Installing crawl space encapsulation is the best decision you’ll ever make. It’s going to shield the crawl space from moisture and prevent moisture-related problems. Though it can remain in good shape for decades, it’s not always damage-proof.
Accidents or wear and tear can damage this material and send you back to the drawing board. Read on
to find out what should be featured in a crawl space inspection checklist, the right time to inspect it, and how you can keep your encapsulation in top shape.
What to Look for During Crawl Space Inspection
Crawl space care and maintenance starts with an interior and exterior inspection of the crawl space. Inspections reveal issues affecting the crawl space and their origins. Anytime you or a crawl space repair professional perform a visual inspection of the crawl space, keep an eye out for the following things:
- Mold and mildew growth
- Foundation wall cracks
- Pests and insect infestation
- Water droplets on the wall
- Water puddles on the floor
- Warped or moist insulation
- Exposed electrical wires
- Plumbing leaks
- Ventilation problem
Sometimes one or more issues can crop up. So, inspect the crawl space from corner to corner.
What’s the Best Time to Maintain the Encapsulation?
One of the questions swirling in your mind right now is whether time is up to maintain the encapsulation. And if so, is it the right season? Spring is ideally the right time to inspect the crawl space and carry out maintenance tasks. The weather is cool – not too hot or cold. You or the inspector can venture down there and perform a visual inspection.
If you’re troubleshooting weather-related issues like leaks, it’s best to check the crawl space when it’s raining. You will be able to pinpoint the source of water and how serious it is.
Fall is another ideal time to carry out inspections. Many things may have transpired between spring and fall. For instance, you’d want to check whether the subflooring is okay, and that ducts and water pipes are insulated. You might also want to uncover issues that need urgent attention.
How to Maintain Your Encapsulation
Sealing the crawl space helps control moisture, but it doesn’t fail-proof it, depending on the type and quality of vapor barrier material. When summer comes around, you might still experience high humidity levels if there’s something wrong with the vapor barrier. This can set the stage for mold growth and wood rot. To avoid internal moisture issues, we advise you to install a dehumidifier.
Next, inspect the crawl space door and vent covers, and then seal leaks. If you leave them, they will allow in moist air into your crawl space. Your crawl space may turn musty and moldy.
DIY enthusiasts get tempted to store their workshop tools and equipment in their sealed crawl space. Don’t follow suit. Pointed tools and objects can tear the vapor barrier and reduce its inefficiency. When it gets torn, pests like rats might come inside.
Your crawl space isn’t a pantry. Leave food and water in the kitchen where they belong. Anytime you store food down there, you’re inviting pests to invade the crawl space.
Signs of a Defective Encapsulation
Defects in the crawl space such as torn encapsulation will always announce itself in any of the following ways.
- Water droplets on walls and floor
- An upsurge in heating costs
- Walls and floors feel cold
- Peeling wall paint and warping wood
- An upsurge in pest activity
- Mold streaks on surfaces
- Awful odors
Crawl space problems are easy to fix. Repair the damaged plastic vapor barrier and dehumidify the air, and they’ll vanish.
Don’t have the time to maintain the crawl space? We encourage you to sign up for a yearly maintenance plan with Innovative Basement Authority. Our experts will lift the burden associated with crawl space care.
We’ll treat the moldy interior and replace the damaged insulation. Get in touch with us today for a free crawl space inspection and quote, and get lasting fixes to crawl space issues.