Encapsulating your crawl space is a great home improvement that increases your overall house condition in terms of comfort and energy savings.
So, how much does it cost to encapsulate a crawl space? The average cost is about $5,500, but it can also be as low as $1,500 or as high as $35,000.
The cost really depends on multiple factors such as size, condition, and materials. In order to have a better idea, we will try to break it down for you.
The first thing you should note is the condition of your crawl space. You can’t start work without knowing what your crawl space needs. It’s better to have a general idea of your space before calling in expert advise.
As a rough estimate, small crawl spaces less than a thousand square feet in size would cost $1,500 to $4,000. For medium-sized crawl space less than 2,000 square feet, it would be about $5,000 to $7,000. More than that, it will cost you $8,000 and more.
Age and Condition
How old is your home? You may need to renovate your crawl space to comply with current house standards.
How wide and tall is your crawl space? Encapsulation costs generally go by board or square foot.
Does it have molds or are there any severe damages? You will have to spend a bit of money for any massive cleaning and severe repairs that your crawl space may need. If you got molds in the area, then you may need to use cleaners or any preventatives.
If you decide to hire a professional, they will most likely handle general cleaning and removing of small debris. Remember to consult with your contracted company about this.
Your house location is also very important in estimating the cost of your crawl space. If you live in an area with a high water table or if your crawl space is below ground level, then you may need to install a sump pump.
This is important to get rid of groundwater and prevent pooling water during heavy rainfalls. It would be best to purchase something with an alarm system for an event that leaks occur.
A sump pump installation would cost you about $650 to $1,800. You can choose either a pedestal or a submersible version. it would cost you about $60 to $170 and for a $100 to $400 respectively.
If you are in a humid environment, then you may need to install a dehumidifier to prevent moisture build-ups. A high-grade dehumidifier best for higher moisture levels costs from $780 to $1,300.
What would you need for your crawl space encapsulation?
Crawl space insulation prevents air leakage. Good insulation maintains air quality and increases your home’s energy efficiency for as much as $500 a year. The cost of the insulation will depend on the materials you will be using.
Open-cell spray foam is cheaper per board foot. It cost only about $0.35 to $0.55 compared to closed-cell spray with $1 to $2 per board foot.
A stiffer material is the rigid foam. These are panels that are similar to the waterproof Styrofoam and usually installed on the wood.
Rigid foams are cheap as it cost only $0.40 to $0.75 per square foot.
But you would make up on labor as it can be very difficult and messy to install without the help of professionals.
Blown-in cellulose is an eco-friendly option you can also take. It is a water-resistant and fire-retardant plant-based material that keeps away fungus, insects, and vermin.
If you want to do the insulation yourself, then cellulose is easier to install. Still, it is recommended to leave the installation to the professionals.
The material costs relatively higher. For a 19 lb. pack, it costs $28 to $30. That is about $1.20-$1.50 per square foot.
There is also a batting option that goes $3 per roll or $0.64 to $1.19 per square foot. Batts is composed of glass fibers and is usually installed between joist bands.
This is one of the cheapest options and is the easiest to install, but it can be tedious and costly in the long run. Because of its lower R-value, it can be damaged by moisture and become susceptible to mold over time.
Although you can choose to insulate only a part of your crawl space such as the floor joist, it is recommended to really invest on completely cover your foundation walls to deal with moisture and air leaks.
This will bring value back in the future especially when the colder seasons come in, affecting your furnace, air ducts or heater. By insulating this area, you will cut back on your energy costs since the cold environment won’t force your equipment to work harder.
You would also need a vapor barrier, especially if your crawl space is a dirt floor. A vapor barrier lines the walls and floor of your crawl space to keep the space dry and healthy. Professionals usually use a plastic sheet that is installed before spraying the spray foam.
A vapor barrier is a vapor diffusion retarder. It prevents mold and mildew, rusted metal, and rotting wood. This also protects your electrical equipment from short circuits and the plumbing from breaking because of moisture.
The cost of the vapor barrier depends on its permeability and thickness. The thicker the material, the more effective it is to prevent moisture and tear. polyethylene plastic sheet’s thickness ranges from 6 to 23 mm.
The price of a single ply, 6mm thick sheet is $0.05 to $0.20, while a 20mm thick vapor barrier is 0.50 to $0.75 per square foot. You will then be using a 4-inch by 180-foot roll tape to secure it, which costs $50.
Depending on your crawl space, you may also use a vapor retarder paint which costs $20 to $40 per gallon.
It is important to also seal any leaks found after all the installations are done. Exterior vents and air leaks are sealed to maximize the effects of the vapor barrier and insulation. Vent covers can be purchased online for only $15 to $22 each.
Crawl Space Encapsulation is a worthy investment as this is a proven way to cut back the cost of heating and cooling over time. It also improves air quality and keeps pests and molds away.
If you need help on your installations, make sure to contact a reputable company. Be sure to research, compare price estimates, and to work with professionals you can trust in installing and maintaining the equipment in the future.