Which Is Better: Crawl Space Encapsulation or a Vapor Barrier?

Since your home’s crawl space is out of sight, it may seem easy to overlook. But when you begin to have problems like mold, rodents, poor air quality, and humidity, too much moisture could be the culprit. One of the best solutions to a damp crawl space is to protect using encapsulation or vapor barriers.

Both installation processes strive to provide the same solution; however, they’re vastly different in execution. The method you choose for your crawl space will depend on the current condition of your crawl space and your specific needs.

Vapor Barrier Crawl Space Encapsulation

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The Best Option: Crawl Space Encapsulation or Vapor Barrier?

Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of crawl space encapsulation and vapor barriers and how to choose the best option for your crawl space.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

Crawl space encapsulation involves installing a strong moisture barrier over the dirt of your crawl space to seal it completely and cover all walls to properly encapsulate and seal the ground and walls. Before the encapsulation process can begin, team members will clean out any debris on the dirt floor and clear it for a proper lay down of the plastic tarp-like barrier.

Its extra protection ensures that the moisture does not penetrate any walls which can create costly, unwanted problems in the future. Moisture and humidity mainly come from the dirt of your crawl space.

With crawl space encapsulation, our professionals will completely seal your dirt floor in plastic using our high-quality liners that come in 6mil, 10mil, and 20mil. Encapsulation involves installing these liners on your walls and concealing them down to your dirt floor.

Once you encapsulate your crawl space, you can worry less when using it as a storage area. 

The Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation

Crawl space encapsulation comes with several benefits.

  1. Reduces humidity – One of the greatest benefits of having crawl space encapsulation is that it reduces any humidity problems in your home. If you live in the South, you know humidity can become a huge issue. High humidity problems can also lead to potential rodent issues. 
  2. Controls rodent problemsCrawl space encapsulation is also great for reducing the chances of rodent problems. It can protect your home by adding a shield from a protective layer against termites. 
  3. Lowers energy costs – One of the most significant benefits of crawl space encapsulation is that it lowers your home’s energy costs. You’ll have lower energy costs because you will have less outside air circulating in your crawl space since you have more insulation. With encapsulation, this means during the winter, you’ll have warmer floors to keep your home warmer. 
  4. Improves air quality – An encapsulated crawl space can improve your home’s indoor air quality. After installation, your crawl space will be clean, healthy, and dry. 
  5. Eliminates foul odors – Encapsulation is something you’ll want to consider if you notice a foul odor coming from your crawl space. Professionals can seal a foul-smelling crawl space to prevent future odors from developing. Encapsulation can also help prevent mold and mildew from forming. 
  6. Great for storage – Since encapsulating your crawl space provides sanitary protection, you can now use your crawl space for extra storage. Since encapsulation reduces humidity, you can find comfort in knowing your items will be protected. 
  7. Decreases the chances of mold – It’s no surprise that crawl spaces can be dark and damp. When rodents and mold invade this area, it can become ten times worse by creating rotting wood and foul odors. 

Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

Vapor Barriers are plastic liners that cover the dirt. Vapor barriers can slow down any moisture in the soil from getting into your crawl space. The difference between encapsulation and vapor barriers is that vapor barriers don’t create a seal-like encapsulation.

The Benefits of Vapor Barriers

Like crawl space encapsulation, vapor barriers offer several benefits.

  1. Keeps out moisture – One of the most significant benefits of vapor barriers is that it keeps the moisture out of your crawl space and home. Since crawl spaces are near the ground, moisture can enter your home. The moisture will remain in the soil and not your home when using a barrier.
  2. Gets rid of rodents – Vapor barriers can also assist in repelling rodents. Rodents like rats and raccoons love to spend time in moist areas, so a vapor barrier will make it harder for them to occupy your space.
  3. Improves energy efficiency – A third benefit is that the crawl space vapor barrier can improve your home’s energy efficiency. A vapor barrier provides extra insulation and will help your home retain its temperature. 
  4. Prevents mold & structural damage – If you have moisture in your crawl space, it’s only a matter of time before mold follows if you don’t have a vapor barrier. Since crawl spaces are dark and have little ventilation, they are an inviting environment for mold. 

How to Choose: Crawl Space Encapsulation or Vapor Barrier?

Before you speak with a professional about what option is best for you, it’s worth noting some differences between crawl space encapsulation and vapor barriers.

Crawl Space Encapsulation Controls Air Passage

We know that vapor barriers cover your soil with a plastic liner, but as mentioned above, they don’t seal or prevent gaps in your walls. If you’re trying to prevent moisture from sneaking into your crawl space, encapsulating your crawl space is the better option.

Vapor Barriers Cost Less

Since a vapor barrier uses fewer materials, it’s a straightforward installation process and costs less. If you’re only concerned about the dampness from the soil under your home, vapor barriers are a great choice.

Encapsulation Prevents Water from Creating Structural Damage

While vapor barriers are significant for preventing moisture, they won’t completely block off your crawl space. If your home suffers from heavy rain or leaks, you’ll receive better protection by choosing encapsulation

Why You Should Choose Master Attic for Your Crawl Space Encapsulation and Vapor Barrier Needs

Choosing Master Attic for your crawl space encapsulation and vapor barrier needs means that you’re choosing a team of professionals who are dedicated and passionate about what we do. We have rapidly become New Jersey’s and Eastern Pennsylvania’s number one choice for your home’s crawl space needs.

At Master Attic, we use top-grade materials for your home that ensures the services you receive are long-lasting, safe, and effective. Our licensed and insured technicians have worked on thousands of attics and crawl spaces. With customer care our top priority, you can rest easy knowing your crawl space is in good hands.

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