Skip to main content

Crawl Space Encapsulation Services

Rely on decades of experience and expert training to make your crawl space clean and beautiful. With top-tier education, advice, and testing, we help you solve crawl space issues. sell your home. make your home healthier. improve air quality. breathe more easily. protect your family. care for your pets.

Call or Text (317) 867-4766

English or Español

encapsulated crawl space with wrapped wall

What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Crawl space encapsulation involves sealing the crawl space from external moisture sources, such as groundwater evaporation and outside humidity. This process typically includes installing a vapor barrier along the floor and walls of the crawl space and sealing it with a special tape or adhesive to prevent moisture from entering. By creating a controlled environment, encapsulation helps:

  • Maintain consistent humidity levels,
  • Prevent mold and mildew growth,
  • Deter insect and other pest infestations, and
  • Protect the structural integrity of your home by preventing water damage.

This proactive measure is essential for preserving both the home’s foundation and the health of its residents.

Side Note: In the context of mold remediation, encapsulation can also refer to the application of a paint or sealant to wood and other surfaces. These coatings are often enhanced with antifungal additives to help inhibit mold growth. It’s important to distinguish this from the encapsulation of crawl spaces, as they are very different processes.

Conditioning the Crawl Space

Once the crawl space is sealed, the air within it must be conditioned to control humidity effectively. Common methods for humidity control include: 

  • Central HVAC: Extending the home’s central heating and cooling system to the crawl space, treating it as another conditioned living area.
  • Dedicated Dehumidifier: Installing a dedicated dehumidifier in the crawl space that automatically activates when humidity levels exceed a predetermined threshold.
  • Negative Pressure Exhaust Fan: Employing an exhaust fan to draw air out through a vent, creating a slight vacuum (negative pressure) in the crawl space. This process pulls some conditioned air from the home through the crawl space.

Although these methods can be effective, we generally advise against using the home’s HVAC system to condition crawl spaces unless the home is specifically designed for this purpose. Crawl spaces typically aren’t cleaned regularly, and circulating this less clean air into the home’s general air supply is not recommended.

We recommend two other methods for controlling humidity in crawl spaces—dehumidifiers and exhaust fans—much more frequently. The best choice for you depends on the level of ambient moisture in and around your crawl space, your specific goals, and your budget.

Regular Inspections and Monitoring Humidity

After completing crawl space encapsulation and implementing measures to control humidity, it is crucial to maintain the effectiveness of these interventions through regular follow-up inspections and monitoring. Over time, changes in external conditions, such as shifts in groundwater levels or new cracks in the foundation, can compromise the encapsulation barrier. Scheduled inspections ensure that any vulnerabilities are identified and addressed promptly, maintaining the integrity of your crawl space seal. Additionally, regular monitoring of humidity levels within the crawl space is essential to ensure that the chosen humidity control methods continue to function effectively. This ongoing vigilance helps prevent mold and mildew growth, deters pests, and protects the structural health of your home, ultimately safeguarding your investment and the health of its occupants. Contracting with a professional for these follow-up services provides peace of mind that your crawl space remains in optimal condition.

The Encapsulation Process

1

Clean and Prepare the Space

Before encapsulation can be done, we need to remediate any mold issues, correct leaks or other problematic water issues, and perform cleaning and maintenance work such as removing insulation.
2

Wrap the Space in Poly

We will wrap your crawl space in a heavy plastic, or poly, sheeting. This poly layer will be laid out across the floor, wrapped up the walls, posts, etc., and attached securely. This impermeable layer will protect your crawl space for years to come.
3

Enjoy A Healthier Crawl Space

Schedule regular inspections and monitoring so you can enjoy the security of a drier, well protected crawl space which contributes to a cleaner, healthier home.
encapsulated crawl space with small dehumidifier

Why Clean up Mold in Crawl Spaces Before Encapsulation?

The primary reason for cleaning up mold in a crawl space before encapsulation is to prevent the spread of spores into the living area. Studies indicate that a significant amount of the air in your home—possibly as much as 70%-80%—originates from the crawl space. While this air is filtered through walls, carpets, and furnace air filters, a substantial mold issue in the crawl space could still compromise your indoor air quality.

Encapsulation Does Not Eliminate Mold Growth

Encapsulating a crawl space is intended to create an environment where humidity can be controlled to help prevent future mold growth. However, it does not remove existing mold nor stop that mold from contaminating your home. Contrary to some beliefs, simply drying out the crawl space will not cause mold to “dry up” and disappear.

Encapsulation Could Harm Indoor Air Quality

The rate of air exchange between the crawl space and the interior of the home can actually increase following encapsulation. This is particularly likely when the home’s heating and cooling system is extended into the crawl space. Such an active air exchange can significantly raise the rate at which air moves between these areas, potentially increasing health risks for the occupants. For this reason, it is essential to ensure that all visible mold sources are removed as part of the encapsulation process and to be aware of non-visible mold spores, which are likely to be present in high numbers.

