I never knew the extent of damage that hail could cause to a home. Of course, I realized that windows could break, but I never imagined my roof getting damaged, the siding getting destroyed and the gutters nearly being taken off the side of the house. After our neighborhood was hit by a storm that included golf-ball sized hail, I quickly learned how devastating those little ice-balls can be. If you are going through the same repairs and clean-up efforts, visit my blog. My blog includes tips that can help you identify hail damage and learn what to do to repair it.
The crawlspace under your home may be necessary, but it doesn't have to be exposed. There are many options to protect your crawlspace, but encapsulation is the best way to keep the outside world from invading your home. With crawlspace encapsulation, polyethylene sheets create a barrier along the floor and walls of the crawlspace. If you aren't sure if crawlspace encapsulation is really the right choice for your home as you look into various crawl space waterproofing methods, check out these five benefits.
It Provides a Waterproof Barrier
Your crawlspace is vulnerable to water and vapor if it isn't encapsulated. During heavy rainfall and floods, the water may seep directly into your crawlspace from the soil, flooding the area (and in some cases inside of your home). Even if you don't experience heavy rainfalls or flooding, water vapor can get inside the crawlspace. This can lead to mold and mildew on the wooden support beams. Sometimes, this mold and mildew won't affect you, but if anyone in the house has allergies, asthma, COPD, etc. the spores can irritate lungs and airways as it permeates the living space. In rare cases, black mold may grow due to water or vapor, which is dangerous to everyone.
It Prevents Pest Infestations
It's not just water that can find its way into your crawlspace. Pests love the darkness of crawlspaces because it gives them a great place to hide. If you also struggle with water or vapor in the crawlspace, this increases the likelihood of attracting pests. Once your crawlspace is invaded with pests, the risk of them finding their way inside the home drastically increase. Even if they don't move inside the home, however, some bugs can destroy the home. Termites, which love wet wood, may be attracted to the beams supporting your home, weakening them.
It Blocks Some Natural Gas
Natural gas like radon can also get into your crawlspace if it isn't encapsulated. Soil contains many gases, including radon, which is harmless in small quantities, but long-term exposure can cause major problems, including lung cancer. The radon or other toxic gas seeps into the crawlspace directly from the soil. Unfortunately, once the gas is inside, escape isn't so easy, trapping it inside your home and endangering your family. Polyethylene sheets used in encapsulation are great at blocking these dangerous natural gases.
It Protects the Foundation
You already know it's important to keep your gutters clean to prevent standing water near the foundation of the home. However, even if you're doing everything right outside the house, there may be problems in the crawlspace. If there is a lot of moisture in the crawlspace from flooding, groundwater, or vapor, it may affect the foundation and the ground around the foundation. The longer the foundation is exposed to standing water, the greater the risk of cracks, chips, deterioration, and other problems. Similarly, the wet ground inside the crawlspace may begin to soften, causing the foundation to sink.
It Reduces Energy Consumption
The more holes and gaps you have in the exterior of your home, the more energy you'll use to comfortably heat and cool your home. During the summer, hot air will bleed into the home, and during the winter, drafts may appear throughout the home. One way air can enter or leave the home is via the crawlspace. The well-sealed living quarters may actually pull air from the crawlspace, allowing it to become too cold or too hot. By sealing the crawlspace, you block any cracks or gaps.
Without encapsulation, your crawlspace is exposed to many dangers, including water, pests, and gas. It may even cause your foundation to shift or your HVAC system to work less efficiently. By sealing your crawlspace, however, you can protect your home and the people you love.