A room with a white floor and a plastic sheet covering the floor.

Vapor Barrier vs Crawlspace Encapsulation: Which Is Right for Your Home?

If your home has humidity issues you can’t seem to get under control, your crawlspace might be to blame! We’ve got two great options for making your home comfortable again: a vapor barrier or crawlspace encapsulation.

What Is a Vapor Barrier?

If you have a crawlspace, at some point or another, it probably had a thin layer of plastic across the ground. Maybe yours is still there but looking a bit rough. It might be missing in some places. Or maybe it’s totally shredded and almost unrecognizable! If you have a really old house, you might not even have one at all.

This plastic layer is called a vapor barrier. The ground has moisture in it, and this thin plastic sheet keeps the moisture from going into your crawlspace and home.

How to Tell You Need a Vapor Barrier

If you’re wondering if your home needs a vapor barrier, you might be noticing things around your house like:

  • Musty smells
  • Humidity issues
  • Hardwood floors buckling
  • Exposed dirt in your crawlspace

These are signs that a vapor barrier could help your home! When you call Morris-Jenkins, we can send a professional out to take a look at your crawlspace for a free consultation. One of our Residential Specialists will ask you some questions and then take a close look around your crawlspace.

After they complete their evaluation, if a vapor barrier is a good idea for your home, they’ll either share some photos/videos of their findings or invite you to join them as they show you exactly what they noticed in your crawlspace. They’ll present some options, and ultimately the decision is yours! If you decide a vapor barrier installation is the right move, our professionals can usually get the job done in one day!

What to Expect from Vapor Barrier Installation with Morris-Jenkins?

You’ve called us out for a consultation, and decided you’d like to install a vapor barrier. Awesome! We can get that done faster than anyone!

Our pros will get to work right away clearing out anything in the way in your crawlspace. Some homes have scraps of a previous vapor barrier still left lying around, so we make sure to clear that out as well. Once things are looking nice and tidy, we’ll stretch out your new vapor barrier across the ground of your crawlspace and pin it into place. We’ll make sure it looks neat and feels secure, and then we’ll come get you to take a look at our work. Don’t feel like going into your crawlspace? That’s okay! We can take pictures or videos for you instead.

How Long Does a Vapor Barrier Last?

Theoretically, a vapor barrier can last a REALLY long time. You shouldn’t have to worry about ever replacing it again. However, there are a few variables at play. Because it’s a thin plastic sheeting on the ground in your crawlspace, foot traffic and animals walking across it can shorten the life of your vapor barrier.

How Long Does It Take to Install a Vapor Barrier?

You could have a brand-new vapor barrier installed FAST when you call Morris-Jenkins! After you call us out to look at your crawlspace and give you a free quote, we can get your isntallation scheduled with our team. The install itself should only take a day! We work fast, but we never take shortcuts. When you schedule a vapor barrier installation with Morris-Jenkins, you’re making sure things are done the right way.

Think your home could benefit from a vapor barrier?

What is Crawlspace Encapsulation?

A basement that has been flooded with water.

Sometimes, a vapor barrier isn’t enough to protect your home from the humidity coming from your crawlspace. If that’s the case, crawlspace encapsulation could be the answer! During this, we’ll:

  • Wrap up your crawlspace walls, foundation, and piers with a thick white membrane (the material feels similar to a swimming pool liner)
  • Close the foundation vents
  • Add a foam barrier to brick walls or add insulation under the floor
  • Install an airtight crawl door
  • Set up water mitigation (such as French drains or a sump pump, if needed)
  • Place a dehumidifier in the crawlspace with a controller in the house so you can control your home’s humidity

A crawlspace encapsulation is a thorough way to keep humidity levels down in your home while giving you a crawlspace you can truly be proud of!

How to Tell You Need Crawlspace Encapsulation

You might need crawlspace encapsulation if you’re noticing:

  • Creaking floors
  • Growth on the floor joists
  • Rotting floor joists
  • Bad odors (musty smells)
  • Uncomfortable humidity in the home
  • Bowing hardwood floors

Most families with crawlspaces just need a vapor barrier, but if your home suffers from extreme humidity issues, crawlspace encapsulation might be a better move for your family.

What to Expect from a Crawlspace Encapsulation with Morris-Jenkins?

When you call Morris-Jenkins out about humidity issues, we’ll send a Residential Specialist to check out your crawlspace. We’ll ask you some questions about the problems you’ve been having, and we’ll take a close look around so we can come up with the best solution possible for your family.

When we’re done, we’ll have a conversation with you about options to get your home comfy and in great shape again!

Our team will clear out anything in the way in your crawlspace, as well as any old insulation. Once things are looking clear, we’ll either add insulation under the floor or place foam insulation against the brick, seal it up with a white membrane that stretches from wall-to-wall, and we’ll handle any special water mitigation needs your home might have. This can include things like French drains or a sump pump. But don’t worry—we’ll discuss all of the work before we get started so you know exactly what to expect!

How Long Does Crawlspace Encapsulation Last?

Once you’ve had your crawlspace encapsulated, it can essentially last indefinitely! The material is thicker than a vapor barrier, so it’s sturdier. People who have had crawlspace encapsulation take a lot of pride in the work they’ve had done (it looks really clean when it’s finished!). Understandably, they usually have anyone who enters their crawlspace wear shoe covers to protect the encapsulation. This helps make sure it lasts a really, really long time!

How Long Does It Take to Encapsulate a Crawlspace?

Because crawlspace encapsulation is a lot more involved, it takes longer to finish than a vapor barrier. Our team works quickly, but we wanna be sure to do things the right way so you have a crawlspace you can truly be proud of. Typically, this kind of project takes us a few days to complete.

Scheduling a Consultation for Your Crawlspace

A basement with a tarp covering the ceiling.

Ready to see what we can do to improve the humidity in your home? We make it easy to schedule. You can call, text, or schedule online! Every house is different, which is why we wanna get you set up with one of our Residential Specialists. They can answer all your questions and make sure we come up with the perfect plan for YOUR home. Before you know it, we can have your crawlspace taken care of, turning your humidity problems into a thing of the past!

Say goodbye to humidity problems.

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