Water in crawl space

Think Twice Before Doing a DIY Crawlspace Encapsulation

As a homeowner, you know the joys of having your own space: freedom, security, and investment for the future. But you also know the responsibilities that come along with all the benefits: the constant upkeep, cleaning, and especially surprise maintenance tasks that crop up when you least expect them. Homeowners with crawlspaces probably know this all too well.

Crawlspaces have a way of existing in the background until suddenly, you just can’t ignore them anymore. For Virginia homeowners who are budget-conscious and enterprising, taking a DIY approach to crawlspace repair is tempting. But no matter how handy you are, there are just some tasks that are better left to the experts. In this article, we’ll discuss why most crawlspace professionals advise against tackling DIY crawlspace encapsulation.

When Crawlspaces Become a Problem

You may be wondering, why does my home have a crawlspace in the first place? Crawlspaces were once considered a safe and affordable way to build a foundation. Builders kept crawlspaces ventilated as it was thought air circulation prevented moisture buildup and its attendant problems. Crawl space also provided an easy way to access utilities, reduce flooding, and avoid damage from roots.

Now we know the opposite is true. Ventilated crawlspaces allow more moisture in and keep it there, starting a chain reaction of problems that can lead to expensive and dangerous consequences. From structural damage to health problems, and even terminal issues, untreated crawlspaces can pose serious risks.

The main culprit behind most crawlspace problems is moisture. It creates the perfect environment for mold, mildew, and destructive pests like termites and rodents to thrive. Termites, mold, and mildew can cause irreparable structural damage that costs thousands of dollars to mitigate. What’s worse are the health risks. Mold growth can cause allergic reactions and serious health problems to people and pets. Pets are particularly susceptible to mold exposure and may experience respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological issues or even expiration.

While it may seem easy to take an out-of-sight-out-mind approach to your crawlspace, taking proper care protects your investment and your loved ones.

Why You Probably Shouldn’t DIY Crawlspace Encapsulation

The best way to address a dank, moldy crawlspace is by sealing a crawlspace through a process called encapsulation. Encapsulating a crawlspace closes it off moisture from the environment and from the ground creating a clean, dry area below your home. A quick Google search might give you the details and instructions, but if you’re looking for a lasting solution to your crawlspace problems, experience wins the day. Here’s why:

Project Safety

If your crawlspace needs work, the air quality and likely hazardous and there’s a risk it has been structurally compromised by wood rot and termites. Venturing into your crawlspace without the proper training and safety equipment is dangerous and potentially life-threatening in the event of a collapse. You could rack up medical bills that cancel out the savings you’re after. Crawlspace professionals have the experience, training, and equipment to safely mitigate crawlspace issues without further damage.

Standing Water

Unaddressed moisture is at the heart of all crawlspace problems. Standing water in a crawlspace indicates bigger issues than a vapor barrier can solve. An experienced crawlspace professional has the know-how and the tools to get to the root of the problem. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of quick fixes that don’t work long-term. Instead, call a crawlspace technician to remove the existing water and create an entire system that keeps it out for good.

Improper Installation

Using the wrong tools or materials means water can still enter your home. You might delay issues, but you won’t solve them. Even with tons of research into proper techniques and materials, a first-time DIYer is bound to make mistakes in crawlspace mitigation. It’s only natural: you’ve only seen one (or maybe two) crawlspaces in a lifetime, whereas a professional has seen hundreds. They’ll know exactly what materials and techniques your specific crawlspace needs to stay clean and dry.


We’re all human, and even the pros can miss a thing or two sometimes. But, when you invest in professional crawlspace encapsulation, the work is covered by a warranty. The same is not true of DIY mitigation and you’re likely to find yourself spending more money over time patching up the original job.

Get Your Crawlspace Encapsulated Right

Ultimately, DIY crawlspace encapsulation is hard, messy work that is often best left to the professionals. Far too many times have we needed to go back in and fix major issues due to DIY encapsulation or sub-par efforts done by others.

Do you have a crawl space with less-than-stellar mitigation? We can fix it!

At CrawlSpace Care, our Roanoke crawl space professionals are experienced in pinpointing issues and creating long-term solutions. We offer a free, no-obligation inspection and estimate, so you don’t have to guess your crawlspace’s condition.

Contact CrawlSpace Care and take control of your crawlspace once and for all.