If you’ve searched for crawl space encapsulation and done some reading on the process, you’ve no doubt learned that it can be greatly beneficial to your home. It not only reduces humidity levels and prevents moisture damage underneath your home, it makes your home more energy efficient, improves the air quality inside, and increases the value of your home.
There are a few factors that go into determining crawl space encapsulation costs, and we will touch on as many as we can in this article. Keep in mind that the numbers given are rough estimates. To get an accurate estimate for crawl space encapsulation, contact us and schedule a free consultation. Watch the video or keep reading the article below to learn about the cost of crawl space encapsulation projects.
What Factors Affect Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost?
CRAWL SPACE SQUARE FOOTAGE
By far the biggest factor in determining the cost of crawl space encapsulation is square footage. More square footage means more materials are needed and more labor is involved in completing the crawl space encapsulation project for a customer. To determine the square footage of your crawl space, you will want to measure the longest side and the shortest side and multiply the two numbers together. This will give you an estimate of the square footage. However, most crawl spaces are not completely square or a perfect rectangle. Our systems designers will measure each wall and give you a precise square footage measurement.
CRAWL SPACE HEIGHT
Secondly, what is the height of the crawl space? If the space is tall enough for crews to stand up and walk around in, that means they can work more efficiently and it will take less time to complete the encapsulation. If the crawl space ceiling is low and the space is tight, say less than two feet tall, the crew will be crawling around and it will be more challenging to perform the encapsulation. We have to factor in the height of the space when determining costs.
Third, are there any drainage issues in the crawl space, meaning is there standing water or occasional water intrusion where the space gets wet? If that’s the case, those issues must be taken care of before we can encapsulate to ensure that there is no standing water under the moisture barrier. Encapsulations are great for controlling moisture in a crawl space, but they are not meant to address water intrusion. If a drainage system is needed to control water that will be an additional expense.
Lastly, is there mold in the space? If we find mold in the crawlspace, we will strongly suggest full mold remediation before we encapsulate. In fact, we only warranty the encapsulation against mold if a full mold remediation has been performed. If there is insulation in the crawl space and mold is present, the vast majority of the time we will need to remove and discard the insulation (depending on the type of insulation) before we address the mold growth.
Most crawl space insulation in Charlotte area homes is fiberglass batt, a porous material that provides a place for mold to live. We never want to keep the porous insulation in a space that has been exposed to mold(per the IICRC S500/520 standards). Removing and replacing the insulation will add to the cost, as will the mold remediation itself.
Are There Alternatives to Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Before we get to the cost, we want to mention a couple of alternative methods that some companies offer instead of full encapsulation. The first is a hybrid system or starter encapsulation. With this method, they don’t wrap the walls or the piers. Instead, they just lay a moisture vapor barrier on the ground and put a dehumidifier in the space. We don’t recommend this method, because it truly doesn’t stop moisture and humidity from coming through the walls. There is a wicking action that happens with all the CMU piers/blocks, better known as cinder blocks, meaning the blocks will wick, or absorb, the moisture from the ground. This excess moisture will cause your dehumidifier to run excessively and it may not be able to keep up with the moisture. This will increase your power bill and may decrease the life of your dehumidifier. We want to make sure that we stop all that moisture from entering in the first place and keep it behind our crawl space encapsulation.
Another option that some may try to talk you into is a ventilation system. Ventilation Systems take the outside air and bring it into the crawl space. The problem with this system is there is no mechanical means to actually pull the moisture out of that air. Outside air in the southeast, especially the greater Charlotte area, is extremely humid. Bringing that air into the crawl space is just bringing in moisture, the one element we want to avoid in a crawl space.
We used to be a preferred installer for a ventilation manufacturer. Unfortunately, we found out very quickly that those do not work. We actually had to rip out some of those systems under warranty and replace them with crawl space encapsulations. We asked the manufacturer what to do when the air coming in was not good air. Their response was to have us install a dehumidifier, which plugged right into the system. Our main issue with this was if we are going to install a dehumidifier, why would we need the ventilation system? Full encapsulation is the only proven method for controlling moisture problems in a crawl space. This method has been used for decades by thousands of companies with great success.
How Much Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost?
So what is the cost of a crawl space encapsulation system around Charlotte, NC? You’re looking at typically between $6,300 and $7,000 to encapsulate a 1,500-square-foot space. That does not include any drainage system, mold remediation, or replacement of insulation if required. A dehumidifier is required for encapsulation, and that cost will vary depending on the size of the crawl space, whether electrical is already installed in the crawl space, and whether it needs duct kits and a condensation pump. The average cost for a dehumidifier in the crawl space is between $2,400 and $2,600.
If you want to improve your home’s energy efficiency, air quality, and resale value, you should consider full crawl space encapsulation. To receive a free, accurate crawl space encapsulation cost estimate, contact us today. We will perform a thorough inspection of your crawl space and foundation and make recommendations if we find any issues.