Patented Crawlspace Encapsulation Wall Liner Is Going Into Full Production.
There has been some controversy over the past couple of years about the best way to seal crawlspace walls and piers when doing a crawlspace encapsulation.
Many companies claim that there is no way to attach a crawlspace wall liner without mechanical fasteners. True, a bag of mechanical fasteners do not cost much – only a few dollars for enough to do a typical crawlspace. But, not only do mechanical fasteners add enormously to installation time and labor, mechanical fasteners also require specialized tools. Anyone who has ever drilled a hole in a concrete wall knows that a hammer drill is necessary to do the job efficiently. Now try and imagine drilling several hundred of them. And even using mechanical fasteners, the companies that recommend this method also recommend using a caulk or tape to seal the vapor barrier wall connection.
YourCrawlSpace has tested numerous methods for attaching a wall liner. We have used adhesives and tapes with various degrees of success. We had a system that worked well until the adhesive manufacturer changed (improved) its formulation. And we have used a mastic tape with success but the tape is expensive and, again, increased the installation time and labor.
The problem is not with the adhesives or tapes. The problem is with the wall encapsulation material. Our crawlspace encapsulation material is a woven high density polyethylene (HDPE) fabric coated on both sides with two layers of low density polyethylene (LDPE). The woven base (HDPE) fabric gives our crawlspace encapsulation liner its strength and the LDPE coating gives it its impermeability. The material is designed to shed water and no safe, low-VOC adhesive will stick to it. High-VOC adhesives will work but they also tend to be highly flammable and are unsafe to use in the confined area of a home’s crawlspace.
So the alternative was to develop a new material with all the positive characteristics of the original material but a material that could also be attached to the wall with a low-VOC adhesive in a single step without additional caulk or sealing tape. We have been testing such a wall encapsulation system for more than two years and we were granted a patent for the material earlier this month.
The material has undergone extensive testing. It has been installed in homeowners’ crawlspaces across the southeast, it has been installed in the crawlspaces of test homes for the Oak Ridge Laboratories and the Department of Energy’s ZEBRAlliance in Tennessee, and it has been installed in several LEEDS homes for Ourtown Habitat for Humanity in Charlotte, NC. The Habitat volunteers installed the system without a hitch. Our feedback has only been positive. I personally installed the system and it is extremely easy to install. Two men installed the wall liner and wrapped 24 piers in a 2,450 square foot crawlspace in a matter of hours.
We will be going into full production in the near future. Plans at this point are to manufacturer the wall liner in two widths – five feet wide for the walls and two feet wide for the piers. I would love to hear some feedback from our readers as to whether the two widths will meet most needs. Give me a call, 877-442-7295, or send me an Email. I’d love to hear from you.
The patent was granted to YourCrawlSpace and its sister company Carolina Green Energy Systems headquartered in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.