Problems with Crawl Space Encapsulation and Sealed Crawl Space Systems in Charlotte, NC

What are the Common Problems, Complaints, and Disadvantages Associated with Crawl Space Encapsulation or Sealed Crawl Space Systems in Charlotte, NC?

A crawl space encapsulation in a nutshell is a protocol where the contractor will close off all of the crawlspace vents, solve drainage problems, clean biofilm contaminants from the floor system, and install expensive plastic liners over the crawlspace soils including wrapping crawl space piers and often sealing the liner to the foundation wall of the crawlspace. A commercial dehumidifier must be installed to remove moisture build up from the air for this protocol to work properly or potential damage to the structure could occur.

Disadvantages of a Sealed Crawl Space System

This system when installed properly does control crawlspace moisture problems, however, there are many disadvantages.

  • Encapsulations are expensive
  • fiber reinforced liners are expensive
  • encapsulations eliminate fresh air exchange
  • dehumidifiers are expensive and need to be replaced often
  • dehumidifiers increase power consumption by $10-$50 dollars per month
  • Encapsulations cause the air inside the crawlspace to become stale, which reciprocates to poor air quality inside the whole house envelope.
  • Dehumidifiers can over-dry the crawl space causing your expensive hardwoods to shrink and crack.
  • Without fresh air introduced into the crawlspace, the soil, plastic, and other building materials off gas odors that clients can smell in the upper areas of the house.
  • Termite inspections are impossible so many pest control companies cancel their termite bonds with their customers when they discover sealed crawlspaces.
  • Sealed crawlspaces often require expensive HVAC upgrades to maintain safety and code requirements.

New Technology Solves the Crawl Space Moisture Problem

The good news is there is a low cost scientifically based alternative solution that can augment or replace your sealed crawl space situation using newer and more relevant engineered technology.

A dew point controlled crawl space ventilation system (ATMOX) is a local solution that utilizes the existing crawlspace vents on the house to introduce outside air into the crawlspace envelop when it is drier outside. By utilizing the installation of the ATMOX controller, interior and exterior sensors, strategic fan locations on selected vents locations, and a network of dead corner fans inside the crawlspace to service dead corners, the customer can solve their crawlspace moisture problem at a much more competitive price point than a sealed crawlspace. There are those whom will attack this solution because they have not educated themselves on how a dew point controlled ventilation system works. Education is key. Keep in mind that older systems such as barometric controlled, temperature controlled, and humidistat control fans do not open and close at the right times to be effective, often making the problem much worse.  In order for crawl space fans to work properly, they must be operated by the patented dew point controlled technology. This is the only fan system in the United States that possesses this technology is the Atmox Controlled Ventilation System. This smart system for your crawl space has been designed by engineers. If designed properly by an Atmox trained certified consultant your crawlspace vents can be engineered to work like they were supposed to work at the time of construction. The Atmox controlled ventilation system has several advantages:

  • solves crawlspace moisture problems with a warranty
  • Fans use low voltage technology
  • Contractor grade staked liners covering the surface soils of the crawlspace only are sufficient for the system to work in most situations.
  • No need for dehumidifiers in most cases.
  • No need for extra insulation.
  • Allows fresh air into the space when it is drier outside.
  • Improves air quality inside the whole house envelope.
  • Keeps colder air from entering the space in the winter
  • Keeps hotter air from entering the space summer.
  • Prevents stale air from building up inside the crawlspace.
  • Odors and smells from off gassing soil gas, plastic, and other construction materials is reduced and in many cases completely eliminated.
  • Long-term maintenance costs are low.
  • No expensive HVAC upgrades as and sealed crawlspace protocols
  • Available for attics in Northern Climates.
  • Pest control companies can still honor termite bonds

There is certainly much more to learn about the science involved with both of these systems. As an independent expert in both Sealed Crawl Space Systems and Controlled Ventilation Systems we are able to custom design solutions for your home without the manipulation of manufacturers. We are not affiliated with any franchisees.  For more information about crawl space moisture control please feel free to reach out to us with questions or concerns. I hope this article has been helpful in getting you started on your quest for a real solution to you problem. Call me at  (704) 787-6972.

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