Crawl space encapsulation is one of the most important energy efficiency upgrades you can make in your Michigan home, but it also remains one of the most misunderstood. After all, crawl spaces are often the least visited parts of a home—there’s a good chance that you’ve never even been in your crawl space, let alone thought about performing home improvement upgrades down there.
Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about crawl spaces.
1. Why do I need to encapsulate my crawl space?
Crawl space encapsulation is often necessary for Michigan homes to avoid moisture issues that can lead to structural damage as well as unhealthy air and mold growth. Crawl spaces are also a major source of heat loss in houses during cold Michigan winters, driving up energy costs and reducing indoor comfort levels.
2. How can crawl space encapsulation benefit my home?
Encapsulating your crawl space comes with a number of benefits:
- Reduces heating and cooling costs
- Protects against mold growth
- Gets rid of cold first-level floors on winter mornings
- Creates a more comfortable environment throughout your home
- Keeps animals and pests out of your crawl space
- Helps improve indoor air quality
3. Can crawl space encapsulation increase my comfort?
By reducing heat transfer and air movement in and out of your home, crawl space encapsulation will make your entire home more comfortable by helping it maintain more consistent indoor temperatures and creating more even comfort levels throughout your house.
4. What does the process look like?
Crawl space encapsulation is a multi-step process to help protect the lowest parts of your home from outside heat, air, and moisture:
- First, a plastic vapor barrier is applied across the floor of the crawl space to keep moisture out.
- Next, your crawl space is air sealed with spray foam insulation to prevent air infiltration into your home.
- Finally, crawl space insulation is installed to keep indoor temperatures more consistent and reduce energy waste.
5. Will crawl space encapsulation help my energy bills?
Crawl space encapsulation saves you money—studies have shown that homeowners save an average of 15% on their heating and cooling bills after upgrading their home. These ongoing savings help you recoup upfront crawl space encapsulation costs, while you take advantage of additional benefits like healthier indoor air and a more comfortable home.
6. Will it get rid of mold I already have in my crawl space?
Mold needs three main things to grow: heat, moisture, and a food source. If your crawl space is warm and wet, mold will likely begin to grow on insulation, wood, or other building materials that it can use as food. By encapsulating your crawl space, you are taking away the moisture it needs to continue to grow, but you’ll still need to remove the existing mold before starting the encapsulation process.
7. Will crawl space encapsulation waterproof my crawl space?
If you have a major water issue in your crawl space, additional mitigation steps—like French drain installation or a sump pump—will need to be installed before the actual encapsulation process. But for smaller moisture issues, crawlspace encapsulation will create a dry, water-free environment under your living spaces.
It’s also possible that WMGB Home Improvement recommends installing a portable dehumidifier in your crawl space to ensure moderate humidity levels. But whatever your issue, our team will work with you to find the right solution for your Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, or Holland home.
8. How do I know if my home needs crawl space encapsulation?
Any trustworthy crawl space encapsulation contractor near you won’t just sell you on the service if they don’t actually think you’ll need it. That’s why, when you reach out to WMGB Home Improvement, we’ll ask about potential issues you might be having in your home, from humidity to high energy bills, and get some general information about the current condition of your crawl space (Can you see mold growing? Is there standing water or does it feel damp and wet?). This way, we can get a sense as to whether you could actually benefit from our crawl space services.
We’ll also likely recommend a home energy audit, which is our comprehensive process for evaluating a home, testing its energy efficiency, and looking for areas where improvements will make the biggest difference. If your home needs crawl space encapsulation installation, your home auditor will uncover the reasons why and help explain them to you. Have additional questions about your crawl space? Ready to schedule crawl space encapsulation with Michigan’s best? Call or contact us today to talk to a home expert from WMGB.