Issues with crawl spaces in Washington State affect the homeowner, contractor, remodeler, and property manager. Whether you live along the coast or in a drier area of the Pacific Northwest, excess moisture, poor ventilation, mold, rodents, and insect damage in the crawl space are all enemies of your building’s structural elements. These problems also contaminate the air you breathe inside the structure.
If you’re facing any of the above problems with your building’s crawl space in Seattle, Snohomish, Tacoma, or surrounding areas, you should know that concrete encapsulation is a solid solution. Concrete encapsulation is simply installing a three- to four-inch concrete barrier over the crawlspace floor. Here are some of the benefits of choosing this method:
A Concrete Barrier Is Cheaper Than Conditioning the Crawl Space
Crawl spaces in Washington State are generally unconditioned spaces that rely on vapor barriers and passive ventilation to reduce moisture and move stagnant air from underneath structures. Some buildings have conditioned crawl spaces, which are mechanically ventilated or heated in the hope that this will solve crawl space issues.
The problem with conditioned crawl spaces is that they require energy to operate. Concrete encapsulation requires no energy to work once it’s installed. There are also additional maintenance and repair requirements when you install mechanical conditioning. With the concrete-encapsulation solution, your routine operating and maintenance costs are non-existent or minimal.
Conditioned crawl spaces are not permitted in some structures, and they are not easy to retrofit onto existing buildings. Compare the expenses and difficulties of installing a conditioned system to the ease and one-time cost of a concrete-encapsulation solution.
Concrete Encapsulation Eliminates Pest and Mold Issues
When we install your crawl-space concrete barrier, we are ensuring your crawl space floor is completely sealed and impervious to rodents. The concrete barrier also seals in the dirt layers under the crawl space that subterranean termites and other insects use to tunnel into your crawl space. Additionally, encapsulation works to eliminate the moist conditions that pests seek out under homes in damp areas.
Even with a vapor or plastic barrier over your dirt crawl-space floor, the floor itself provides many spores and nutrients that allow mold and mildew to grow. All it takes to develop unhealthy levels of mold under your crawl space is a bit of moisture mixing with the dirt flooring.
Up to 40 percent of your building’s air may be coming up through the crawl space. When you have the crawl space sealed in concrete, the air you breathe is healthier and cleaner.
Concrete Encapsulation Looks Great and Puts You at Ease
While plastic sheeting makes a suitable and reliable vapor barrier when installed professionally by our team, concrete encapsulation offers a much more attractive “finish” to your floor space than plastic vapor barriers. The seamless, clean look of the concrete layer gives your crawl space a custom appearance. Remember, too, that it’s not difficult for animals or tools to tear or rip a plastic barrier, but the concrete barrier is tough and durable.
Concrete encapsulation also offers a much easier surface on which to work if you or your contractor must repair plumbing, ductwork, or other systems under your building. The surface makes it easy to see where pipes or other leaks are happening. With a dirt floor covered in plastic, it may be difficult to see where a leak is occurring without closer inspection.
Retired homeowners appreciate the looks and ease of installing concrete encapsulation under their buildings. The reduction of mold, rodents, and moisture gives them peace of mind and healthier living spaces without the bother of constant monitoring of their crawl spaces.
No matter which smelly or damp issues you’re facing with your crawl space, give us a call at Perma-Dry Waterproofing and Drainage to discuss the solutions. We offer a full range of services to waterproof, seal, and protect your crawl space. Let us do the hard work to keep your valuable property free from crawl-space invaders including rats, bugs, and mold.