One of the forgotten spaces in the house is often the crawl space, after all, when do you look down there? This includes as a potential space where a pest infestation could take place after all, it is often the place that offers the right conditions for pests such as termites and carpenter ants to thrive. To protect against pest infestations and other problems that are less conducive to health and comfort, it is a good idea to get crawl space encapsulation. Furthermore, this is often an investment that pays you back in the long term.
So let’s talk about the benefits of encapsulating your crawl space and what you can expect when you get it done. You must remember that your crawl space is often that area of the home that is forgotten about. Whilst we take pride in our homes from the inside, we neglect that space which should be one of the most important spaces that you should maintain. Problems in this area often creep up on you unknowingly.
Better Air Quality
It may be quite a shock to learn that your crawl space can be one of the major factors in the air that you breathe within the home. It’s not just about your HVAC system. Many people do not realize that crawl space encapsulation can actually deliver better air quality inside the home. That’s right, crawl space encapsulation actually promotes healthier air, which means you have to worry less about pollutants and contaminants inside the indoor environment when you have your crawl space is treated properly.
Factor In Moisture In The Crawl Space
Standing water in your crawl space, which occurs a lot in many South Carolina homes, offer the right conditions for pests, mold and other moisture related problems. Stopping standing water and allowing water to enter and pool under your crawl space is fundamental in negating the risk factor. So less moisture means less humidity too which is another huge benefit of crawl space encapsulation. It stops moisture from entering your crawl space. Moisture in your crawl space can increase the humidity inside your home.
Crawl Space encapsulation can perform similar humidity and air quality control functions you will find in most air conditioning installations, and when you have a quality air conditioning system optimized and working in conjunction with your crawl space treatment, you invariably save money.
Avoid Pest Infestations
The large majority of pests need moisture to survive, and this immediately explains why they prefer the damp crawl space environment. An untreated area offers everything that wood damaging and pests that spread disease – need.
It is far better to be proactive that reactive when it comes to protecting your home and your family. Failing to take the crawl space into consideration is an invitation to what you do not want in your home, which can cause a plethora of problems. These issues could actually cost you more money in the long-term and could damage your home beyond repair.
Pests in your crawl space can cause a tremendous amount of structural damage such as Termites. They cause millions of dollars of damage to homes each year and this is why some states have mandated requirements when it comes to protecting against termite infestations. Furthermore, some pests can also spread disease, like rats, fleas, cock roaches and of course mosquitos that thrive in standing water. Moisture is a double edged sword. We need water to survive but it can also be our greatest enemy.
Prevent Mold, Fungus And Mildew
Moisture that ends up in your crawl space can also lead to problems such as mold and mildew. In turn, this mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. There are species of fungus that actually feed on wood. This is known as wood decay fungus, which is the favorite meal for a termite. So imagine the following, you have wood decay fungus eating away at your home and you have termites who love both. The fungus digests moist wood and that in turn attracts the termites to a feeding frenzy.
South Carolina has a humid climate at times and mold thrives in these environments. Some mold spores are harmless and have less toxicity, but others can be deadly. It is especially concerning for residents who suffer from respiratory problems. Those who have respiratory issues should consider the crawl space as a potential source of their maladies and take the requisite action.
Factor in all the conditions that cause fungus, mold and mildew and you have the answer to where those nasty odors are coming from, and if not treated it will spread and could manifest into something worse. As a consequence, these odors can end up in your air conditioning system and be spread throughout your home.
Reduced Utility Bills
So can you save money by treating your crawl space. The answer emphatically is yes, and even though you have some outlay at first, it can make your home more desirable. Should you decide to sell it, you will be in a far better position, and it will make your home energy efficient.
Making your home energy-efficient also means to seal off areas where heating or cooling could be lost. The crawl space is one such an area, so proper insulation is key to preventing heat and warmth from escaping. Encapsulating the crawl space helps the efficiency of your HVAC system because your HVAC unit does not have to work harder to make up the imbalance due to higher moisture content..
Since encapsulation does last a considerable time, this simple structural change will save you on your energy bills for years to come, and who does not want to save money.
Increased Home Comfort
So now that we have come around to the why and how it helps, let’s talk about comfort inside your own home. It is not a home if if is not a comfortable place to live. It’s often the small things that makes your home less comfortable. These small little details, will become bigger problems if you do not take action – starting below you, not above your living environment.
Believe it or not, the temperature of your floorboards and tiles can be altered by the state of your crawl space. If your crawl space is encapsulated, then floorboards and tiles will be much more comfortable to walk on, and signs of moisture related issues do not just come with the pests you invite but also the damage to the floors, which you can see buckle out of shape.
Legal Problems and Potential LawSuits With Bad Crawl Space Encapsulations
This is often another issue that arises out of neglect, which could be from the poor encapsulated installation or mold, which can become a serious mold lawsuit. Both the homeowner, construction company and even a pest control company could be held liable, though it is unusual for the latter. Taking shortcuts with the encapsulation process and using the right methods to negate the moisture issue such as installation of the French drain or as simple as using the right dehumidifier could result in disastrous consequences.
What Happens When A Crawl Space Is Encapsulated?
The encapsulation process involves a number of things, including the removal of debris and raking soil underneath the house. A professional will also add a new access door for more ventilation, insulation, humidifier, and more. For homes that do not have insulation, we at Scout’s pest control recommend adding “Borafoam” to the walls, which has an r10 insulation rating and is termite resistant and waterproof. The foam is treated with borate. This is a naturally occurring mineral that preserves the wood and does not attract termites. This type of treatment is especially good for older homes that are not conducive to other forms of insulation.
It is also possible that the professional in question will treat mold and mildew if these are currently present in the crawl space. If there is insulation already, then that insulation can be replaced with some newer insulation such as aforementioned treatment.
Once your crawl space has been encapsulated, it usually lasts for many years and saves you money. Of course, it is a good idea to get the area checked once in a while and renew your annual termite bond. We also treat for pests before and after to ensure the encapsulation installation is top quality and there are no pest issues. This treatment is free with every encapsulation project. Doing so can enable you to address certain issues before they become a problem. Contact Scout’s Pest Control for your free Encapsulation quotation.