Crawl Space Encapsulation vs Vapor Barrier
There are a lot of questions surrounding crawl spaces, but finding the right answers isn’t always easy. Let’s talk about the differences between encapsulation and vapor barrier so that you can make the right decision for you. We’re going to explore both options and benefits and help you to choose which one is best.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
If your crawl space is encapsulated, it means that you have gone through the process of completely sealing the entire crawl space in white plastic. When you choose encapsulation, you are required to install a dehumidifier and a sump pump, as the purpose of crawl space encapsulation is to reduce the moisture that can build up inside the crawl space. This will all help to reduce the risks of mold, and it makes for far cleaner air, too. When you go for crawl space encapsulation, you have 100% of the ground covered in a white plastic with all junctions and seams wholly sealed.
There are plenty of benefits to a crawl space encapsulation, and these include:
- Better air quality. Crawl spaces need to be clean because you share up to 60% of the air you breathe with the crawl space. Fresh air is better for your lungs.
- Save money on your energy bill with crawl space encapsulation – up to 20% in fact! Conditioned crawl spaces can save you much more energy than you think.
- Humidity is reduced, decreasing the risk of mold.
This is a different installation process, where instead of laying down 100% white plastic, you are laying own 6mm black plastic throughout the crawl space floor. The vents are not sealed, as you would with crawl space encapsulation, so there’s no need for a dehumidifier. Vapor barrier installation also doesn’t need a sump pump so that you can save some money there. The black material used for vapor barrier installation is called Visqueen, and it’s up to building codes, which is why it’s used the most. Vapor barrier installation is an option for most as it’s a lot cheaper than crawl space encapsulation, and as it doesn’t require any other pumps or air conditioning methods, it makes sense as to why.
Vapor Barrier Benefits
Some of the benefits of vapor barrier installation match crawl space encapsulation, but you can also:
- Store things in your crawl space
- Gives your home better air quality
- You save money on your energy bill
- You can reduce mold issues in your crawl space by reducing humidity
What’s The Verdict?
Indeed, there is no right decision. The choice you have for your crawl space comes down to what you want for your home, and now you know more to be able to aid in your decision-making process. The options between crawl space encapsulation and vapor barrier installation are very similar, but crawl space encapsulation is more expensive an option. Doing the research into both options will give you similar answers, so really it’s going to depend on your budget.