Crawlspace Encapsulation – Air Sealing Your Crawl Space
Are you thinking of investing in crawlspace encapsulation? This will seal your crawlspace off from the surrounding environment. It will help to ensure that the space remains dry no matter what the conditions are in its environment.
To complete the process of encapsulation, your crawl space will be air sealed. This seals the crawlspace off from the living space above it. It prevents the movement of air from the crawlspace into the living space above.
There are various areas that will be considered to ensure that the seal is efficient. The following are the three main areas to look out for.
- Penetration holes in the subflooring
These holes include those made for passing electrical wires, air ducts as well as pipes. Air from the crawl space can pass through the gaps left in these penetrations even when the gaps are not visible to the naked eye.
It is important to ensure that these gaps are sealed while ensuring that the penetrations are still able to perform the task of allowing access to utilities. The best way to seal these penetrations is by using spray foam. The spray foam will seal any gap including those that are not easily visible. It will also ensure that the gaps remain sealed for a long time to come.
- The ductwork
Many homes with crawlspaces have the ductwork of equipment such as their HVAC systems passing through the crawlspace. If these ducts are not sealed properly, air from the crawl space can pass into the living space and contaminate the air above. Unsealed ducts can also result in the loss of energy through the gaps. You will use more energy to heat or cool the air in your home as a result.
Ductwork can be sealed using seal tape. This lasts a very long time and provides a high quality seal.
- Rim joists
Rim joists are common in block and concrete foundations. They are often not insulated. They are however, often the site of mold in the crawlspace as condensation forms on them.
It is important to insulate and seal your rim joist. Sealing the rim joist will help to prevent the transfer of thermal energy from or to the living space through the rim joist. It will also help to prevent the movement of air from the crawlspace into the living space above.
The rim joists can be sealed sing foam board. Spray foam can also be used to create the air seal.