Between 40-50% of the air in your home comes from your crawl space. If the air quality below your home is poor, then so is the air quality in your house.
Crawl spaces are susceptible to many problems due to moisture from the outside. When too much moisture enters your crawl space, air quality issues begin.
The best way to defend against multiple problems in your crawl space is through encapsulation. This article will talk about what crawl space encapsulation is and answer the question: how much does crawl space encapsulation cost?
What Is Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Crawl space encapsulation involves using a vapor barrier to separate your crawl space from moisture in the air and the ground. Vapor barriers are plastic liners usually between 6 mil – 20 mil thick.
Vapor barriers attach to the walls of your crawl space and span the entire area of the floor. The thicker the vapor barrier, the better it will protect against moisture buildup.
Vapor barrier cost varies depending on the crawl space size and the thickness of the barrier. On average, vapor barriers cost $0.15 – $0.50 per square foot.
When the plastic liner is laid down in your crawl space, it gives the area a fresh look and your foundation is well-protected against moisture damage. This can protect your home against a multitude of issues.
Why Might I Need Encapsulation?
You may not know when encapsulation is necessary. There are a few telltale signs that your crawl space requires a vapor barrier:
- Wood rot
- Increased energy bills
- Mold and mildew
- Musky/Damp smell around the home
All of these symptoms of crawl space moisture damage can become disastrous to your home and to your health. Crawl space encapsulation is imperative if you want to avoid and prevent these issues in the future.
Crawl Space Vents Don’t Work
Many crawl spaces are built with vents meant to decrease moisture levels below your home. You can see them on the outside of your crawl space. Normally, they are a few feet apart from each other.
Unfortunately, crawl space vents do not control moisture levels. Most of the time, these crawl space vents contribute even more to the moisture vapor underneath your home.
In theory, they allow moisture vapor to escape from your crawl space, but most crawl spaces are dark with a damp dirt floor – and this makes them cooler than the outside since the sun cannot heat the ground in your crawl space.
When hot air from the sunny outside enters a cool crawl space, it causes condensation. This is because cool air cannot hold as much water as warm air – so the only place for excess water to go is in the ground and on the walls of your crawl space.
Moisture barriers correct inadequate ventilation. Encapsulation effectively closes these crawl space vents and prevents outside air from mixing with crawl space air.
Rain Causes Problems Below Your Home
When it rains, groundwater seeps into the soil below your crawl space. Over time, the water evaporates from the ground and has nowhere else to go but into your crawl space.
This leads to many of the moisture issues mentioned above, as well as high humidity levels. Vapor barriers prevent water vapor from causing damage.
Once an encapsulation system has been installed, any evaporating water is blocked by the vapor barrier. Your crawl space essentially becomes a controlled environment that is separated from outside elements.
Can I Install a Vapor Barrier on My Own?
While it is possible to find vapor barriers in hardware stores, the process is complicated. Even the handiest homeowners are likely to run into issues with DIY crawl space encapsulation. When handy homeowners attempt to install a store-bought vapor barrier, the job needs to be done perfectly.
Here’s the process: the vapor barrier needs to be cut and laid down evenly across the ground. Its edges need to be sealed almost vacuum-tight in order to prevent residual moisture from escaping. Even the best tape or glue from a hardware store may not cut it.
While store-bought vapor barriers can be cheaper, they are more than likely to become ripped when you need to access your crawl space and crawl over the vapor barrier. DIY crawl space encapsulation can end up being a huge waste of time, money, and energy.
How Much Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost?
The best way to go about crawl space encapsulation is by contacting a professional contractor. Beyond just installing a vapor barrier, a crawl space expert may recommend installing a dehumidifier as well for further protection.
Factoring in labor costs, crawl space size, and any additional waterproofing services (dehumidifier cost/sump pump cost), the average cost of a crawl space encapsulation job is $5,000.
However, depending on different factors, payments might vary from $1,500 on the low end to $15,000 on the high end. Remember, a lot of factors can affect the price of the installation.
If you have a large crawl space, the price is going to increase. If you add a dehumidifier, the price is going to increase. Certain contractors charge more based on their preferred vapor barrier brand.
The best way to determine the price you will pay is to receive multiple quotes. While crawl space encapsulation isn’t cheap (even with lower-end prices) the benefits will save you money in the long run.
You won’t have to worry about moisture issues around or below your home. Crawl space encapsulation can prevent a disaster.
Contact a Professional
At Armored Basement Waterproofing, we believe in providing honest, quality work. Don’t let moisture problems affect you, your loved ones, and your home.
So, how much does crawl space encapsulation cost? We’ll be happy to talk to you more about pricing. Contact us today to learn more about crawl space encapsulation. Don’t wait for problems to arise, be proactive and prevent them with encapsulation!Share