Odors in Encapsulated Crawl Spaces

A properly encapsulated crawl space is a critical line of defense for protecting your home from moisture-related issues. By adding a sealed vapor barrier to the surfaces of your crawlspace, you can prevent water vapor from seeping into your home and mold or mildew from growing in your home’s foundation.

However, over the years, some homeowners will notice a strange smell or odor coming from their home’s crawl space. These smells are often an early warning sign that something is wrong with the integrity of your crawl space.

What Causes Crawl Space Odors?

There are several reasons your encapsulated crawl space can start to smell. The most common is that water vapor has gotten through the encapsulation seal. If it smells odd or musty in your house after it rains, it may be because the encapsulation in your home’s crawl space has failed and allowed water to gather under the foundation and become stagnant, or the smell from minerals in the soil has penetrated through.

These minerals are activated by rain water, giving off a distinctly musty odor that can sneak into your crawl space, and spread through the rest of your home.

Another source of foul smells coming from your crawl space can be wildlife. Rodents in particular love using crawl spaces as places to live in, as they are cool, dark, hard to find, and out of the way of most natural predators.

The smell of vermin and their droppings can be a source of foul odors coming from the crawl space, and can lead to other issues. Rats love to chew and burrow, after all, and this can lead to damage to the encapsulation material, causing other smells to infiltrate your home as well.

How to Prevent Crawl Space Odors

To prevent odors from building in your crawl space and spreading to the rest of your, you’ll want a durable crawl space encapsulation installed, ideally a vapor barrier that is both resilient and has low permeability to prevent water vapor from accumulating in your crawl space.

A sump pump or underground drainage system is also useful for removing standing water from the crawl space before it can become a breeding ground for mold or insects.

Lastly, a dehumidifier will prevent any excess moisture that does manage to get into your home’s foundation from accumulating and causing you issues.

At Align Foundation Repair, we offer a wide range of foundation and crawl space repair services, combining the highest-quality products with a reputation for unsurpassed customer service.

We are dedicated to serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area with superior workmanship and an industry-leading warranty, giving you peace of mind when you choose us for your next project. Give us a call today, or click here for a free estimate to get started!

Basement or crawl space with upper floor insulation and wooden support beams. An area of limited height under the floor of a house with concrete wall and floor.

3 Crawl Space Encapsulation Benefits You May Not Know About

Encapsulating your home’s crawl space can provide major benefits, including:

  1. Promoting better health for you and your loved ones.
  2. Protecting your home from standing water and related problems like mold and insects.
  3. Providing a clean, dry storage location for seasonal items.

Let’s take a before-and-after look at how encapsulation can transform your crawl space from icky to amazing.

What Happens to Crawl Spaces When They’re NOT Encapsulated

Most homes here in Texas have a crawl space rather than a basement. This makes a lot of sense, given our climate and building codes.

But crawl spaces are vulnerable to multiple threats when they’re left unencapsulated. Examples include:

  • Moisture damage – caused by the torrential storms that hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area from time to time. Rain water collects in the space beneath your home, damaging the wiring and insulation.
  • Rat and insect infestation – These vermin thrive in the dark, dank environment of an unencapsulated crawl space. From there they can spread into your home itself.
  • Mold and mildew – which can impact your quality of life in many ways, from a persistent musty smell to triggering allergies and asthma.
  • High repair bills – the damage caused by a non-encapsulated crawl space can grow worse over time, eventually putting a severe strain on your budget.

The good news is that Align Foundation Repair’s crawl space encapsulation service can stop these problems in their tracks. Let’s see how it works.

How Encapsulation Can Transform Your Crawl Space

Now let’s see what a properly encapsulated crawl space is like:

  • It’s clean and dry – you’ll never have to worry about your crawl space turning into a swamp after it’s encapsulated. Our technicians use a waterproof membrane that keeps water outside where it belongs.
  • It’s safe and sanitary – crawl space protection eliminates problems like standing water, damaged wiring, and missing or waterlogged insulation. It also forms a continuous barrier against insects and other unwelcome visitors.
  • It’s attractive and practical – an encapsulated crawl space is a great place to store sports equipment, holiday decorations, and other seasonal items.

