Encapsulation Isn’t For Everyone – But Some Companies Would Prefer You Didn’t Know That!
Currently the market is inundated with companies selling encapsulation solutions to people with crawl spaces. This isn’t a problem per se – some crawl space problems genuinely require encapsulation.
However, the vast majority of these companies only sell encapsulation – even if a simple, reliable, and affordable vapor barrier would solve the problem equally well. The reason for this is simple: companies can charge 3x as much for encapsulation, and then lock their customers into long-term maintenance plans in order to keep the dehumidifiers and sump pumps operational!
For the overwhelming majority of homeowners, a vapor barrier is more than adequate for controlling crawl space moisture!
The Dangers and Downsides of Encapsulation
If you’ve gotten a quote for encapsulation, then hopefully you were sitting down when you saw the estimate. These projects rapidly soar in price and can easily be one of the most expensive home improvement projects that most homeowners will encounter outside of a complete roof replacement.
If the upfront costs of encapsulation were the only financial factor then installers could be forgiven for pushing them. However, encapsulation projects require ongoing maintenance in order to remain operational. The dehumidifiers, that keep encapsulated crawl spaces dry, require regular inspections and tend to only last 5 to 10 years. Afterwards they’ll need a costly replacement.
Risk of Catastrophic Failure
Ultimately, the biggest problem associated with encapsulation is what happens when they go wrong. If a crawl space dehumidifier fails without the homeowner noticing, moisture levels will soar. In a sealed crawl space moisture problems rapidly lead to mildew and mold growth. The result will be hugely expensive, requiring mold remediation and subsequent crawl space repairs such as replacing damaged floor joists and moldy crawl space insulation.
Benefits of A Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
A crawl space vapor barrier accomplishes the same job as encapsulation but at a fraction of the price. Once installed a vapor barrier needs no maintenance and adds nothing to your electric bill.
We carry a variety of locally manufactured, reinforced polyethylene vapor barriers, with options far thicker and more durable than those available at big box stores. Our vapor barriers will last 20-25 years without any maintenance. There are no moving parts to fail, nor components which will need regular inspection.
In our climate a vapor barrier is all that it takes to help crawl spaces reach levels of humidity which will inhibit mold growth and insect infestation. The vapor barriers that we install are bright white, helping homeowners spot any future problems and making DIY adventures into the crawl space a cleaner, more pleasant, and easier experience.
Want A Second Opinion? We Provide Free Quotes
If you’ve had someone tell you that you need encapsulation, we encourage you to seek a second opinion. In our experience only a very small percentage of homes in the Midlands area will benefit from encapsulation – something on the order of 1 home in 50!
In general, encapsulation is only appropriate for crawl spaces with zero airflow or standing water. If your crawl space vents are blocked and outside air can’t make it in, or you have pools of water under your home, then you may need a more elaborate waterproofing solution such as encapsulation, a french drain, sump pump, or gutter system.
If you’re unsure if you need a vapor barrier, we can provide you with a free onsite evaluation and see if a vapor barrier would be right for you.
What People Say About Working With the Dragon
“Emit and his team are awesome! They respond quickly and call anytime there are updates etc. Their team does and great job and very straightforward and honest. We are very pleased with the work and professionalism. Thank you!”
– Crystal R.
“We used Dragon Vapor to place a vapor barrier in our crawl space. They were friendly, timely and professional. Definitely recommend them to anyone needing this type of service.”
– Beth H.
“Awesome company. They showed up on time and did excellent work for a reasonable price. Even came back later to bring me an insulation batt for the attic access door. Can’t recommend them enough.”
– Joseph M.
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Ready to start saving money on your utility bills? Schedule a time to get a free onsite evaluation and quote.