“Crawl space encapsulation” isn’t a topic that comes too often into a conversation and a lot of people may not even know what it means. So before talking about the cost of encapsulating crawl space, let’s start by explaining what it means for our non-expert readers.
You might have heard about crawl space encapsulation or crawl space conditioning, terms that have the same meaning, describing the full process of sealing the crawl space beneath a house. It will involve a complete remodel and the cover of the surrounding walls and floor/ground with a thick plastic liner or a vapor barrier. The process will also involve sealing any openings or vents, and if needed, adding or replacing the door of access to the crawl space.
This is done to prevent getting mold or moisture in the crawl space, or getting it soggy, seeing that moisture gets through concrete and dirt easily. Depending on the location of your home, you might even need to install a dehumidifier or a sump pump, to reduce the constant moisture levels.
The Cost of a Crawl Space Encapsulation
So how much will the crawl space encapsulation set you back?
To get a general idea, the average price of a full crawl space encapsulation will be around $6,000 and it shouldn’t take more than 2-3 days to get it done by a professional. Depending on several factors, like the age of your house, the materials you opt for, your location, and the size of your crawl space, you might spend anywhere from $2.500 to $15,000.
- Low-End Expected Cost – You will spend the least, up to a maximum of $4,000, for a vapor barrier, with a thickness of around 0.006 inches or slightly more.
- Middle Range Expected Cost – Your crawl space encapsulation can have a cost between $5,000 and $7,000 for a vapor barrier 20 mils or 0.02 inches thick.
- High-End Expected Cost – The most expensive crawl space encapsulation can reach $14,000 or even more, and will be covered with a 23 mil vapor barrier.
Here are Some Additional Costs
You might spend more to encapsulate your crawl space if you choose to install additional systems, to reduce the humidity even more. To do this, you can install a drainage system and a dehumidifier.
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- A decent interior drainage system can cost around $2,000 to $4,000.
- A dehumidifier will set you back $600 to $1,900.
Here are the properties of an encapsulated crawl space
So after finding out prices that you should expect on crawl space encapsulation, what properties should an HQ crawl space encapsulation have? If the crawl space was encapsulated properly, it should offer these benefits:
- The foundation walls and band joists should be insulated, to keep the crawl space away from the heat.
- The ground should be completely covered with a vapor barrier
- The openings and vents should be sealed to keep the air from getting inside crawl space
- The junctions and steams of the vapor barrier should also be sealed
- Along with humidifier, the crawl space should also have a small exhaust fan or a basic Aid Conditioning System to get a small amount of air to circulate inside the area
Things to Expect From Companies or Contractors
If you don’t have the necessary skills or knowledge to do the encapsulation yourself, then it’s better to hire a professional company or contractor to do it for you. Here are the things to ask for when hiring someone to do this task:
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Before starting the work, the floor or ground should be properly cleaned and graded, and any debris or rocks should be taken away. This will prevent the vapor barrier that will be installed to tear apart.
The next step will be to install the vapor barrier on the floor or ground first, and on the walls of the crawl space.
An important thing to expect is that the seams and junctions to be overlapped by at least one foot and covered with a special tape.
While you’re taking on this project, if you notice that the door to your crawl space isn’t in the best condition, you should recondition or change it. Also make sure that any openings, holes, or vents will be properly sealed.
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Should the average working Joe encapsulate the crawl space beneath their house?
The crawl space encapsulation is important, especially if you live in a region full of humidity. It will offer many benefits, like improving the air quality inside your home, the reduction of energy usage, an increased level of comfort and the elimination of pest, insect or critter problems. The only thing to think about before starting the encapsulation process is to make sure that you have the necessary funds and that by doing this, you won’t put your financial freedom in danger.
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