A damp crawlspace can not only lead to a musty crawlspace but can lead to rot and decay and eventually to structural damage to your home.
Today we are going to spend some time under your Georgia home. A place you don’t normally see, like the Crawl Space. When is the last time you have been under your home? Is it dark, musty, muggy or buggy? Does it smell or is it wet? These are all symptoms of an unhealthy crawlspace. All that stuff that’s down there that can believe it or not permeate up into your living space if not carful. This would not be a healthy environment for you or your family, but you can solve that problem by encapsulating it!
How to properly close your crawlspace
Closing a crawlspace also known as, encapsulation, can serve many benefits in Atlanta Georgia. The definition of encapsulation in another words is “covering it all up” but what we do in these crawlspaces is much more then that.
The first step to a proper enclosure is removing all the organic material in this space. Things like boards, old paint cans, rocks or debris that really shouldn’t be there. We wouldn’t want enclose these objects of course and we need a smooth surface for the floor. The next step would be identifying any waterproofing issues. This would require installing a 4″ drain tile or sump pump to excavate any unwanted water that could be sitting in this space. This drain tile would be excavated around the footer and installed after hand digging a trench for this water to be redirected in. The pipe would then be wrapped with filter fabric to prevent any silt from future clogging. This waterproofing pipe is then backfilled with drain gravel to help filter the water and weight down the new drain tile. Then all loose soil and dirt is to be leveled and graded out for a smooth working surface.
After all preparations are made then the encapsulation can begin. This first step to this is placing our soil gas dispersal fabric. This is a black fabric that gets laid down throughout the entire floor of the crawlspace. That’s going to help soil gasses and moisture move towards the perimeter and into the pre installed drain tiles. Accentually its like a heavy duty vapor barrier which also adds extra padding for walking and storage. A second type of item is also installed over the walls and floor. This liner is over lapped caulked and sealed. All vents are also sealed leaving the crawlspace air tight. This way your new crawlspace is now sealed off from the outside world and is now protected for years to come.
Some of us in Atlanta Georgia may make the mistake of concreting the crawlspace floor thinking this will seal their space just the same. Although you will have a nice space for a storage area this will not protect your crawlspace in the same way. Concrete is porous and does not prevent or block moisture and odor as one would think. In the event of an inspection, the inspector would recommend any concrete areas to be enclosed as well. So by encapsulating, our system actually traps moisture out. In a way we actually create this impermeable bubble that seals out everything and anything from damaging the integrity of your crawlspace. This will keep out all the harmful air that could come up through the floor and vents and into your living space. If anything its going to look clean, its going to look nice, it can be used as storage space and above all your home is now a healthy environment for you and your family to live.