Crawl Space Encapsulation Pros and Cons
Listed below are the Pros & Cons for Crawl Space Encapsulation. We also explain the main differences between crawl space encapsulation vs vapor barrier. If you are experiences smelly or wet basements and crawl spaces reach out to one of our experts. We also specialize in mold removal for crawl spaces. Even after reading through the pros and cons of crawl space encapsulation, regardless your home may be severely suffering from moisture and possibly mold and need the job done anyways.
Pros And Cons Of Crawl Space Encapsulation
Here is a complete list of all the negatives to crawl space encapsulation along with the pros. There are very few crawl space encapsulation problems other than the additional maintenance.
- Reduces/Eliminates Moisture Problems In The Crawl Space
Humidity is a problem that every home faces and with the help of crawl space encapsulation you can eliminate any moisture issues. This protects your home not only from mold and mildew but also promotes a long life for the structure of your home.
- Prevents Any Future Pests
High humidity areas like Charlotte, North Carolina are associated with pest problems. If installed properly crawl space encapsulation can protect you from pests like termites, rodents and other wildlife.
- Reduces Overall Heating Costs
Over the lifetime of the product you can expect reduced heating costs because you will no longer be losing air to your crawl space.
- Reduces/Eliminates Odors In The Home
One of the biggest contributors to foul odors in your home is the crawl space. The encapsulation process will include cleaning and prepping your crawl space. After being professionally sealed your home will no longer linger with smells associated with mold mildew.
- Additional Storage Space
By encapsulating your crawl space you are creating a dry and sanitary environment. If you have easy access to your crawl space through a door of some sort you can use your new space for any additional storage needs you might have.
- Upfront Investment
According to Home Advisor, the average homeowner can expect to pay $5,500 to install this system.
- Cost of Foundation Wall Insulation
If you get an estimate for encapsulation your contractor might suggest installing foundation wall insulation to help you benefit more. The product is usually composed of spray foam and costs between 50 cents to $2 per board foot. Batting prices are either $3 per roll or $300 for a larger area. The insulation is R-value foam board based on local building codes.
- Additional Maintenance
After your crawl space encapsulation system has been installed you will need additional maintenance and inspections throughout the year. The cost of maintenance will be dependent on the amount of features you went with during the installation process. If you live in a geographic region that doesn’t see a lot of rain or moisture, unlike Charlotte, NC, then the sealing advantages of this product might not give you the return on your investment that you need.
- Might Need To Upgrade Your HVAC System
Crawl space encapsulation will limit the amount of air movement throughout the home. This increases the efficiency of your home but at the same time might not allow enough oxygen for an older combustion-based furnace or heater to run normally. Of course, this means you may need to upgrade your HVAC system to ensure the temperature levels in your home stay comfortable and consistent.
Crawl Space Encapsulation Vs Vapor Barrier
The difference between a vapor barrier and encapsulation in a crawl space comes down to thickness and a sealed interior.
The purpose of a vapor barrier is to reduce ground water from evaporating in your crawl space. To counteract that a thin sheet usually 4 to 6 millimeters thick covers the floor. The vapor barrier is not a sealed system and typically stops just short of the interior walls.
Because of this some water can still bypass the vapor barrier and enter the crawl space. A more comprehensive and expensive approach would be to get your crawl space encapsulated to better guarantee no more moisture.
Once the crawl space has been prepped and all the water removed, a thicker plastic lining is installed and all vents, holes and cracks where air can enter is completely sealed. This thicker plastic is usually 12 to 20 millimeters thick. It also has a polyester-cored reinforcement which is more durable than the vapor barrier. Most importantly though all the seams are sealed and the liner is fasted to the floor and all the way up the walls and columns. This completes the encapsulation.