Is It Worth It To Encapsulate a Crawl Space?

The majority of homeowners know their crawl space is dirty. In fact, we know that most haven’t crawled their way around a dirt floor and said, “Hey, this seems nice!” This is because crawl spaces aren’t typically nice and, more importantly, aren’t healthy in terms of air quality.

Since our homes operate as one colossal system, your crawl space plays a vital role in that system. Did you know that up to 60% of your home’s indoor air quality comes from a crawl space?

Crawl spaces with dirt floors are prone to moisture, which can cause poor indoor air quality and affect the structural integrity of your home. The best way to prevent this is by crawl space encapsulation.

So, is it worth it to encapsulate a crawl space? Let’s find out!

Is It Worth It To Encapsulate a Crawl Space?

Table of Contents

What is Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Crawl space encapsulation involves sealing your crawl space from the outside. It uses thick sheets of polyurethane plastic on your crawl space dirt floors and walls.

The primary purpose of crawl space encapsulation is to reduce humidity and prevent rodents, pests, leaks, and mold from invading and spreading throughout your crawl space. Crawl spaces are likely to be damp from the moisture in the ground, which, as a result, makes them susceptible to mold and a primary living space for some rodents.

Is Encapsulation Necessary?

While an encapsulated crawl space isn’t required, it’s a recommended solution to help prevent rodents from building homes, mold from spreading, overall moisture, and poor indoor air quality. It ensures your home’s air quality remains safe, healthier, and comfortable all year. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Encapsulated Crawl Space?

What are the Pros and Cons of Encapsulated Crawl Space

Several benefits of crawl space encapsulation make this vital home improvement an investment. Here are the key advantages and disadvantages of crawl space encapsulation. 

Pros

Reduces Cooling & Heating Expenses

One of the most significant benefits of encapsulation is that it can help reduce your heating and cooling costs. This happens because the encapsulation adds a thick layer of internal plastic and prevents drafts.

 Insulation in the ceiling joists will help protect your crawl space and floors from extreme temperatures, such as keeping your home warm during the winter and cool during the summer.

Passive insulation can improve your home’s energy efficiency, having your HVAC system not need to work overtime to keep your home comfortable.

Prevents Mold Growth

Mold thrives in dark, humid, and moist areas. An unsealed crawl space is a prime environment for mold. An encapsulated crawl space is an excellent option for moisture control and helps keep indoor air in constant circulation, making mold growth much less likely.

A mold infestation in your home is one area you should always take seriously. While musty odors are only the beginning, they can worsen, leading to mold-like spores and other toxins that can create health issues and exacerbate other allergies.

Keeps Rodents Away

Some rodents, such as rats and squirrels, love to make a home in crawl spaces. This humid and dark environment is just what they need to gather food and reproduce. Rodents can carry various diseases and can cause significant damage to your home if not dealt with swiftly.

Encapsulation is one form of pest infestation prevention in crawl spaces that can eliminate the risk of damage and health concerns. Rodent-proofing your home is one of the best ways to keep these pesky critters out!

Protects the Structural Integrity of Your Home

If your crawl space has excessive moisture built up, this can cause the foundation in your crawl space and home to weaken, thus compromising the structural integrity of your home. A combination of rodents, mold, pests and moisture can damage the concrete structure of the foundation. Crawl space encapsulation insulation can increase your home value and can help protect your home’s structural integrity.

Improves the Floor’s Longevity and Comfort

Preventing water damage in crawl spaces is essential to improving your home’s longevity and comfort. Moisture-related damages, such as replacements and repairs, can become costly. Cold air during the winter and hot air during the summer can enter your crawl space without adequate insulation.

Crawl space encapsulation can extend the lifespan of your floor and help keep the temperature regulated and comfortable.

Cons

Could Be Costly

The only negative to crawl space encapsulation is that it could be costly since it’s a significant home renovation. The cost of crawl space encapsulation largely depends on the size of your crawl space and if the project has any additional services, such as rodent-proofing or crawl space cleanup, insulation.

In summary, the advantages of encapsulation outweigh the disadvantages, which is enough to justify the price. 

Is Crawl Space Encapsulation a Waste of Money?

Crawl space encapsulation is a good use of money; in addition to its value as damage mitigation, it can also increase the value of your home. While it’s impossible to figure out how much value encapsulation can add to a home, it is a vital consideration in appraisals and an essential selling point when closing a home deal. 

Step-By-Step Encapsulation Process

Step-By-Step Encapsulation Process

Crawl space encapsulation involves a series of steps, including protecting your crawl space from the outdoor elements to improve your home’s energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Below is the step-by-step encapsulation process:

  1. Walk-through inspection—First, an expert will inspect your crawl space for issues such as mold or water damage. You should address any problems found before encapsulation installation can begin.
  2. Crawl space cleaning – Your crawlspace will need to be cleaned of any debris before the encapsulation process can begin.
  3. Sealing—Once the crawl space is cleaned, any air gaps need to be sealed to prevent moisture and outdoor air from contaminating it.
  4. Insulation—In some situations, insulation is installed in the girders to help regulate the temperature of your crawl space and the home above and improve overall energy efficiency.
  5. Vapor barrier – The final installation step is to install a vapor barrier that encloses your crawl space. The vapor barrier is sealed to the walls and floors to help create a barrier between the crawl space and outdoor elements.
  6. Final walk-through – An expert performs a final walk-through inspection to ensure the space is adequately sealed and insulated.

Encapsulate Your Crawl Space With Master Attic!

If you’re within our service area, we’d love to schedule a meeting to provide a free home estimate to determine what’s best for your crawl space. As homeowners, we understand what it feels like to be overwhelmed when needing to repair improvement issues. Our professionals put our heart into resolving each problem effectively, efficiently, and accurately.

Crawl Space Encapsulation: FAQ

Crawl space encapsulation involves sealing your crawl space from the outside. It uses thick sheets of polyurethane plastic on your crawl space dirt floors and walls.

The advantages of crawl space encapsulation are that it can help reduce heating and cooling costs, add home value, improve your floor’s longevity, protect your home’s structural integrity, prevent mold growth, keep rodents away, and prevent odors.

Crawl space encapsulation is a good use of money; it can increase your home value on top of all the other advantages it offers, and avoid a host of costly issues that may arruse without one.

The process of crawl space encapsulation involves an inspection, crawl space cleaning, air sealing, insulation installation, vapor barrier installation, and a final inspection.

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