What Is Encapsulation?
Heavy rain, flooded creeks and even snowmelt can leak into your home. It can damage your foundation and ruin anything kept in a basement or crawl space. Encapsulation solves this problem by lining spaces like your crawl space with a spray foam insulation and a thick plastic sheeting. This forms a tight seal that helps keep excess moisture out.
This is more common in older homes with foundations made from brick or stone. Over time, even the smallest cracks gradually widen. Water slowly wears down the mortar between bricks and slabs, creating leaks. The extra moisture invites mold, unpleasant odors and even pests into your home. In severe cases, it can damage the foundation and leave standing water behind.
Encapsulation lowers the risk of a basement leak. The plastic sheeting, known as a white cap barrier, is extremely resilient. Water is trapped between the sheeting and the walls of your basement or crawl space. It seeps down into a drainage channel that safely carries water out and away from your home.
The encapsulation process is particularly useful when you send heating and cooling into the unfinished space. The plastic sheeting helps keep out the influence of outdoor air, which can encourage heating and cooling loss. By helping turn a crawlspace or unfinished basement into a climate-controlled space, you can actually improve your HVAC system’s energy efficiency.
Is Encapsulation Different from Waterproofing?
Encapsulation is an important part of a broader waterproofing strategy that can include other equipment like sump pumps. While other waterproofing services remove moisture that’s gotten into your basement or crawlspace, encapsulation reduces the amount of moisture reaching these spaces in the first place. This is similar to repairing a crack in the foundation to stop water from getting in.
The best way to think of encapsulation is as a type of waterproofing. The more kinds of waterproofing you invest in, the better protected your home is!