- What does it mean to encapsulate a crawl space?
- Benefits of Encapsulating Your Home's Crawl Space
- How does crawl space encapsulation increase home value?
- How much does encapsulating your crawl space cost?
How Much Value Does an Encapsulated Crawl Space Add to Your Home?
Crawl spaces that are closed-off increase property values by making homes more energy-efficient, improving indoor air quality, and preventing water damage. Encapsulating a crawl space can also be an effective way of keeping out pests since they won’t be able anywhere for them to nest.
Encapsulated crawl spaces can increase home values by an average of 10%. However, you don’t need to wait until you sell your home to benefit from an encapsulated crawl space. Sealed crawl spaces stabilize indoor temperatures, which helps ease the burden on your heating and cooling systems. As a result, you can save up to 20% on energy costs.
Encapsulated crawl spaces are particularly beneficial if you live in a humid climate or a flood-risk area. This is because crawl spaces are often close to the home’s foundation and can save homeowners $5,000 to $25,000 in foundation repair.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to encapsulate a crawl space, the benefits of doing so, how this renovation project increases property value, and how much a crawl space encapsulation costs. Let’s dive in.
What does it mean to encapsulate a crawl space?
Encapsulating a crawl space means sealing off an area of the home, sometimes an unused storage space, with a thick vapor barrier. Sealing off a crawl space creates a climate-controlled area where pests, mold, and moisture cannot thrive. A well-encapsulated crawl space makes the home more energy-efficient through meticulous insulation.
Unencapsulated crawl spaces are often damp, pest-infested, and full of dirt or debris. This kind of environment within the home can cause moisture damage to the home’s foundation, poor indoor air quality, and musty odors. An encapsulated crawl space helps prevent these problems within the home by keeping the area dry, clean, and well-ventilated.
A crawl space encapsulation can involve some or all of the following techniques:
- Drainage of foundation seepage (if necessary)
- Ground and wall vapor barriers
- Rigid foam board insulation
- Ventilation device that maintains a healthy, dry environment
Benefits of Encapsulating Your Home’s Crawl Space
Encapsulating a home’s crawl space comes with several benefits. It’s a strategic home improvement project that protects against dangers within the home that are not immediately felt or seen.
We’ve broken down the five key advantages to crawl space encapsulation below.
Improves energy efficiency
As mentioned above, encapsulating crawl spaces helps your HVAC systems work less and lowers your energy bills as a result. Homebuyers value energy savings, which is why energy-efficient homes tend to sell for more than homes that are not energy-efficient.
In a study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, researchers found that for every $1 reduction in annual energy costs, a home’s value increased by $20-$24. This means that if you end up saving just $250 a year by encapsulating a crawl space, you could be adding $5,000-$6,000 to your home’s value.
Enhances indoor air quality
You may not know that up to 50% of the air you breathe indoors can come from crawl spaces within your home. Crawl spaces that are not closed off are often home to debris, mold spores, pollen, and other pollutants.
When these airborne pollutants circulate throughout the home, they can trigger everything from minor allergies to major respiratory problems. It’s best to keep them out. Encapsulated crawl spaces prevent airborne contaminants from entering the home by creating a barrier between your living space and outdoor air. This ultimately results in cleaner indoor air.
Prevents water damage
Encapsulating crawl spaces involves sealing the area with a vapor barrier that prevents the accumulation of moisture. When an area within the home comes into contact with water or simply gets too humid, wood can start to rot and mold can start to grow.
Both of these scenarios can result in a substantial amount of damage to the home which is costly to repair. On average, repairing water damage costs between $1,270–$5,376, However, as mentioned above, if water damage reaches the foundation of a home, the cost of repair can be significantly higher.
Prevents pest infestations
There is no better place for pests to live than an open crawl space. Crawl spaces are dark, humid, and full of hiding places which makes them ideal places for rodents and insects to nest. Not only are pests annoying, but they can also cause major damage to your home.
Termites alone cause an alarming $5.5 billion in property damage every year. Unfortunately, because of the hidden nature of their attack, homeowners may not notice the damage until it is too late. Encapsulated crawl spaces create a barrier that pests are unable to penetrate.
Reduces the need for regular home maintenance
By preventing mold growth, water damage, and pest infestations, encapsulated crawl spaces also prevent the need for regular home maintenance. When these issues arise, homeowners have to continue inspecting and treating the space every 6-12 months to prevent these problems from coming back.
Regular home maintenance can be time-consuming and expensive. It’s best not to have these issues in the first place.
How does crawl space encapsulation increase home value?
Most homeowners invest in renovation projects with the hope of seeing a return on their investment. While encapsulated crawl spaces are not often a homeowner’s first choice, encapsulating a crawl space is worth considering because there’s a high chance it will increase your home’s value.
Crawl spaces provide benefits for existing and future homeowners by protecting against damages that are hazardous to your health and expensive to repair. As a result, prospective buyers, are usually willing to pay more for a home with an encapsulated crawl space once the benefits of having one are explained.
It may be easier to hook a buyer with a brand-new kitchen or recently renovated bathroom, however, these additions don’t necessarily protect from major property damage.
The long-term effects of pest infestations, water damage, and poor indoor quality are consequences most homeowners are not willing to take on. By preventing the creation of these scenarios, homeowners can set their properties apart from those that are at risk of experiencing these issues.
How much does encapsulating your crawl space cost?
Crawl space encapsulation costs between $1,500 to $30,000. The total cost will depend on the size and condition of your crawlspace and the complexity of the work required.
Some crawl spaces are small and uninhabited, while others are large and pest-infested. The earlier you can get started on a crawl space encapsulation the better. This prevents whatever damage has taken place from spreading and may even prevent property damage outright.
DIY encapsulation isn’t recommended because improper installation can lead to future complications. Installing a vapor barrier correctly is crucial for effectiveness, so it’s best to pay for a professional installation.
Selling a home with a crawl space encapsulation isn’t difficult, but explaining the benefits of having one can be. Crawl spaces are not immediately visible or regularly explored by new buyers. As a result, it can be difficult to convey the advantage of having one. That’s why you’ll need a knowledgeable listing agent who can articulate the long-term benefits of purchasing a home with encapsulated crawl space.
Consult with one of the top real estate agents in your area today to learn more about how you can sell a home with crawl space encapsulation. An expert agent can give an in-depth answer to the question, “How much value does an encapsulated crawl space add to your home?”
The peace of mind that comes with knowing your living space is free of pests, water damage, poor air quality, and energy inefficiency is priceless. Crawl space encapsulation is the one home improvement project that can combat all four while reducing the need for regular maintenance. Reach out to one of our top agents today to discuss further.