You may rarely go in your crawlspace if you don't store things in it. When you do venture down, you could be uneasy because it's dark, full of spiderwebs, or has a bad odor. It may seem like it's best to just stay out of the crawlspace so you don't have to deal with it, but the crawlspace affects your entire house and is more important than you might think. Here are things to know about your crawlspace and why encapsulating it might be a good idea.

Moisture Is an Issue in Your Crawlspace

Moisture enters your crawlspace in two different ways. One way is when water rolls in during a rainstorm because the area around your crawlspace isn't draining properly. Even if your crawlspace doesn't get standing water in it, moisture is still a problem if it has a dirt floor, which is common. Water vapor rises up from the soil and fills the crawlspace. This keeps the humidity high enough that wood begins to rot and grow mold. The extra moisture also attracts bugs.

It's best to keep your crawlspace as dry as possible. To do this, you might need a contractor to correct a drainage problem so water will stay out of the space. Then, the contractor can stop water vapor by providing crawlspace encapsulation services, which include wrapping the space in a vapor barrier.

Crawlspace Encapsulation Helps a Variety of Issues

When your crawlspace is covered in vapor barriers along the floor and up the walls, the area stays dry. This helps with pest problems your home may have. Drying out the space also helps with musty odors in your home, and water damage to the wood structure is prevented. In addition, a vapor barrier on the floor of your crawlspace helps block radon and is part of a radon mitigation treatment if you should need it.

Your Crawlspace Often Needs a Dehumidifier Too

Once your crawlspace has been encapsulated, it needs ventilation or a dehumidifier to keep it as dry as possible. A contractor can set the equipment up for you, and you can let it run all the time so you don't have to worry about adjusting it. By keeping your crawlspace clean and dry, it won't be nearly as spooky. You might even be able to use the space for storage as long as you're careful not to puncture a vapor barrier.

The vapor barriers can last for several years as long as you're careful when you walk on them. Crawlspace encapsulation services are a good way to protect your home from moisture damage, and transform your crawlspace from a musty area full of bugs and mold to a clean and dry space.