There is a sense of peace and tranquility when you save money and have a buffer should unexpected costs arise. However, when you live paycheck to paycheck with no savings, you live with a sense of fear of the future. When you are confident about an outcome, you can prepare, but when you are unsure, fears plague your mind.
We want stability, certainty, and confidence about our future, income, and homes. We want to ensure our houses are safe from pests, mold, and rot. Our homes are a significant investment, and we want their value to increase. We also want to be confident that our houses provide a secure and safe living environment.
One of the best ways to achieve a safe, secure living environment while protecting the value and integrity of your Virginia Beach home is to use the crawl space encapsulation service from Hawk Mosquito & Pest. Our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and recognition as a Top Rated Elite Service on HomeAdvisor demonstrate our commitment to integrity and excellence. We back up our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
You probably found this article because you live in Virginia Beach and are uncertain about what is occurring in your crawl space. Perhaps you have noticed a musty odor in the home or moisture underneath your home. If you’re wondering if you should pursue crawl space encapsulation, please continue reading this article to get your questions answered.
Why Crawl Space Encapsulation Matters
Before we answer the question in this section, let's define some terms. The crawl space is the area between the ground and subflooring of your home. The outline of a typical home consists of concrete blocks placed on a concrete foundation, and inside are block supports. Usually, two layers of wood boards are on the blocks, followed by verticle wooden header joists. From the header joists, a series of floor joists span the opening and rest on support beams to create the foundation for the home's flooring. Subflooring is nailed onto the floor joists to create a solid surface for carpet or flooring. Electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC ductwork runs inside the space between the ground and subfloor.
Unfortunately, builders do not always put the same effort into crawl space construction as the rest of the house; as a result, the area becomes a moisture trap. Sometimes, a moisture barrier is not installed on the ground, resulting in moisture accumulating on the foundational wood structures of the house. In most cases, however, builders use the minimal six-mil requirement for a moisture barrier. While this reduces moisture underneath the home, it is ineffective against high water tables, ground saturation from heavy rains, or homes with poor drainage away from the structure.
Now that we understand what is underneath your feet, let's define crawl space encapsulation. Encapsulation by Hawk Mosquito & Pest seals the crawl space from outside airflow. This fact matters because air circulates throughout your Virginia Beach house caused by the stack effect.
When air enters an unsealed crawl space through vents and other openings, it warms, rises into the house, and escapes through the roof. Air polluted by the effects of moisture in the crawl space will circulate in your home and can cause problems for family members.
The stack effect can also cause a house to become drafty. When homeowners or the temperature control feel cool air currents on a winter's night or warm airflow in the summer, it will increase HVAC usage and energy costs.
Crawl space encapsulation by Hawk Mosquito & Pest matters because it decreases moisture in the crawl space. Excessive humidity under the home promotes fungal and mold growth, attracts Virginia Beach pests and rodents, and reduces the air quality in the house. Continue reading as we unpack the problems that occur when these issues exist in the crawl space.
The Perils Of Moisture And Pests In Crawl Spaces
Where there is moisture, there is a high likelihood that pests will follow. When you have this combination underneath your Virginia Beach home, you will likely encounter the following:
- Fungus and mold
- Subterranean termites
- Carpenter ants
- Cockroaches (Oriental)
- Weaking support structures
Let's briefly examine these issues caused by moisture and pests in crawl spaces.
Long-term moisture exposure in the crawl space causes wood support structures to become soft and fungus-ridden. When this occurs, the fungal odor attracts flying, reproductive carpenter ants and termites (swarmers) from nearby nests. As they travel near your home, they sense the aroma and attempt to enter the crawl space through cracks, gaps, and openings in the foundation. Once inside the area, they create colonies in the soil or damp wood.
Carpenter ants bore smooth tunnels deep into the timber to create nests. Subterranean termites build colonies in the soil and construct mud tubes as passageways to the nearby moist lumber, where worker termites shave off pieces to eat and feed colony members. Whether carpenter ants or termites, these pests weaken support beams, floor joists, and subflooring.
Unless Hawk Mosquito & Pest stops a termite or carpenter ant infestation, you may eventually experience warping window and door frames, sagging floors, and collapsing structures. Crawl space encapsulation deters fungal and mold growth and seals off the crawl space from swarmers.
In addition to attracting termites and carpenter ants, fungal and mold odors from an unsealed crawl space may circulate through the home. Although home occupants may eventually become accustomed to the smell, guests will notice the unpleasant environment for homeowners.
Rodents, cockroaches, spiders, and other pests enter crawl spaces searching for water and food. Most need only a credit card-sized crack to enter, while rodents need only a nickel or dime-sized hole. When cockroaches enter a home, disease-causing organisms on their leg spines can transfer to surfaces and sicken individuals inside the house.
Furthermore, cockroaches, rats, and mice deposit feces in the crawl space. The fecal matter eventually dries, and the particles become airborne. The floating fecal matter enters the living quarters through the stack effect and can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in occupants inside the house. In addition to floating feces, cockroaches produce a protein that may also cause allergic and asthmatic reactions when airborne. When one considers that 50% of the air inside a house comes from the crawl space, one can see why crawl space encapsulation is necessary to protect your family's health.
If you have been searching online for "crawl space encapsulation companies near me," look no further than Hawk Mosquito & Pest. We will protect your Virginia Beach home from the ravages and potential threats caused by unsealed crawl spaces.
The Benefits Of Crawl Space Encapsulation
When you examine the problems caused by rodents, pests, and moisture and put them in reverse, crawl space encapsulation will:
- Minimize or prevent wood rot
- Avert mold or fungal growth
- Deter swarming termites and carpenter ants
- Keep rodents out of the crawl space
- Ensure clean air circulates throughout the home
- Reduce allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
- Decrease energy costs
- Save on potentially expensive repair bills
- Preserve insulation integrity
In addition to these benefits, there are less obvious but notable benefits.
An encapsulated crawl space provides an additional location for storage. Since you no longer need to worry about moisture build-up, you can use a previously unusable space. Although we hope you may never need this next benefit, it is worth noting. An encapsulated crawl space makes moisture removal easy and quick in the unfortunate event of a flood or a water line break.
Over the long term, encapsulating a crawl space by Hawk Mosquito & Pest will save money for pest control, expensive structural repairs, and energy bills. Crawl space encapsulation will allow you to rest comfortably in your home, knowing the air you breathe is mold-free and clean.
Contact Us For Reliable Professional Encapsulation Services
Because every crawl space is different, we begin our process with a free crawl space evaluation. During the inspection, our technician will determine the encapsulation area, insulation requirement, whether we can use supply air from the house, and the extent of foundation problems, if any. Once we calculate the necessary costs, we will present you with a proposal. Upon approval, we begin sealing the crawl space encapsulating process.
We begin by sealing cracks and crevices in the foundation. Next, depending on the situation, we install insulation between the joists or on the foundation walls. The insulation is necessary to prevent excessive moisture, cold floors, and mold issues. We then install a vapor barrier to create an airtight seal on the walls and flooring. Although building code regulations require a six-mil thick material, we use a heavier gauge to ensure groundwater cannot seep into the crawl space and prevent mold growth. To ensure low humidity levels, we prefer to install a dehumidifier; however, we may be able to use the air from the house to maintain a dry environment in the crawl space.
If you want to protect the investment in your home from the ravages of moisture, pests, and rodents, you need to have an encapsulated crawl space provided by Hawk Mosquito & Pest. Call us today to schedule a free crawl space inspection and to learn more about our residential and commercial services in Virginia Beach.