Want to Know More? Get in Touch with Us Today

Here at Align Foundation Repair, we cover a wide range of DFW crawl space encapsulation service areas. Our work is guaranteed and we’re happy to provide references. Contact us today to learn more about crawl space encapsulation and our other Dallas-Fort Worth foundation repair services. You’ll soon be on your way to a better, healthier home.

Crawl Space Incapsulation

What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Crawl space encapsulation is the process of cleaning and sealing a crawl space to eliminate unwanted moisture and the problems it can cause, including mold, bacteria, insects, and excessive utility bills. Encapsulating your crawl space can help you to save money, protect your house from serious damage, and promote better health for you and your loved ones.

Five Steps in the Crawl Space Encapsulation Process

The stages of our crawl space encapsulation services may vary from one home to the next. However, most projects include the following five steps:

  1. A general inspection – to gauge the condition of the crawl space and the improvements it needs.
  2. A thorough cleaning, sanitizing, and drying out of the crawl space – to remove standing water, clutter, and anything that might pose a health or safety risk.
  3. Performing any necessary repairs – encapsulating your crawl space can reveal problems such as unsafe wiring, leaking pipes, and torn or water-damaged insulation. These issues will only grow worse if left undetected.
  4. Installing a waterproof membrane – the point of this step is to keep your crawl space clean and dry over the long term. It’s very important that the contractor secure the membrane to the pillars and other components of your crawl space, not simply lay the material on the ground. Once this stage is complete, the space will enjoy wall-to-wall, top-to-bottom protection from mold, moisture, and insects.
  5. Adding protective measures to keep the crawl space clean and sanitary – like a commercial-grade dehumidifier and a hinged utility door for easy access to the space.

Long Term Benefits of Crawl Space Encapsulation Dallas

Crawl space encapsulation is an investment that pays long-term dividends like these:

  • A fresher and healthier atmosphere inside your home – your HVAC system draws air from under your house to circulate throughout the interior. The better the air quality, the more pleasant your home will be.
  • Less risk of moisture damage to your belongings – another benefit of having clean, dry air.
  • Fewer worries about ants, termites, roaches, and other pests – crawl space encapsulation removes the dark, dank conditions that draw these harmful creatures to your home.
  • Higher resale values – since your home’s floor joists, climate control system, and other critical components will enjoy added protection.

Free estimate

We’d love to tell you more about the benefits of crawl space encapsulation in Dallas and our other DFW foundation repair services. Contact us today for your free consultation and estimate. You’ll soon have all the facts you need to make an informed decision.

Crawl space under the eves of a house showing insulation

5 Signs of Crawl Space Problems

You may be having problems with your crawl space if you notice any of these common warning signs:

  1. Musty odors
  2. Rising utility bills
  3. Foggy windows.
  4. Creaking floors
  5. Unwelcome visitors (insects and other pests)

If you’re dealing with any of these issues, then please contact a crawl space encapsulation contractor right away. The sooner you act, the sooner you can start making your home a healthier and more enjoyable place.

Crawl space encapsulation refers to the installation of moisture-proof barriers on all surfaces of your crawl space, usually combined with the addition of a powerful dehumidifier. This procedure is a highly effective way to prevent mold, mildew, and other issues by eliminating unwanted moisture.

When Something Just Doesn’t Smell Right

Do you ever notice a musty odor inside your home that never goes away, even after a thorough housecleaning? The problem may be due to standing water in your crawl space. That’s because dark, wet environments create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Crawl space encapsulation solves this problem by creating a continuous moisture barrier from tough waterproof materials. Your nose will notice the difference right away.

