Are you constantly fixing things around your home, wondering why these problems constantly emerge? If your pipes are rusty and you are struggling with a mold infestation, it might be wise to check the crawl space underneath your home. Instead of always dealing with consequences, go to the root of the problem. In case you have noticed that the floors are always damp as well, it is time to contact professional contractors in Huntsville, AL, and ask them to encapsulate the crawl space.
If you’ve never heard this term before, it is a method of keeping the crawl space dry. It involves a vapor barrier that is laid down and seals the floor and walls. With this simple project that takes no time at all for professionals, depending on the size of your crawl space, you could solve a lot of problems. Since with encapsulation your home will be protected from the impact of outside elements, you won’t have to worry about moisture damaging your house.
However, when you install this vapor barrier, you shouldn’t just sit back and relax, thinking that the encapsulation will do its job for the next couple of decades. Just like any other installation in your home, this too requires your attention from time to time or it may malfunction. Since wear and tear can damage the encapsulation, you need to properly maintain it. Only that way will it be able to serve you for years to come. So how can you keep your vapor barrier in good shape?
Inspecting the Crawl Space
Inspecting your crawl space from time to time should be on your list of annual duties. That space underneath your home is the area where issues tend to crop up, so it is better to notice if something is wrong. Inspecting the crawl space only when you wish to sell a house is not a good idea, since the issues that have come up due to damage in the crawl space could significantly lower the price of your house. Once a year you should inspect your crawl space for mold and mildew, cracks in the foundation, pests, condensation, standing water, damp insulation, problems with plumbing, electrical wiring, and warped materials. If you notice some of these red flags, contact professional contractors in Huntsville, AL.
Which Season Is Most Convenient for Encapsulation Maintenance?
Should you take care of your vapor barrier in the spring, summer, autumn, or even during winter? Experts say the best time to inspect your crawl space thoroughly is spring. This way, you won’t freeze while you are down there or suffer from a heat stroke. Spring is the time of the year when temperatures are neither very high nor low, so you can comfortably inspect the crawl space and see what is happening down there. However, apart from your annual checkup, you should check on the crawl space every now and then to see whether it is dry, especially after rainy days. If the rainwater is dampening the crawl space, you should contact contractors in your area to fix the problem.
It is also recommended to check on your crawl space right before winter since a lot could have happened since your last inspection, and welcoming winter with a faulty encapsulation is not a wise move. Therefore, right before the temperature drops, go down there and see if everything is in order.
How to Properly Maintain Your Encapsulation
Even if you have sealed up the crawl space with a vapor barrier doesn’t mean it will stay secure for years to come. Some factors, such as seasonal changes, could introduce moisture into the crawl space. This is why having your crawl space dehumidifier installed by experts is never a waste of money.
Another way moisture can sneak into the crawl space is through the air leaks around the door and the ducts. Always check to see whether they are properly sealed because otherwise, your clean crawl space could become moldy and damp in no time.
If you have no idea what to do with all of your tools, keep in mind that moving them into your crawl space is never a good idea. Some homeowners do it and damage their vapor barrier. Sharp tools and toolboxes can rupture the encapsulation and create a convenient opening for pests such as mice and other rodents. Therefore, keep your tools in the toolshed or under the stairs, but never in the crawl space.
With that said, you should not use the crawl space as a second pantry either. Food or water should never be stored down there since it can easily attract various pests. Keep these things in the kitchen where they belong.
Signs of Crawl Space Encapsulation Malfunction
If your encapsulation is no longer keeping the moisture out, you will easily be able to notice something is happening. After the barrier becomes defective, you will start to notice moisture on walls or the floor or they will become very cold, your heating costs will increase, the paint on the walls will start to peel, mold on the walls will appear, your home will smell musty, or you will see that there is increased pest activity.
The good news is, all of these problems can be easily fixed. You just need to call contractors in the Huntsville, AL, area and let them fix the damaged encapsulation and dry up the air. Afterward, all of the mentioned problems will go away on their own. If you don’t wish to inspect and maintain the crawl space by yourself, sign up for an annual maintenance plan. This way you will be at ease knowing that any potential problems will be nipped in the bud. Schedule a free crawl space inspection and repair quote today and an expert from AFS Foundation and Waterproofing Specialists can provide you with answers and explain what your next steps should be. Keep your encapsulation in good shape, and it will serve you for years to come.