What do homeowners in Northern Virginia need to know about encapsulations?

 

What do you need to know about a crawl space?

Just like it sounds, a crawl space is a small space under the home where people typically can’t stand and instead must crawl to access it. From the crawl space, you can often see the support beams or what is holding up the home. They are unfinished, usually dirt floors and uninhabitable. In addition to being small in height, they are also very narrow. A crawl space is traditionally made from cinder blocks or brick facing with cement. The crawl space is located between the first floor and the ground and is an alternative to a basement. One advantage to having a crawl space instead of a basement is that the duct work and the plumbing for the home can be easily located there and is readily accessible for maintenance.

One significant problem associated with crawl spaces is excessive moisture, because of poor ventilation. Crawl spaces Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington must meet certain guidelines. Crawl space encapsulation is an easy way for homeowners in Northern Virginia to meet their requirements. Crawl spaces are also responsible for high heat and air conditioning costs. The way the space is insulated can determine how much air conditioning or heat is leaving the home and why you may be spending more to keep your home cold or warm enough to your standards.

What is a crawl space encapsulation? Advice for Northern Virginia.

During a waterproofing estimate for a crawl space encapsulation, a technician will evaluate the crawl space, take necessary measurements and appropriately calculate the dimensions of the space. The technician will then establish a plan of action in which they decide what will make the crawl space meet the guidelines set in place by the state of Virginia. The minimum requirements a crawl space must meet to pass an inspection include it being free of vegetation and smooth and void of rocks and other debris. The installation of a six mil vapor barrier is also required to reduce ground transmitted moisture. Another important thing with crawl spaces is ensuring they’re properly ventilated, ground moisture and humidity is controlled or they are encapsulated. When the space is not properly treated as mentioned, negative effects of stack effect can be accelerated or increased. Stack effect is a process when air moves upward in a building. This process happens in the summer and winter with air infiltration occurring on the lower part of the home and exfiltration happening on the upper part of the home or building. Because crawl spaces have a humidity and water issue, the smell of mildew will often waft into the home. Crawl Spaces can also grow mold which can make the crawl space unsafe. Additionally, crawl spaces can be breeding grounds for insects, pests and wild animals like mice, ratsskunks and raccoons. If a pest or wildlife removal program is needed, it will be put in place swiftly to solve the problem before the encapsulation process begins.  

Once Summit Waterproofing provides the client with the estimate and they approve the estimate and want to get started with the work, the encapsulation process typically takes between one and two days depending on the amount of work needed and the size of the crawl space. The first step would be to clean out any of the debris from the space and to dig out areas that may be too narrow for people to pass through to do the labor. All of the other necessary steps will be determined by the technician who does the estimate. 

Who should you hire for an encapsulation job?

Crawl space encapsulations are not a job that just anyone can do. A skilled waterproofing team needs to take on a task such as this to ensure it is completed not only following Virginia code, but to make sure more damage isn’t caused by the poor or faulty installation of necessary materials. Crawl spaces are very small in height and it is a labor intensive job that typically requires up to 48 hours of labor to complete with a team of three or more people working based on what is required to complete the job. Crawl spaces need to be maintained and cared for and encapsulated again when necessary.

How often should a home be encapsulated?

Encapsulations are a one time procedure that will save money and provide comfort indefinitely. Routine maintenance will need to be performed such as a once a year inspection, dehumidifier and sump pump cleaning and repairs to liner and tape. Crawl spaces tend to have between a 15 and 25 year long warranty on them. During the warranty, if there are any issues with the crawl space, Summit Waterproofing will make the necessary changes and fix the problems at no charge. An encapsulation may need to be completely redone after about twenty years. At Summit, we offer a 25 year transferable warranty with all of our crawl space encapsulations. Some homes have partial encapsulations done, meaning they may meet the basic guidelines and standards established and mandated by the state, but lack the other components that will keep their crawl space in better condition. The quality of the crawl space and its effectiveness is dependent on the quality of the supplies and the labor. At Summit, we pride ourselves in hiring the most capable technicians for the job and utilizing only the best and safest products available in the industry.

How much does an encapsulation cost?

Encapsulation costs are dependent on a few things such as the amount of labor needed to complete the task and the amount of supplies needed to complete the job. To determine the time spent working and the amount of supplies needed, a technician must take precise and accurate measurements of the crawl space and properly evaluate the situation so that it can be accurately priced. There are no specific ranges for pricing because every case differs because of the size of the space, the work required and the amount of supplies. Our prices are always fair and competitive with other companies, and we will do a great job with beautiful, safe and healthy results that will last for years. For more information about scheduling a free crawl space encapsulation estimate, contact us today at 844-253-8080.

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