Utility Bills That Just Keep Going Up

You depend on your heating and cooling system to maintain a pleasant environment inside your home year-round. But air that flows upward from a contaminated crawl space is, quite often, too hot, too cold, or too humid.

Your HVAC system works extra hard to overcome these problems, so you pay higher utility costs as a result. Align Foundation Repair’s crawl space encapsulation service can go a long way towards helping you tame those monthly bills.

Foggy Windows in All Kinds of Weather

Do your window ever fog up for no obvious reason? The problem might be caused by overly humid air rising up from your crawl space. This same moisture-laden air can saturate everything in your home, creating unpleasant odors and triggering asthma and allergies.

That’s why one of the first things we do as crawl space encapsulation contractors is to remove any standing water from beneath your home. We’ll also replace any water-damaged insulation, helping you to save money on your monthly bills.

Floors That Creak Even When the Home Is New

Moisture rising up from your crawl space can saturate your subflooring, causing it to warp or splinter. This may be why you hear a creaking or cracking sound as you walk around your home. If so, then crawl space encapsulation is just what you need to restore peace and quiet.

Invading Insects and Other Unwelcome Guests

A dark, humid, poorly sealed crawl space is the perfect invitation for all sorts of pests, including fleas, ticks, roaches, and even rats. That’s why crawl space encapsulation creates a bright, waterproof, sealed environment that’s well protected from outside threats.

Do I Need to Encapsulate My Crawl Space?

Moldy odors, unusually high utility bills, fogged windows, warped flooring, invasive insects and pests … If you are experiencing any of these problems in your home, it could be time to encapsulate your crawl space. Crawl space encapsulation addresses the root cause of all these issues by eliminating excess moisture build-up in your home’s crawl space. Seal off moisture for good and start living and breathing freely in your home again!

Call today to schedule a visit to any of our DFW crawl space encapsulation service locations. We’ll perform a thorough inspection of your crawl space and provide a free estimate, so you’ll have the facts you need to make an informed decision. Get in touch with us today to put our foundation repair services to work for you.

Basement or crawl space with upper floor insulation and wooden support beams. An area of limited height under the floor of a house with concrete wall and floor.

How Long Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Last?

A properly encapsulated crawl space can last 20 years or longer. Crawl space encapsulation is the process of transforming your crawl space into a clean, dry, pleasant storage area that can eliminate problems caused by moisture – such as mold and insects – and add value to your home.

To get the most from your investment, you should choose a contractor with a track record for providing free estimates and excellent customer service.

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Crawl Space Encapsulation

A number of factors can affect how long home crawl space encapsulation will last. These include:

  • The level of preparation prior to installing the moisture barrier – this includes removing any standing water, leveling the soil, repairing damage to insulation, plumbing, or wiring, eliminating pests, and removing rocks or other sharp objects.
  • The quality of materials used – for example, the materials used for the moisture barrier, also known as the membrane, can vary from one contractor to another. Good crawl space encapsulation services use higher-grade products for better results.
  • The extent of encapsulation – for the job to last, the membrane should completely cover the floor, walls, and pillars. The contractor should use a high-quality commercial adhesive for best results.
  • The integrity of the moisture barrier – a well-encapsulated crawl space will form a strong, continuous barrier against moisture and pests.
  • Whether or not sealants were used on the external walls – sometimes it’s necessary to seal the concrete blocks themselves before installing the moisture barrier. Otherwise, moisture may enter the space behind and underneath the fabric, promoting mold growth and weakening the adhesives used to achieve a bond.
  • The types of humidity controls put in place – these may include a dehumidifier, sump pump, or other devices.
  • The quality of the access door – Most crawl spaces include a small access door for using the area as a storage space. The strength and durability of this door will play a key role in how long crawl space encapsulation lasts.
  • The amount of ongoing maintenance – keeping the crawl space snug and dry requires periodic inspections, usually on an annual or biannual basis. Otherwise, small gaps can allow moisture or other contaminants to enter the space, damaging the homeowner’s personal belongings while promoting mold or mildew growth.

