How Much Does It Cost to Encapsulate a Crawl Space?

Lydia Schapiro
Written by Lydia Schapiro
Updated January 11, 2022
House exterior
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Crawl space encapsulation typically costs $5,500, but it can be as low as $1,500 and as high as $15,000

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Crawl space encapsulation seals up the area between the floor and the ground, so you can prevent numerous problems–pests, mold, moisture damage—and, in turn, increase your home’s condition. Typically, crawl space encapsulation costs roughly $5,500, but the cost can vary depending on size, materials, and requested features. Crawl space encapsulation costs usually range from $1,500 to $15,000.

How Much Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost by Square Foot?

Basic crawl space encapsulation tends to be the lowest in cost, but you also have the option to spend more money and receive more features, such as new insulation, mold removal, a dehumidifier, or a sump pump.

Basic crawl space encapsulations cost roughly between $2 and $4 per square foot, while more extensive encapsulations tend to be between $3 and $10 per square foot. The latter typically also involves more substantial cleaning, repairs, and additionally requested features.

How Much Does It Cost to Encapsulate a Crawl Space Yourself?

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Encapsulating a crawl space is difficult to complete yourself, and you risk developing health issues from mold exposure. In addition, trying to do this task yourself may lead to foundation damage, later resulting in costly damage repairs. 

There are certain scenarios in which skilled homeowners can install crawl space encapsulation without the help of a professional. For instance, if you’re particularly skilled and you’ve bought your home recently, there’s less possibility for mold, pests, or extensive damage, making it possible you could DIY. However, ensure you’ve done your research on necessary tools, safety precautions, and instructions. 

Note: If you do find issues such as pests or mold, address these before installing crawl space encapsulation. 

As a DIY job, crawl space encapsulation costs will only comprise the materials:

SuppliesCost
Dehumidifier$800 – $1,200
Insulation board (2-inch thick)$26
20-millimeter Vapor barrier$.50 – $.70 per sq. ft.
4-inch vapor bond tapeRoughly $50 for a 180-foot roll
Sump pump (pedestal unit)$60 – $170
Sump pump (submersible unit)$100 – 400

Note: Failing to properly apply and set up these materials can cause long-term damage to your house, which is why hiring a pro is usually best. 

Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost Breakdown

The biggest cost factors for a crawl space encapsulation are the foundation waterproofing, the insulation installation, the vapor barrier installation, and the dehumidifier installation. Below is the breakdown of costs for crawl space encapsulation. 

Crawl Space Inspection

A crawl space inspection typically costs roughly between $100 and $250, but prices vary depending on the size and condition of the home. 

Drainage and Cleaning

Crawl space cleaning is essential for eliminating pests, rectifying mold damage, and removing debris. In addition, it is vital that you repair any crawl space damage. Crawl space cleaning costs from $500 to $4,000, while repairs typically cost between $1,500 and 15,000

Foundation Waterproofing

On average, homeowners pay $4,600 for foundation waterproofing, but the cost can range from $1,500 to $15,000, depending on the complexity of the system and the size of the home. By contacting a local waterproofing contractor, you can figure out the best option for your home. 

Foundation Wall Insulation

Crawl space insulation is essential to preventing moisture damage. Many homeowners opt for spray foam insulation because it is typically the most durable type. On average, spray foam insulation costs between $0.50 and $1.50 per board foot.

Vapor Barrier Installation

The vapor barrier lines the ground and walls within the crawl space and prevents moisture from entering. A standard 20-millimeter vapor barrier typically costs from $0.50 to $0.70 per square foot. In addition, you’ll need to buy tape to secure the vapor barrier, which usually costs around $50 for a 4-inch-by-180-foot roll.

Note: Thin, inexpensive plastic will be more likely to rip and thus be less effective, while a thicker sheet will be less durable and more effective in keeping out moisture. 

Sealing Vents and Hole

Sealing any vents and air leaks ensures the space is fully encapsulated. You can buy vent covers online, which range from $15 to $22 each.

Drainage System

For those areas with a high water table or in homes with crawl spaces below ground level, you should consider installing a sump pump. A sump pump removes accumulated water by pumping it into a bin.  

Sump pumps range from $60 to $170 for pedestal units and $100 to $400 for submersible units. Whole sump pump installations cost roughly $1,300. Submersible sump pumps might involve additional costs for the labor it takes to dig the pit.

Dehumidifier

To keep the space dry, your contractor will recommend getting a dehumidifier, particularly if you live somewhere with high humidity. Simply closing the vents is not adequate insulation and can trap damp air that gives rise to mold. 

A dehumidifier costs roughly between $800 and $1,200 without installation costs.

What Factors Influence the Cost of Crawl Encapsulation?

The cost for your total project will depend on several factors related to your home and the services you request. 

Crawl Space Condition

If your crawl space has pests, mold, or other problems that the contractor needs to address, you should expect to add costs for cleaning and inspection.  

Crawl Space Size

Most professionals will charge per square foot for encapsulation systems, including waterproofing, insulation, and vapor barrier installation. So, the bigger your crawl space, the more you will pay. 

Labor

Hiring professional contractors will raise the total project cost, depending on the contractor’s level of experience and the project’s complexity. 

Materials

Added features and specific materials will add costs to your project’s total. For instance, you have the option of choosing your vapor barrier thickness, the number of layers, and the type of insulation. In addition, if you request features such as a sump pump and dehumidifier, your project’s cost will increase. 

FAQs About Crawl Space Encapsulation

Is a crawl space encapsulation necessary?

Crawl space encapsulation reduces damage caused by moisture, mold, and pests. In addition, it increases your home’s value. Installing crawl space encapsulation reduces energy bills and costly repairs for structural or foundation damage.

What's the difference between a vapor barrier and insulation?

While a vapor barrier keeps moisture out of the crawl space, insulation reduces the amount of air and moisture that enters and helps to prevent humidity. 

How much does it cost to get a crawl space repaired?

For crawl space repairs, expect to pay between $1,500 and $15,000, depending on the damage. Major flooding or water repairs can cost up to $10,000 for removal and repairs. 

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