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Crawl space encapsulation

Is crawl space encapsulation worth the expense? Seems the companies that do this say this is the best thing for moisture control and insulation in the crawl space. They also will repair broken, cracked floor joists along with the job. The product is pretty expensive.

Re: Crawl space encapsulation

I kind of have the same question. I have heard that encapsulating your crawl space and the installation of a dehumidifier can save you 20% on your heating/cooling bill for your house. If that is the case I would think everyone would be doing it.

I live in south Georgia and the humidity is always high. Last week I asked our pest control company to take a look at our crawl space because an HVAC person said that the insulation on our ducting under the house was sweating on the outside of the insulation. This did not particularly surprise me because I live in south Georgia and everything sweats. But, I thought that I would get a second opinion before I invested monies to rewrap our ductwork. With that I called our termite control person to ask him to look in the crawl space and determine if our HVAC sweating problem was as bad as he has seen at other houses.

The pest company said SURE. So, they investigated and took humidity readings under the house.

We already have a vapor barrier in place, although it may have seen better days (the house is 30 years old) and we already knew about some wood fungus but nothing bad. What I didn't know was that there was a small water leak which caused some ponding in the crawl space.

After this inspection, the pest control person said we needed to put down a new vapor barrier, encapsulate the crawl space and install a dehumidifier with wireless humidity sensor. The cost = $2200 plus an annual charge of $100 to maintain it.

My question is this ........ After I fix the small water leak and install a new vapor barrier plus encapsulation of the crawl space ..... Do I really need a dehumidifier to resolve this problem?

Thanks for any help that someone might offer.


Re: Crawl space encapsulation

Encapsulation is the current trend and has some advantages, but if a crawlspace is properly ventilated, excess water is kept out of it, and the floors are properly insulated it seems to be a waste to me. Some of the energy savings you gain get lost in the installation cost and operating the dehumidifier which will have to be replaced sooner or later.

Here in equally humid upstate SC only the houses in depressed areas or which have problems with hydrostatic water coming up from the soil need encapsulation- the rest do fine without it.


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