Want to Know More about Crawl Space Protection? Contact Us Today

Here at Align Foundation Repair, we cover a wide range of crawl encapsulation service areas around the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Our rates are fair and our work is guaranteed.

The sooner you act, the sooner your crawl space problems will be in the past. Contact us today to learn more about encapsulation and other home foundation repair services. You’ll soon be on your way to a drier, safer, more pleasant home.

Crawl Space under home

How Much Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost?

The cost for encapsulating a crawl space typically ranges from around $1500 to more than $5000, depending on the amount of work needed. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to contact Align Foundation Repair for a free inspection and price quote.

Crawl space encapsulation transforms contaminated, unhealthy crawl spaces into clean, dry, sanitary environments fully protected against moisture, pests, and temperature extremes.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Crawl Space Encapsulation Services

Some of the factors that can affect the final cost of home crawl space encapsulation include:

  • Whether or not the crawl space walls require insulation – Spray foam products are commonly used for this purpose.
  • The size and thickness of the moisture barrier – it’s important for the fabric to cover the ground, walls, and pillars entirely. It should also stay in place once it’s installed rather than moving around over time.
  • The amount of preparation needed – crawl spaces in poor condition may require extra work prior to installing the moisture barrier. This may include replacing insulation, correcting any wiring or plumbing problems, removing clutter or contaminated water, and getting rid of pests like mice and insects.
  • The number of vents that require sealing – crawl space encapsulation services should always include closing off existing vents and leaks within the crawl space. Otherwise, moisture and other contaminants will enter the environment and undo the benefits you have gained.
  • Any drainage systems that are required – these can include ground drains and/or a sump pump. They’re especially important in areas with a high water table.
  • Replacement of damaged floor joists – over time, crawl space moisture can cause the joists to warp, buckle, or even rot. Replacing them with new materials is essential for your personal safety.
  • Mold removal – the dark, dank conditions found in many crawl spaces can promote the growth of mold and mildew. Removing these toxins is important for ensuring better air quality throughout your home. Left uncorrected, this problem can trigger asthma, allergies, or even worse.
  • Installing an access door – it’s important for the homeowner to enjoy easy access to the crawl space. The door should be sturdy, easy to open and close, and fit tightly into the surrounding space.
  • Installing a dehumidifier – once encapsulated, keeping the crawl space dry and in good condition may require a commercial-grade dehumidifier.

Ready to Know More about Crawl Space Protection? Contact Us Today

At Align Foundation Repair, we serve a wide range of DFW crawl space encapsulation service locations. Our rates are fair, and we gladly provide references from past customers.

The sooner you act, the sooner you can start enjoying your transformed crawl space. Contact us today; when you do, be sure to ask about our foundation repair financing services. Our people will be glad to give you all the details.

Crawl Space Incapsulation

Is Crawl Space Encapsulation Worth It?

Crawl space encapsulation is the process of cleaning and sanitizing your crawl space to protect your home from moisture, insects, and other contaminants. The benefits you’ll receive from encapsulation are well worth the cost.

The High Cost of NOT Encapsulating Your Crawl Space

To understand why crawl space encapsulation is such a great investment, let’s look at what can happen if you don’t take this important step:

  • Your health can suffer – your HVAC system draws air from your crawl space to circulate throughout your residence. Air that is contaminated can trigger asthma, allergies, and other serious health conditions.
  • Your belongings are put at risk – products made of wood, paper, or other porous materials are vulnerable to high moisture levels. Humid air from your crawl space can cause them to warp, stain, or develop a strong mildew odor.
  • Your utility bills can skyrocket – caused by your heating and cooling unit clogging up and becoming less efficient. This can even cause premature failure of the entire system, saddling you with an enormous repair bill.
  • Your floor joists can split or buckle – causing the floor to creak, shift out of level, or fail entirely.
  • You may have trouble selling your home – potential buyers are wary of unusual odors and creaking floors. Plus, home inspectors always check out the crawl space. You can be sure that they’ll spot areas of concern right away.

