The Ultimate Guide to Crawl Space Encapsulation

Be honest with yourself: when was the last time you gave any thought to your crawl space? If it’s been a while, you’re not alone! Homeowners tend to ignore their crawl space until issues arise that can sometimes cost thousands of dollars to fix. Fortunately, crawl space encapsulation can help eliminate these common moisture problems, keeping your home safe from damage. 

What is crawl space encapsulation, exactly? And why should you consider it for your home? We’ve got all the answers you need. Dive into this detailed guide to learn everything you need to know!

What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

In the simplest terms, crawl space encapsulation involves adding a heavy-duty plastic vapor barrier to the floor and walls of your crawl space to keep moisture out. In some cases, you may also opt to install a dehumidifier to further control moisture levels in the space. 

The length of the project largely depends on the size of your crawl space but in most cases, we can complete the job in just a few days. 

crawl space encapsulation

What Happens During the Encapsulation Process?

Before you decide to schedule an encapsulation for yourself, it helps to understand what you can expect during the process. 

Preparation

When you hire the Green Frog Waterproofing team, we’ll come out to your home and clear out your crawl space. This is when we’ll remove dirt and debris and check your existing insulation for damage. If there’s any existing water damage in the area, we’ll resolve it before moving forward.

Installation

Next, we’ll install the vapor barrier, which will cover the walls and floor of your crawl space. This polyethylene material is not only waterproof, but it also helps improve the air quality in your home and keeps out rodents and other critters. Once we lay out the barrier, we’ll secure it with double-sided tape. 

Sealing

The final step involves cutting the barrier around any obstacles, like pillars. If there are any gaps, we’ll fill them with foam spray or additional sealing tape. Once we’re finished sealing the area, we may make extra recommendations, such as adding a dehumidifier to the space.

What Are the Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation?

So, do you really need to encapsulate your crawl space? Here are a few benefits to consider when making your decision. 

Your Home Will Be More Comfortable

With a vented crawl space, your home will feel hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. By encapsulating the space, external weather conditions won’t have as much of an effect on your indoor temperature. 

Your Electricity Bills May Decrease

Along those same lines, you may notice lower utility bills after your encapsulation. Your heating and cooling system won’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable to compensate for fluctuating temperatures caused by your crawl space, helping to reduce your bill. 

You Won’t Find as Many Pests in Your Home

Finding creepy crawlies in your home is always an unsettling experience. They’re naturally drawn to wet, dark spaces, which is why they come into your crawl space. Since encapsulation removes moisture, fewer pests will make their way to your home. 

You Won’t Have to Worry About Mold

Much like pests, mold needs damp spaces to thrive. By encapsulating your crawl space, mold won’t be able to grow and you won’t have to worry about the respiratory issues that often plague families with a moldy crawl space. 

Your Home Will Be More Structurally Sound

The wet soil in a crawl space can weaken your home’s foundation over time. When you encapsulate the space, the soil around your foundation will stay dry, which aids in the structural integrity of your home. 

Eliminate Crawl Space Issues Before They Get Worse

Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about crawl space encapsulation, it’s time to get your project on the books before moisture damages your home. Here at Green Frog Waterproofing, we would be more than happy to give you a free estimate for your project so you can start planning for it. Contact our team today to get started.

Which Pipe is Best?

I need to get my gutter water away from my house. Which kind of pipe should I use?

Great question! There’s a short answer and a long answer.

The Short Answer
There are two main types of pipe used in residential settings to transfer rain water. Corrugated pipe and PVC pipe. Corrugated pipe is the cheapest, easiest, and most common option. But we advise people against using corrugated pipe to transfer water underground. (*Note: This article deals with transferring water with a solid pipe, not constructing a French drain. That’s another topic for another day!)

The Long Answer

Corrugated Pipe: The term “corrugated” applies to any material that has alternating ridges and

4″ Corrugated Pipe
grooves. You’ve probably seen a corrugated metal roof or even corrugated cardboard. But in this case, we are referring to corrugated plastic. The most common corrugated pipe used in residential settings is black with a 4″ diameter. 

Pros of Corrugated Pipe:
Less expensive than other options.
Can be easily bent due to the corrugated nature. It can almost make a 90 degree bend in a tight space without using any additional fittings.
Is light weight and easy to work with.
Readily available at your local home improvement store.

Cons of Corrugated Pipe:

Debris and sediment has a tendency to get caught and accumulate in the ridges, therefore slowing down water flow.
The pipe walls are thin and soft, and they can easily be damaged.
If the pipe is exposed above ground, it is easily damaged by weed trimmers, lawn mowers, foot traffic, and pets.
If the pipe is buried below ground, the pipe wall can be penetrated by roots. Even shrub roots can penetrate the wall in search of water, causing up to 100% blockage.
PVC Pipe: PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride, and is commonly used as a more durable and less expensive alternative to traditional materials such as metal or terra cotta. PVC can be produced in many colors, sizes, lengths, and thicknesses. It is often used for sewer and plumbing, but it is also a

4″ PVC Pipe
great product for many yard drainage situations.

Pros of PVC Pipe:
It is much more durable than corrugated. Roots will not penetrate the walls.
The walls of the pipe are smooth so there are no ridges to slow down water flow or to catch debris.
Clean-outs can be installed for system maintenance.
For these reasons, it has a much longer life span than corrugated pipe.


Cons of PVC Pipe:
More expensive to purchase than corrugated pipe.
More labor-intensive to install.
Due to it’s rigid nature, fittings must be used to bend or turn the pipe. Fittings are commonly glued together using a special PVC cement.
Can be confusing to work with due to the various sizes and grades available on the market.

Conclusion
Although PVC pipe is more expensive and more difficult to install, it is well worth the extra investment in the long run. A homeowner that wants to do it right the first time, and not have to come back and fix the problem again in a few years, should strongly consider installing PVC pipe to transfer water away from the home. Visit our website to learn more.

Sump Pump Installation

When installed improperly a sump pump can be a source of humidity, foul odors, and mold rather than a solution. Here are three ways that this sump pump is installed improperly.

  1. No lid. A proper sump basin has a lid which serves multiple purposes. 1) A lid prevents the basin water from evaporating back into your crawl space and eventually being absorbed by your insulation and floor joist. 2) A lid helps ensure a clean environment for the sump pump. Notice the dirtiness of the water and the inside of the green basin. 3) A lid is also a safety mechanism to prevent Barky or Meow from falling in. Sadly, while performing a routine inspection, one of our technicians found a customer’s puppy that had been missing for months. 
  2. Five-gallon bucket, rather than a proper sump pump basin. There are several models that will get the job done, but the typical basin is about twice the depth and four times the volume of this five-gallon bucket.
  3. No holes to allow ground water to enter basin. In a crawl space environment it is most effective to drill holes around the basin to allow ground water to enter the basin and then be pumped out. The only water entering this basin is being pumped through tubes (black 1″ tube above) from a dehumidifier. Notice the ground surrounding this sump basin is wet and muddy because the ground water has no way of entering the basin.
Visit our website to learn more about sump pumps, crawl space waterproofing, and basement waterproofing. Or contact us to schedule a free inspection of your home.