya virus
- Dengue Fever
- Yellow Fever
- La Crosse Encephalitis
- Jamestown Canyon Virus
- Snowshoe Hare Virus
Waterproofing a crawl space by installing Crawl Space Encapsulation is one major step forward in preventing the conditions necessary for such disease carrying vectors. The mosquito only needs a tiny amount of water to lay eggs and what is more concerning is that eggs can survive harsh conditions during summer and winter.
Ants and Other Insects
Of course, if it was not enough to have Termites and dangerous vectors like mosquitoes; there is another insect that causes unsurmountable damage to the home. This is the humble ant, though there’s nothing humble about the ant. A highly intelligent and adaptable species that can cause serious amounts of damage to the structure of your home. We are, of course, talking about the carpenter ant, and whilst there are many species of Ants that cause issues, the carpenter ant is one that can destroy property and compromise the structure of a home in a relatively short time. Again, negating water or moisture in the crawl space precludes the infestation. Take away the source of survival and you negate the risks.
Wildlife thrives in an environment that is conducive to all needs. Water as mentioned previously is the most important need for survival and food coming second to water. Naturally, there could be many pests that become interested in your crawlspace, but wildlife such as raccoons, rats and even bigger species are not restricted, there are no boundaries that exist that negates this from happening. Should your crawl space offer the right environment along with three things shelter, water and food, then its open season for anything that can gain entry.
While you could contact a pest control service to remove the pests from your crawlspace, it is always better to prevent than to cure. If you do encounter a pest problem due to a crawl space that has not been waterproofed, make sure to waterproof it as soon as the pests have been removed.
Other Important Factors With Crawl Space Encapsulation
We already looked at some consequences of not waterproofing a crawlspace by encapsulating the area, but there is more to it than that. Firstly, you make sure that your crawlspace is not exposed to the outdoor elements. It also removes any water that could enter your crawlspace and cause problems down the line. Installing a French drain can go some way to achieving this as a particular remediation step. Finally, the air inside your crawlspace will also not be subjected to a high level of moisture and therefore you will need to install a crawl space dehumidifier. In short, there are many benefits to waterproofing your crawlspace and it is one of the greatest investments you can make to protecting your home. Below you find your free crawl space encapsulation infographic.