Crawl Space Encapsulation to the Rescue

Crawl space encapsulation services prevent these problems by transforming the crawl space itself into a clean, sanitary environment. Here’s how the process works:

  • The crawl space receives a thorough cleaning – to remove clutter, contaminated water, hazardous materials, and pests such as insects or rats. An underground drain line may be installed at this stage of the job.
  • Necessary repairs are completed – these can include new wiring, new insulation, or new floor joists. Mold and mildew are eliminated, and the ground is tamped down and made level.
  • Vents, holes, and gaps are sealed off – both to regulate the interior temperature and to prevent contaminants from entering the crawl space.
  • A waterproof vapor barrier and membrane is installed – this is what keeps the crawl space clean and dry over the long term. The membrane covers the entire floor as well as the walls and the lower portions of the pillars.
  • Water management solutions are installed – typically a commercial-grade dehumidifier and, quite often, a sump pump.
  • A new access point is added – this is usually a hinged door seal tightly along its edges. This enables the homeowner to use the space for storage while keeping it clean and sanitary.

The end result is a completely transformed crawl space that will be a worthy addition to your home.

Get in Touch With Us Today

At Align Foundation Repair, we cover a wide range of Dallas crawl space encapsulation service locations. We offer fair rates, free estimates, and guaranteed results.

Contact us today to learn more about crawl space encapsulation and our other foundation repair services. We will be glad to help you put your crawl space problems in the past!

Crawl space encapsulation value

Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Add Value to Your Home?

Encapsulating your crawl space is a fantastic way to add value to your home. Here’s why:

  • Home crawl space encapsulation helps to prevent mold, rats, and insects from gaining a foothold in your house.
  • Crawl space encapsulation makes your HVAC system more efficient, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars per year.
  • Crawl space encapsulation promotes good air quality throughout your home, slashing your risk of allergies and respiratory infections.

Let’s look at how crawl space encapsulation provides these benefits.

Problems with Unprotected Crawl Spaces

As the name implies, a pier and beam foundation is supported by vertical piers buried in concrete and attached to the beams that underlie the floor itself.

When properly designed and maintained, a pier and beam foundation can provide decades of trouble-free service. But sometimes hasty construction, severe weather, or the effects of time can allow rain or other contaminants to enter the crawl space, causing problems like these:

  • Pools of stagnant water – these can become breeding grounds for insects and germs.
  • Rat infestation – in some cases, rats can take up residence in a crawl space, depositing their feces, and chewing on electric wires.
  • Mold and fungi growth – over time, mold spores from a contaminated crawl space can find their way into your home’s ductwork and even into the air you breathe.
  • Lost or damaged belongings – a crawl space is a great place to store seasonal or recreational items, unless it becomes wet and contaminated. When that happens, say goodbye to your valued possessions.

Crawl Space Encapsulation Services to the Rescue

The good news is that most crawl spaces can be cleaned up, repaired, and turned into safe, useful areas. The term for this process is crawl space encapsulation. Here’s how it works:

  1. The first step is to thoroughly inspect the crawl space and correct problems like rodents, insects, damaged insulation, rotten wood, damaged wiring, etc.
  2. Once the first step is complete, we may install French drains, a sump pump, or other drainage solutions to prevent water from building up in the future. We will repair or replace the access door and wall vents as needed.
  3. The third step is to line the ground, walls, piers, and penetration points such as pipes with a heavy-duty commercial liner. Here at Align Foundation Repair, we use Stegocrawl® products for their durability and reliability.
  4. The final step is to install a commercial-grade dehumidifier to maintain proper moisture levels going forward. You, of course, will have the opportunity to inspect our work and ask any questions you may have.

