What does it mean to enclose the crawl space?
Encapsulating a crawl space is the process of sealing it off from the outside air. Most of the time, this is done by putting a vapor barrier over the walls and dirt floor of the crawl space.
A crawl space dehumidifier made for commercial use helps control the amount of moisture in the crawl space. With a sump pump, any water that could get under the vapor barrier is taken away.
Enclosing your crawl space is a great way to save energy and make the air in your home cleaner. By controlling moisture and almost completely getting rid of mold problems, you can get cleaner air. Crawl space encapsulation is not something you can do yourself. Instead, you should hire professionals to do it.
Why Crawl Space Encapsulation?
Homes with crawl spaces often have problems with too much moisture. Count yourself lucky if your crawl space is dry. Most crawl spaces are damp places. During the summer, it’s not unusual for the humidity to be over 70%. If the amount of wood moisture in your crawl space is more than 18%, wood rot and mold can grow.
There are many things that can lead to moisture problems in crawl spaces. Most damp crawl spaces are caused by the following:
During the summer, condensation forms on the ducts in the crawl space.
When it rains, there is a lot of water in the ground.
When the lot doesn’t drain well, water can get into the crawl space.
Leaks in the plumbing drains that aren’t found, which let water get into the crawl space.
If your crawl space is damp, you probably have problems with:
Mold could grow on the wet insulation and wood structure of the floor. When the wood’s moisture level is more than 20%, mold grows on it. Dry rot and decay can happen to wood over time, which could cost you thousands of dollars in property damage.
When the house shifts, cracks appear in the foundation. Settlement usually happens when wet soil gets packed down, when soil erodes, or when there isn’t enough drainage around the perimeter.
Termites and other organisms that eat wood like damp places and wood that is wet. These organisms thrive in damp crawl spaces.
When a home has a damp crawl space, the heating and cooling systems have to work harder to get the house to the right level of comfort.
In homes with damp crawl spaces, the inside of the windows sweat. This is because damp, humid air from the crawl space rises into the house and condenses on the windows because of radiant heating.
The cost of fixing the damage these things cause is much more than the cost of an encapsulation system. The best time to seal a crawl space is before there are any problems or before the problems get big.
How much does it cost to seal a crawl space?
It’s not easy to get a good idea of how much encapsulation can cost. Crawl space encapsulation costs depend on a number of things, such as:
How big the crawl space is. How much encapsulation material your home’s foundation will need will depend on how big the crawl space is. The price of things like the plastic vapor barrier is based on how much space they take up. Also, the size of the crawl space may mean that you need more than one dehumidifier.
Depending on how the water drains around the house, you may need a French drain system and roof gutters.
Depending on how much water is in the ground around your house, you might need one or more sump pumps.
HomeGuide says that the national average is between $3,000 and $8,000, and that bigger houses can cost more than $15,000.
HomeAdvisor says that the average price across the country is between $1500 and $15,000, with a median of $5500.
That means the average cost of enclosing a crawl space is about $5,000, which includes the cost of materials and the cost of having a professional do the work. But the average price per job can be anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. for about $8750.00 on average
Acculevel says that the average size of a crawl space is between 1500 and 2000 square feet. At an average cost of $3 to $7 per square foot, a 1500-square-foot house can cost between $4,500 and $10,500, making the average cost more like $7,500.
A 2000-square-foot house can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $14,000. The average cost is closer to $10,000.
All of this can be confusing, and these costs may not include French drains, sump pumps, etc. Let’s find out what makes encapsulation cost what it does.
Insulation is often suggested by contractors based on the size and ventilation of your crawl space.
Foam insulation boards for the side walls cost between $0.50 and $2 per board foot.
Prices for fiberglass batt can be anywhere between $2 and $4 per square foot.
When the installation starts, your contractor will cover the foundation walls with rigid foam board with an R-value and install insulation.
A big part of the price is also made up by the vapor barriers. The price per square foot of a 20-mill vapor barrier can range from $0.50 to $0.70. The seam-sealing tape costs about $50 for a roll that is 4 inches wide and 180 feet long. Instead of thin 6-millimeter plastic, it’s better to use this.
People usually choose the plastic over the vapor barrier because it’s cheaper. However, because it’s thinner, it can tear and ruin the work. A thicker plastic barrier is harder to tear, which is what is needed to keep water in.
How much it costs to put up a vapor barrier depends on how big the crawl space is. The quote from a crawl space contractor will include both the work and the materials. A vapor barrier is a plastic sheet that lines the floor and walls of a crawl space. It can be anywhere from 6 to 23 millimeters thick. This keeps moisture from getting in.
After your contractor fixes all the leaks in your crawl space, he or she will install the encapsulation. After that, they have to seal any outside vents or air leaks. Most vent covers can be bought online for between $15 and $22.
But contractors usually cut a rectangular piece of insulated board to cover vents and use spray foam insulation to seal air leaks around the vents and foundation wall penetrations. Your contractor may install vents that help keep the area dry if air conditioning from the inside can help keep the area dry.
Especially if you live in an area with a high water table, the drainage system around your home is very important. As part of your encapsulation system, your contractor may suggest that you put in a sump pump, which will cost about $1,100. (on average). The pump itself isn’t that expensive. A pedestal pump costs between $60 and $170, and a submersible pump usually costs between $100 and $400.
When it rains hard, the pump needs to be strong enough to keep up. To keep water from pooling and evaporating back into the crawl space, the sump pump needs to sit in a bucket with a tight-fitting lid.
A commercial-grade dehumidifier is an important part of an encapsulation system. Dehumidifiers can cost anywhere from $780 to $1,500, and that’s just the price without installation. Commercial dehumidifiers are big and made to handle a lot of moisture.
Contractors and installers like to use the Crawl Space Makeover.