We build crawl spaces to house plumbing, duct work, and other HVAC equipment in areas where a basement is either too pricey or impractical geographically. However, a breathable, dirt floor crawl space is a thing of the past.
We have learnt through the years that vapor barriers are necessary to control the evaporation and condensation of ground water from below a house. But even the 6mil vapor barrier from the 80’s is out of date these days.
The best way to encapsulate your crawl space is with a 20mil vapor barrier ran from sill plate to sill plate. And even up around the steel posts or other piers of your foundation as well. We go the extra mile and use heavy duty tape to hold the seems in place and ram-set the barrier to the foundation walls.
I mean, look at the pictures below. Which one would you like to climb down into to fix a leaky pipe. Furthermore, if that pipe should bust, which do you think is going to be easier to extract the Category 3 water from?
Why this winter?
I started this saying do it THIS winter. Why this winter? Here’s the top 3 reasons to do it this winter:
1. Mold and Moisture
This has been a tough, TOUGH year full of sickness and sadness. Could it be possible that your sniffles and “winter blues” that set in about April 2020 could be from spending a lot more time in your house, and that you’re actually allergic to the air being pumped into your house by your breathable crawl space? Is there mold down there? If there’s mold, that’s floating in your air too and making you sick.
2. Fluctuating Temperatures
This winter is said to be a cold one. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we are walking a fine line this winter between “more wet than white” and “not so cold, not so wet”. Plus, this is St. Louis it could be 70 degrees Tuesday and 30 degrees Friday which has our HVAC systems working like a manual transmission in the hands of a teenager. Now think about the fact that your crawl is just completely bare bones. Yea, your machinery is just flopping back and forth
3. COVID 19
If you have had COVID 19, you really need to do what is best for your breathing, and that is to have the freshest cleanest air floating around your home. Ergo, you need an encap, an HVAC check up, a new filter, and a duct cleaning.