Many homes that do not have a basement, often have a crawl space underneath the ground floor. A crawl space is especially common in ranch style homes. Unfortunately, the crawl space often becomes the source for a variety of health and safety concerns. It is common for pests, rodents, and birds to take up residence in a crawl space and the poor insulation can lead to heat loss, as well as mold due to the poor ventilation. Crawl space encapsulation is the process of covering the surfaces in a crawl space with a polyethylene barrier. Once the crawl space is sealed the polyethylene barrier, a dehumidifier is often installed to help regulate the moisture level in the crawl space. If your crawl space isn't protected with encapsulation, here are three reasons why you should consider it.

1. Improves Air Quality

One of the best reasons to consider crawl space encapsulation is that it will greatly improve the air quality in your home. The moisture in the crawl space is a haven for the growth of mold and fungi. A large degree of the air inside of your home is coming from the crawl space, which means the mold spores will eventually find their way inside of your home. A clean, dry crawl space can help eliminate the mold growth, ultimately improving the quality of air inside of your home.

2. Reduces Energy Costs

The damp, cold air in the crawl space will increase your heating costs because it takes more energy to heat damp air. When the cooling element is maintained in the crawl space, it helps to keep your home cool during the summer. Crawl space encapsulation helps to keep the outside air from entering your home, which helps to maintain even temperatures throughout your home all year round, which reduces your energy costs. Since the HVAC system doesn't have to work harder then it is supposed to, encapsulation will also help to extend the lifespan of the HVAC system.

3. Reduces Pest Problems

Dark, damp crawl spaces are the ideal living conditions for pests of all types, including mice, crickets, and termites. When pests take up residence in the crawl space, it poses a significant risk to your health and the integrity of your home. Rodents, such as mice, can nest in the crawlspace and eventually find their way inside your home where they will chew on the wiring and leave toxic urine and feces throughout your home. Crawl space encapsulation makes the space much less attractive and inhabitable to pests.

Encapsulating a crawl space requires precision and experience, so it's best to leave this job to the professionals. If the barrier is incorrectly installed, there is a risk of the moisture being trapped behind the barrier, which may worsen the problems you are already experiencing, including increased mold. The amount of time required for the installation process and the cost of encapsulation depends on the size of the crawl space and the layout of the space; however, the process is generally cost-effective.