Align Foundation Repair: Your Contractor of Choice for Crawl Space Protection

Align Foundation Repair covers a wide range of crawl encapsulation service areas across North Texas. Our technicians are thorough and efficient, finishing the job in minimum time so you can get back to your daily routine. Plus, our work is guaranteed.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about crawl space encapsulation and our other home foundation repair services. You’ll soon be on the road to a safer, healthier, and more valuable home.

Basement or crawl space with upper floor insulation and wooden support beams. An area of limited height under the floor of a house with concrete wall and floor.

What to Expect During the Crawl Space Encapsulation Process

The primary purpose of Crawl space encapsulation in North Texas is to control vapor (humidity/moisture) in the crawlspace.   Vapor above safe limits can cause excess organic growth, like mold, and cause sever lumber damage, weakening the structural integrity of the foundation system – think of the lumber like a sponge for vapor, a food source for the organic growth.  Additional benefits of encapsulation are a healthier crawlspace leading to improved indoor air quality.

The installation is relatively quick, typically less than a week and will have minimal impact on your daily activities. The professionals at Align Foundation Repair can answer any questions you may have when you contact us for your free estimate. Read on below for what to expect from crawl space encapsulation

Crawl Space Encapsulation Step-By-Step

Most crawl space encapsulation projects follow these five steps:

  1. Cleaning out the crawl space itself – We’ll remove clutter and debris.
  2. Performing repairs – This step is only needed if we find damage to structural system. An estimate of damaged lumber is provided prior to install, generally along with the proposal for the vapor barrier.
  3. Laying out the vapor barrier/retarder – This is the most essential step in the encapsulation process – the material is rolled across the ground and attached to the piers and foundation walls with a dual adhesion system. We lap each layer and join the seams together with a low perm acrylic tape. The pressure-sensitive tapes provide maximum adhesion for a long-lasting seal.

Align only uses vapor barriers that conform the American Concrete Institute (ACI 302.2R-06) not allowing a permanence value over 0.010 PERMS.  Which allows it to be called a vapor barrier.  All vapor barriers are vapor retarders, not all vapor retarders are vapor barriers.  This is very important to complete a quality install.

Steps 4 and 5 are optional – WHY?  A lot of times the excess vapor is primarily caused by soil moisture evaporation, if the vapor barrier alone resolves this without creating other issues, then the passive ventilation systems can be considered adequate.  Drainage correction is typically recommended at a minimum with encapsulation.  This reduces the need for additional mechanical systems, lowering cost and maintenance, while still providing high level of benefit.

  1. Sealing vents – Sealing off passive vents is done when vapor levels are still high meaning the vapor barrier and passive ventilation are not sufficient enough.  This step has to be accompanied by mechanical dehumidification, ventilation, and drainage.
  2. Installing a heavy-duty dehumidifier and/or sump pump –This allows for complete control of the vapor levels under the home.  This is the most ideal situation because we have full CONTROL of the crawlspace and is the most beneficial way of install.  However, this does require additional maintenance and may not be required or necessary depending on site conditions.

We gain entry to your crawl space either through the existing access door or by tunneling under the foundation. This means you won’t have to worry about dirt and debris being tracked through your house or disruption to your daily life. The work itself typically takes no more than 2-5 days.

What You Can Expect Once the Job Is Complete

Once we’ve finished our crawl space encapsulation services, you can look forward to the following benefits:

  • Cleaner, fresher air inside your home – since most of the air circulated by your HVAC system comes from your crawl space.
  • Protection from moisture-related problems throughout your house – including the crawl space itself, where your floor joists are vulnerable to warping, splitting, or buckling from overly humid air.

Crawl Space Encapsulation Dallas

We’d love to tell you more about the benefits of crawl space encapsulation in Dallas. Contact us today for your free quote. We can soon help you to have a cleaner, safer, healthier place to call home.