Crawl Space Mold is a Resale Issue

Beyond the immediate health concerns, the presence of mold in crawl spaces poses a significant barrier to real estate transactions. Mold not only signals potential ongoing moisture issues that demand a reassessment of space and improved moisture management but also often coexists with other detrimental fungal species, such as wood rot fungus. These fungi can severely compromise the structural integrity of a home. Therefore, addressing mold in crawl spaces is crucial not only for health reasons but also to safeguard and potentially enhance the property’s value. Ensuring these areas are free of mold is essential for the smooth transfer of property ownership and for maintaining the home’s marketability.

Excellent
Based on 52 reviews
LaMar Croom
LaMar Croom
April 23, 2024
Polite, professional, and informative are the words I’d use to describe the representative that inspected my home. Thank you
Adrienne Riddle
Adrienne Riddle
March 5, 2024
Aaron is incredibly knowledgeable!
Charlotte Edmonston
Charlotte Edmonston
February 16, 2024
Do you have any pictures to show of completed work
M Maurer
M Maurer
February 7, 2024
Extremely thorough. Brian explained everything very well and definitely had the customer's best interest in mind.
Kristin Matherly
Kristin Matherly
January 20, 2024
Very helpful in the consultation about what we needed to do. Quick to schedule service and excellent communication with scheduling, arrival and job completion.
Ian L
Ian L
January 13, 2024
If you need someone that knows what they are doing and talking about at expert level this is who you want. I went through 2 other companies and wish I had called them first.
Chris Barber
Chris Barber
December 31, 2023
Great service and very friendly guys. Kept me informed throughout the job!
Diana Grogg
Diana Grogg
November 7, 2023
I spoke with Brian and he was very knowledgeable so that I knew what my necessary steps were. I appreciated his honesty.
Jan Lunn
Jan Lunn
October 3, 2023
Very pleased. The gentlemen were very efficient and thoughtful.

Got a question?
No problem.

We are always ready to help with the answers.

Or call (317) 867-4766  – (también en español)

Crawl Space Encapsulation FAQ

Frequently asked questions about encapsulating crawl spaces. Please contact us for more information or if you have additional questions.

Should I Close My Crawl Space Vents?

Crawl spaces have traditionally been designed with vents to exchange air with the outdoors to allow moisture to escape the space. However; this approach can be counterproductive in climates with high humidity, like summer in Indiana. Hot, humid outdoor air entering a cooler crawl space can lead to condensation on colder surfaces, similar to the moisture on the outside of a cold beverage. Based on our experience, we find that closed, conditioned crawl spaces tend to be drier than those that are open and vented.

A Word of Caution

It is crucial to note that merely closing up a crawl space without properly conditioning it is often the least effective approach. Once moisture enters a sealed crawl space, it becomes trapped, which can quickly lead to issues such as mold growth, wood rot, and pest infestations.

Do Not Close Up a Moldy Crawl Space

Before converting from an open, vented crawl space to a closed and conditioned one (encapsulated), it is critical to clean any mold sources. Once a crawl space is part of the home’s thermal envelope, even minor mold contamination can escalate into a significant issue. This is because dead or dormant mold spores can still be potent allergens, and the presence of mycotoxins isn’t eliminated merely by sealing the space. Therefore, cleaning is essential prior to encapsulation—even if visible mold isn’t apparent—to prevent turning a minor issue into a major one for homeowners.

What Causes Mold Growth in Crawl Spaces?

Mold growth in crawl spaces can occur due to a variety of factors, primarily involving humidity from two main sources: evaporative moisture from the ground and ambient humidity from the surrounding air. Common sources of water in crawl spaces include:

  • Groundwater evaporation
  • Natural humidity in the air
  • High water tables
  • Inadequate rainwater drainage
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Condensation discharge from air conditioners and dehumidifiers

Any of these water sources can lead to increased air moisture, which, if humidity levels rise above 50%, significantly boosts the likelihood of mold growth. Once mold begins to develop in your crawl space, it can quickly spread by releasing spores throughout the area.

Is Mold in my Crawl Space Affecting my Home?

Mold in the crawl space will almost always have a lower impact on indoor air quality than visible mold indoors. The crawl space may have increased impact on indoor air if it is pressurized. Pressurization of the space can occur via heating and cooling ducts, air infiltration through foundation vents, or differences in temperature.

Mold is common in crawl spaces and can usually be found to some extent in small areas. This can become more pronounced as a home ages or ground moisture problems are left uncorrected.

Uncorrected mold growth in crawl spaces may affect the resale value of your home even if it isn’t a health issue. It may even prohibit the sale to potential buyers in the future. We recommend fixing any mold issues in the crawl space before listing your house for sale.

Still Have Encapsulation Questions?

Crawl space mold remediation and encapsulation can be a complex issue. Reach out to Indiana Mold Remediation about your crawl space for a no-obligation 15 minute consultation at no cost.

Schedule My Free Consultation