While there probably isn't a monster living in the crawl space under your house, what is down there could scare you even worse. Mold, insects, and fungi are only a few examples of what might be living (and growing) underneath your home.
The following steps for encapsulation will transform your crawl space into a barrier between you and the dangerous underworld.
Step 1: Vacate the Area
You might be surprised at how much junk has accumulated in your crawl space. Whatever has made its way down there needs to leave.
This includes obvious objects like trash, as well as the not so obvious, like molding on the walls. Get rid of whatever you can get rid of.
It is important to note that you should be wearing a protective mask, and goggles, while working in your crawl space. Also, if you're using chemicals to get rid of the mold and mildew, never mix the chemicals.
Step 2: Measure the Premises
Before you buy plastic sheeting you need to know how much to buy. You can figure this out by measuring the crawl space. Once you have your measurements, you can then acquire the plastic sheets needed for encapsulation.
Always buy more than you think you will need. It will be easier to tape the plastic in place if there is a little extra. Also, you will be putting down two layers of plastic, so make sure to purchase accordingly.
Step 3: Apply the Plastic
You will need to fit the plastic to the crawl space. To do this you might have to cut the plastic into sections. Tape the sections together without leaving any holes. After you have placed your two layers down you will need to tape them into the crawl space. Duct tape should work perfectly.
Step 4: Dump the Sand
After the sheets are applied to the crawl space, they are ready to be planted. To do this you will apply a layer of sand onto the plastic sheets. The sand should be evenly distributed. Gravel works as well.
Step 5: Insulate the Walls
After you have dumped the sand, or gravel, the walls will need to be insulated. There are many forms of insulation. Choose the one that's right for you.
Step 6: Seal the Deal
You have just about completed the encapsulation. The final step is putting on a crawl space cover. You will need to choose a cover that meets your needs. Be sure to get a cover that you will be able to fit through in case you need to visit your crawl space again.
Also, do not install a permanent cover. Now that you are finished with your crawl space encapsulation you can enjoy a better living experience. You can enjoy fresher air inside your house, and be comforted that there is a lower chance that termites and fungi are eating away at the wood underneath your home.
Warning: One of the dangers of encapsulation is that leaks can pool up. You should periodically check on your crawl space to make sure everything is okay.