You may be spending more money on your electricity bill without even realizing it — that is if your home has a vented crawl space. Once considered a beneficial element of a home, crawl spaces with vents have been discovered to pose more problems than advantages.
The problem with vented crawl spaces
Vented crawl spaces can negatively impact home insulation, particularly during hot summers and cold winters. High heating and cooling expenditures can be caused by open vents, porous walls, and cracks in the foundation of your crawl space.
Warm, humid air from the outdoors can infiltrate crawl spaces that are not conditioned during the summer months. The heated air rises throughout your home, prompting you to switch on the air conditioner.
You face a similar problem during winter. Cool air in your crawl area leads to cold floors and replaces the heat in your living space without an encapsulation system, making you and your family uncomfortable.
Besides, vented crawl spaces are a common source of moisture, mold, and other issues with indoor air quality.
The encapsulated crawl space as a solution
Crawl space encapsulation is an excellent method of addressing problems brought on by a vented crawl space. This way, you can save money on your energy bills while also keeping your family comfortable.
Encapsulating your crawl space produces a conditioned zone beneath your house. Insulation and vapor barriers are professionally installed to cover the walls and floor of your crawl space once it has been correctly waterproofed. Any outside vents are sealed, and regulated ventilation is installed to prevent the accumulation of musty, stagnant air.
Weighing in on costs
Maintaining a vented crawl space comes with certain costs — that is, if you don’t intend to get it encapsulated just yet.
- Repairing a crawl space can cost you anywhere from $50 to as much as $7,500, depending on the type of repair you want. Crawl space vent repair is typically priced at $50 to $200 per vent. Crawl space insulation repair costs between $750 and $3,500. More complicated and time-consuming crawl space structural repairs usually range from $1,000 to $7,500. Waterproofing (which can only be done by a professional) a 1500-square-foot crawl space could cost $4,500 on average to as much as $15,000.
- A vapor barrier is one of the most effective ways to keep moisture out of your home. A vapor barrier is a large plastic sheet placed over the base of a crawl space designed to completely cover the exposed dirt. While it does not totally eradicate moisture, it can substantially slow the process. Sheet plastic costs around 50 to 70 cents per square foot. You can DIY the installation of a vapor barrier, but you’ll find it difficult to complete on your own. You’ll need someone else to assist you by passing the rolls of sheet plastic back and forth through the crawl space. Since the task can prove too cumbersome, you might end up getting a contractor instead.
- Another cost to consider is pest control, as pests and vermin could make their way into your crawl space and make it their home. Pest removal can cost between $175 and $525, depending on how severe the infestation is. However, the cost of total pest removal, cleaning, and sealing could range from $2,000 to $4,000 in some cases.
Meantime, the cost of an encapsulated crawl space job can set you back by around $1,500 to $15,000, depending on how large your crawl space is as well as the types of materials required to do the job.
Crawl space encapsulation entails several steps and may include the following:
- Removal of dirt and debris
- Installation of a drainage system with a sump pump
- Putting a polyethylene vapor barrier on the crawl space surface
- Sealing off openings, holes, gaps, and vents
- Insulating rim joists
- Installing rigid foam boards along interior crawl space walls
- Covering the interior crawl space walls with a polyethylene liner
You can save roughly 15% on your monthly heating and cooling bills by enclosing your crawl area. This means that the amount you spend on building an encapsulated crawl space can be offset monthly through energy bill savings.
Crawl space encapsulation by Moisture Loc
Now that you have a fair idea of encapsulated crawl space costs, it’ll be easier to appreciate the benefits of getting encapsulation work done.
Whenever you’re ready, please reach out to us at Moisture Loc.