Closeup on the wall and dirt pile in an un-encapsulated crawl space

If you’re thinking about making home improvements that could increase your property’s value, you may wonder if encapsulating your crawl space is a good idea. After all, it’s a significant investment, and you want to be sure that it will pay off in the long run.

Read on as we delve deeper into crawl space encapsulation, including how it can increase your home’s value, the average cost, and how to do it.

Does Encapsulating Your Crawl Space Increase Home Value?

Encapsulating your crawl space can increase your home’s value by making it more energy-efficient, improving indoor air quality, and protecting it from moisture damage, a common issue in crawl spaces. It also deters pests as there is no moisture, food, or torn insulation for them to nest. 

Overall, encapsulating your crawl space is a wise investment that can pay off in the form of higher home value.

How Crawl Space Encapsulation Can Increase Your Home’s Value

Crawl space encapsulation is the process of sealing off your crawl space with a heavy-duty vapor barrier to create a conditioned space. This keeps moisture, pests, and mold out while insulating your home and making it more energy-efficient.

An unencapsulated crawl space is often damp, dark, and full of dirt, debris, and pests. 

This can lead to several problems, including:

  • Moisture damage
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Pest infestations
  • Musty odors
  • Poor indoor air quality

An encapsulated crawl space is a clean, dry, and well-ventilated area that does not contribute to these problems.

An illuminated crawl space with a vapor barrier installed on the ground

Though not as fancy as a new kitchen, laminate floors, or a fresh coat of paint, encapsulating your crawl space is a wise investment that can improve the value of your home. 

Here’s how:

Energy Efficiency

Encapsulating your crawl space helps stabilize the temperature in your home by sealing it off from outside elements. This can lead to energy bill savings as your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, lowering energy costs by 10-20% on average.

Lower utility bills are always a selling point for buyers, and energy-efficient homes typically sell for more than those that are not. 

In fact, a study by the Appraisal Institute found that every $1 reduction in annual energy costs increases a home’s value by $20. So if you save $200 a year on your energy bill, that’s an extra $4,000 value added to your home.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

Did you know that 40-50% of the air you breathe indoors comes from your crawl space? If your crawl space is not encapsulated, it’s likely full of mold spores, dust mites, pollen, and other airborne contaminants that can seep into your home and trigger allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Encapsulating your crawl space creates a barrier that prevents these contaminants from entering your home, resulting in improved indoor air quality. This condition is good for your health and makes your home more appealing to potential buyers, as they will not have to worry about dealing with poor air quality.

Protection From Moisture Damage

Encapsulation involves sealing your crawl space with a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from entering the area. Too much humidity can lead to wood rot, mold growth, and other water damage.

Water damage is a severe problem that can devalue your home, so protecting your crawl space from moisture is a great way to maintain and even increase your home’s value. 

On average, repairing water damage costs between $1,300-$5,500, so even if you avoid a single repair bill, you’re already ahead of the game.

A puddle of standing water in a crawl space
Courtesy of JES Foundation Repair

Pest Prevention

An open crawl space is a pest’s paradise. It’s dark, humid, and full of hiding places, making it the perfect place for rodents, ants, termites, and other critters to set up shop. 

Not only are these pests a nuisance, but they can also cause severe damage to your home—for example, termites alone cause over $5 billion in property damage yearly. Unfortunately, with the hidden nature of their attack, it will likely be too late by the time you notice the damage.

Encapsulating your crawl space creates a barrier that pests cannot penetrate, deterring them from entering your home and preventing the damage they can cause. This process protects your home and makes it more appealing to buyers, as they will not have to worry about dealing with a pest problem.

Improved Indoor Comfort

Don’t you love it when your home is warm in the winter and cool in the summer? Unfortunately, an open crawl space can disrupt this comfortable indoor temperature.

With an open crawl space, cold air can seep in during the winter, cooling off the walls and floors above and making your home feel chilly. In the summer, humid air from the crawl space can rise into your living space and make it feel muggy.

Encapsulating your crawl space helps regulate the temperature in the area, making it more consistent with the rest of your home. This increases indoor comfort year-round, making your home more comfortable and attractive to buyers.

Reduced Home Maintenance

Mold growth, water damage, and pests can quickly turn a crawl space into a maintenance nightmare. 

Not only do you have to deal with the initial deterioration, but you also must regularly inspect and treat the space to prevent further problems. This maintenance can be time-consuming and costly, and it’s not something most homebuyers are eager to take on.

A homeowner laying on his side inspects his crawl space with a flashlight

An encapsulated crawl space prevents moisture, mold, and pests, so you won’t have to worry about costly repairs or regular maintenance. This saves you time and money and gives you a competitive edge when selling your home.

The Average Cost of Crawl Space Encapsulation

Crawl space encapsulation costs between $1,500-$15,000, with an average cost of $5,500, according to HomeAdvisor. The total cost will depend on the size and condition of your crawl space and the scope of work required. It includes materials, tools, and labor.

While DIY encapsulation is possible, it’s not recommended, as improper installation can lead to problems down the road. It’s best to leave this job to the professionals to ensure it’s done right the first time. A vapor barrier must be installed correctly to be effective, so it’s worth paying for professional installation to avoid any issues.

Hiring a Crawl Space Encapsulation Specialist

Proper crawl space encapsulation requires knowledge and experience, so hiring a reputable specialist is essential. 

Some tips on what to look for when hiring a crawl space encapsulation contractor include:

Check Their Credentials

One of the best ways to ensure you’re hiring a reputable specialist is to check their credentials. Ensure they are licensed, insured, and experienced in crawl space encapsulation. Any respected specialist will be happy to provide you with this information.

Get Multiple Quotes

Never settle for the first quote you receive. Get multiple quotes from different contractors to ensure you’re getting the best price for the job. When comparing quotes, be sure to compare apples to apples and ensure the scope of work is the same.

Don’t forget to ask about any warranties or guarantees offered. A good contractor will stand by their work and offer a warranty on the materials used and the quality of their workmanship.

Read Online Reviews

Online reviews are a great way to get an insight into a contractor’s work ethic and quality. Take some time to read reviews from past clients to get an idea of what to expect.

A couple with laptops researches furnace filter recycling services

When reading reviews, consider positive and negative comments to get a well-rounded view. Also, pay attention to the contractor’s response to negative reviews. A good contractor will take the time to address any concerns and make things right for their clients.

Get a Written Estimate

When you’ve narrowed down your list of potential specialists, be sure to get a written estimate for the job. The assessment should include a detailed description of the work to be carried out, the materials to be used, and the labor cost.

Be sure to ask about any additional costs that you may incur, such as permits or disposal fees. Once you have the estimate, take some time to review it carefully and make sure you understand everything that’s included.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if there’s anything you’re unsure of. A reputable contractor will be happy to answer any of your questions and address any concerns you may have.

Final Thoughts

Encapsulating your crawl space is a wise investment that can increase your home’s value in several ways. 

First, you can protect your home from water damage, mold growth, and pests by sealing off the space. 

You’ll also enjoy improved indoor air quality, increased comfort, and reduced maintenance costs. 

If you’re considering selling your home, an encapsulated crawl space will appeal to potential buyers. It will save them the headaches of dealing with pests and unexpected maintenance costs.

References

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