How Much Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost?

Crawl space encapsulation costs can vary so greatly it is difficult to explain. If you plan to DIY your crawl space encapsulation, one would think the costs to be lower. But many people forget to add a value to their own time. If you make $15/hour and it takes you 40 hours to encapsulate your crawl space that’s $600 plus materials and tools. Not to mention time lost with loved ones.

Basic Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost $1500+

I love reading blogs that have a starter price for a basic encapsulation of $1,500 to $4,000. These are obviously people or contractors that do not install dehumidifiers or deal with mold. Most likely this is someone installing loose laid vapor barrier on the ground and sealing the crawl space vents.

I am not sure what basic is but other websites say basic crawl space encapsulation includes:

  • Light cleaning (what are they cleaning?)
  • Vapor barrier (how is it being installed?)
  • Sealing (what is being sealed?)
  • No unexpected problems (good luck with that!)
  • No dehumidifier (of course, let’s not control humidity!)

By the time we get called to address a crawl space, there is no basic option available. Since the #1 reason(s) Crawl Space Ninja provides encapsulation is to fix a humidity, mold, and/or flood problem, basic is not doable. Basic was done during the construction of the home. Instead of just throwing out costs to encapsulate, I want to share the different variables that will increase or decrease the cost.

Cost of Crawl Space Encapsulation Variable 1

Who is doing the work? Will you be encapsulating your own crawl space? If so, you could save thousands of dollars if you don’t put a value on your time. The average crawl space professional can make $20 plus an hour. Many crawl space teams consist of 2 to 4 people. So three people working in a crawl space 4 days at 8 hours a day is a labor only cost of $1,920 at $20/hour. That blows up that basic $1,500 price touted on many crawl space contractor websites. Also, that is not considering any type of insurance or worse an injury a homeowner could take during the crawl space DIY project.

Crawl Space Encapsulation is Very Difficult

Some may not think that paying someone $20 plus an hour to work in a crawl space is worth it. Many do not understand how difficult crawl space encapsulation can be on the body. Two years ago I interviewed an active duty Air Force member that encapsulated his own crawl space during the lockdown. You can watch the video but he told his wife he’d rather be on deployment in Afghanistan than encapsulating the crawl space. It is extremely hard work. Keep this in mind if you are considering encapsulating your own crawl space.

Encapsulation Cost Variable 2

The size of  crawl space is a huge factor when it comes to cost. Encapsulating a 500 square feet crawl space is way different than a 3,500 square feet one. Also the height of the crawl space can increase the time spent by the professional when it comes to basic repairs. Pulling insulation from the subfloor of a 9 feet tall crawl space requires a ladder and can be dangerous and slow. Believe me there are some out there even taller. On the other hand, short crawl spaces, typically under 2 feet, are more difficult to maneuver. These cause it to take more time to get materials, debris and personnel in and out.

Bob Villa posted on his website that a large crawl space encapsulation can run $15,000. The article goes on to say the average cost of crawl space encapsulation is $5,500. I am not sure where these numbers come from and not sure what size is classified as “large”. We have completed small crawl spaces well over $15,000 and large ones well into $40,000 and more. Crawl space size is a major contributor to cost but that is not the only variable that can greatly increase cost.

Variable 3 of Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost

The final variable I will share is the amount and type of repairs needed. Also, the method in which the repair is done. For example, a moldy damp crawl space can cost more to repair than a dry non moldy crawl space. But the methods to address the issues causes the price to vary as well. A crawl space contractor that does not practice mold remediation protocol may:

  1. Leave the insulation in the subfloor
  2. Not dry the wood
  3. Not lower humidity
  4. Use fans versus a dehumidifier
  5. Spray the joist tips with mold cleaner

All of the ways above are the cheap and least effective way to address mold in a crawl space. In fact, we see mold return when homeowners choose that method. Costs will vary greatly if you choose a contractor that decides to follow mold remediation protocols versus one that does not. Plus keeping the mold from returning is an important part of the crawl space repair. This could include, but not limited to:

  1. Remove subfloor insulation
  2. Dry crawl space with dehumidifier
  3. Ensure wood moisture levels are low prior to mold remediation
  4. Ensure humidity is below 60% prior to mold remediation
  5. Soda blast or scrub mold from joists, sub-floor
  6. Apply mold cleaner
  7. Apply mold preventative
  8. Install permanent dehumidifier

When it comes to doing repairs on my own home I am diligent about choosing a reputable contractor. Any time I went cheap, it cost me more. It is likely that going cheap on crawl space encapsulation will cost you more too. To learn more about proper crawl space encapsulation, mold remediation, and other repairs, check out our Essential Guides.

Contact Crawl Space Ninja for Basement Waterproofing and Encapsulation

Please contact us to schedule your assessment to fix your crawl space, basement issue. 


Do you need help with mold removal, crawl space encapsulation, crawl space insulation, vapor barrier, waterproofing, foundation repair, basement waterproofing, or controlling humidity in your crawl space?

If you live in Georgia, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Kentucky, Crawl Space Ninja can help!


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4 thoughts on “How Much Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Cost?”

  1. Do you have a contractor that you would recommend in southern Indiana. I am 19 miles from Louisville KY on the IN side. I’ve had standing water on the inside perimeter and the whole crawl is damp. We just bought the home and would like to budget for this to be fixed, if we can’t afford itight now. Thanks in advance and I have learned a lot from your u tube series.

  2. Do you have a contractor in Colorado, crawl space is all dirt and 500 square foot, groundwater rises with continuous rain, and causing issues with water heater

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