“What is basement encapsulation, and why should I do it?”
You probably know little or nothing about maintaining your basement or even the essence of having it encapsulated.
What is encapsulation? Basement encapsulation is a technique used to seal a basement against moisture damages after installing a functional drainage system.
Your basement is similar to a crawl space, only that it is higher and allows you to walk in rather than “crawl” in. Hence, basement encapsulation is almost the same as crawl space encapsulation. However, it has more areas to seal and more spaces to work on.
Encapsulating your basement is a separate investment that takes time and money. So, why should you bother to encapsulate your basement- you probably haven’t gone down there in years!
Just before you think your basement doesn’t affect your home, consider the factors surrounding a damaged basement and the consequences of keeping it moist and dirty.
How To Encapsulate A Basement
Encapsulation uses a heavy-duty polyethylene liner that holds off moisture intrusion. Certain types of vapor barriers have antimicrobial properties that prevent fungi from growing on the coating. It also prevents decay of the material.
Before installation, the basement is cleaned and drained, and a drainage system is included to eliminate moisture further.
When the material has been installed, some parts of the liner are sized to fill the basement’s affected areas. The primary goal is to cover the entire basement and secure every gap, no matter how small.
Effects Of A Damaged Basement
When you haven’t decided to encapsulate your basement, what happens?
Keeping your basement bare affects the space, and your home itself, in several different ways. So, your basement is probably going through changes, and they will affect you in the following ways:
- Weird odor oozing out of the basement due to mold infestations and high humidity levels
- Irregular heat levels
- Likeliness to harbor pests and pathogens.
- Dangers of having illnesses and several other symptoms
- Stuffiness and uneasiness
- Vulnerability to toxins and harmful gases
Processes Of Basement Encapsulation
Basement encapsulation is a series of different processes to dry out and seal up a basement. When you hire basement encapsulation experts, you should expect the following techniques, or more, depending on the issues in your basement:
- Draining the area. You should remove excess water before you do anything. A trench may be installed alongside a pump system to control all the water based on the required measures.
- Vapor barrier installation. A thick vapor barrier is installed into your basement to encapsulate it, thus, preventing moisture from getting in. This material is made of 12 millimeters of polyethylene and usually cut to sizes to fit every corner of the basement.
- After the vapor barrier has been installed, it is sturdy enough for you to walk on it. Depending on your preference, you can add another concrete slab to your basement. And as such, you can convert the basement into a living area or store in the future.
- Radon mitigation preparation. You must be familiar with radon, a colorless, odorless gas that emerges from the ground. This toxic element is known for causing lung cancer in large amounts. And since you can’t notice the gas, you never know how much is seeping into your home every day.
Hence, it is of priority that basement encapsulation procedures include radon mitigation preparation to test for radon and include radon ventilation systems.
Ask the team whether they deal with radon gas issues. Your best bet is to check that they do.
Benefits Of Basement Encapsulation
Basement encapsulation, as a whole, encompasses the sealing of the entire basement to block many entities. What benefits does this kind of sealing technique deliver?
- Waterproofing: Particularly for areas that are liable to flooding, blocking off excess water can be life-saving. Moisture is the base of life, including microorganisms. If your basement continually accommodates wetness without care, you may be breeding tons of harmful creatures down there.
Besides, moisture weakens the basement, on which your home sits. And as such, your home is liable to experiencing critical damages as its foundation weakens.
- Improved home conditions: Your basement is usually home to the underground plumbing and wiring works. Encapsulating your basement gets rid of clumsiness and dirtiness and checks the good working conditions of underground home units.
- Better safety measures: Overall, your basement is that bridge between your home and the underground, from which different kinds of things can emerge. Radon gas, for example, is nearly below every home and can penetrate through the ground into the basement, into your own home.
With an encapsulated basement, toxic gases are trapped from entering the home- even the basement itself!
- If you have plans for extra storage in your home, your basement could do that if it’s neat and encapsulated. And even if you didn’t plan that earlier, why not do that now?
When To Encapsulate Your Basement
As you’re reading this post, you should begin to prepare for a basement encapsulation if you haven’t done that already. Your basement doesn’t have to be filled with water or become infested with mold and pests before you encapsulate it! A slightly moist basement is capable of enough damage on your home, starting from a weaker foundation to exposure to mold and rodent attacks.
Ultimately, there’s no specific time when a basement should be encapsulated. However, you might want to check your basement is sealed up when:
- You got a new apartment
- You live in a humid region
- You have been noticing uncomfortable symptoms like allergic reactions, stuffiness, unusual odors, etc.
Whether or not you’ve discovered issues in your basement, you should encapsulate that precious foundational space.
Basement encapsulation is one of the best ways to protect your basement, keeping it in high levels of health, comfort, and efficiency.
If you cannot or have the money to encapsulating your basement against humidity, you can invest on a dehumidifier to dry out moisture.