Crawlspaces are typically dark, musty places that people avoid. Although moisture issues in your ventilated dirt crawlspace may go unnoticed, they can affect the indoor air quality and comfort of your Northern Virginia and Metro DC home.
Air leaks in, causing the HVAC system to work harder to compensate. Excess moisture encourages mold, dust mite, and some insect and pest populations in most crawlspaces. In more severe cases, high moisture levels and condensation can cause wood rot and structural damage to the wood framing and insulation.
Benefits of Crawlspace Encapsulation
- Reduce home energy costs
- Increase indoor air quality
- Prevent moisture problems in the home
- Greater home durability
- Warmer floors (on the first floor)
Crawlspace encapsulation is an important component of a moisture control and energy efficiency strategy for most home Northern Virginia and Metro Maryland homes. The Fifth Fuel energy efficiency team can assess the crawlspace and determine if crawlspace encapsulation will be effective in lowering heating and cooling costs, increasing comfort, and enabling higher indoor air quality in your home!
Cleaner Indoor Air
Some common allergens thrive in crawlspaces, especially when humidity levels are high. For example, dust mites thrive in moist places, and dust mite droppings are a common allergy trigger.
Although surprising, the indoor air quality in Northern Virginia and Metro Maryland homes is significantly affected by the crawlspace because much of the air that occupants breathe on the first floor originated from below. This is because warmer air is buoyant and it pulls air in through the crawl and up into the living spaces above, especially in the heating season.
Greater Home Durability
High moisture levels and condensation in your crawlspace can take its toll on the wood and insulation in the crawlspace, causing rot and degradation. Some insects, including termites and carpenter ants, are attracted to and thrive in moist places. Lowering the humidity levels in the crawlspace with a moisture barrier during our crawlspace encapsulation process will help protect your Northern Virginia and Washington DC-area home for many years.
Solving Moisture Problems
Crawlspace encapsulation begins by assessing if standing water is an issue. Then a heavy duty plastic moisture barrier is installed, covering the floor and sealing the perimeter beams and piers. This creates a barrier between the ground and the air within your home.
The crawlspace is then insulated, in one of two approaches. Depending on what strategy is selected, the crawlspace will either be a conditioned or unconditioned space. This involves insulating either the joists and walls (for a conditioned crawlspace) or the crawlspace ceiling (for an unconditioned crawlspace).
Energy Efficiency Experts
The Fifth Fuel has seasoned energy efficiency technicians with extensive experience in designing and installing effective vapor barriers for crawlspaces. We are a locally owned and operated company with thirty years of home performance experience, and adhere to Building Performance Institute (BPI) standards and industry best practices to cut your energy bills and improve indoor air quality.