Crawl space encapsulation has become a hot topic for Alabama homeowners. Alabama’s warm and humid conditions can invite a variety of problems into your crawl space that, left unattended, could threaten the structural integrity of your home and could even expose your family to hidden health risks.
As a trusted provider of crawl space waterproofing and air quality services in Alabama, we get the following questions a lot from concerned homeowners.
What is crawl space encapsulation?
How does crawl space encapsulation work?
How much does it cost to encapsulate my crawl space?
We’ve put together this simple introduction to help you get up to speed on this popular home protection strategy and understand the most common crawl space repair options.
What is crawl space encapsulation?
In the most basic terms, crawl space encapsulation can mean any combination of techniques, materials, and equipment used to seal the open space between your floor and the ground below to protect it from the harmful effects of pests and unwanted moisture.
Depending on the size, placement, and condition of your home and foundation, crawl space encapsulation could involve a mix of several of these common remedies:
- Engineered single- or multi-layer vapor barrier material in varying thicknesses (commonly ranging between 12mil – 90mil in thickness)
- Seals and doors to protect vents, utility penetrations, and entryways against pests and water
- Drainage enhancements to draw water out and away from the crawl space
- One or more sump pumps to manage chronic storm or groundwater infiltration
- Dehumidification treatment to maintain clean, dry, mold-free air (we recommend Sante Fe dehumidifiers)
- Extra insulation in problem areas to reduce temperature extremes
Finding a trustworthy crawl space encapsulation contractor you can trust
Beware of high-pressure scare tactics and 1-size-fits-all solutions.
Make sure to get answers to all your price and warranty questions before you sign any repair contracts.
When in doubt – always check with your local Better Business Bureau to ensure the company you are working with has an A+ rating.
And remember – you can always count on SouthernDry for a free & honest quote or project price comparison.
How does crawl space encapsulation work?
- Cleaning and preparation of the crawl space, including removal of construction debris and any stones or sharp materials that could puncture the vapor barrier
- Installation or repair of supplemental drainage enhancements, which may include improvements to external gutter and rain spout systems
- Installation of the correct thickness of vapor barrier material, which may be self-adhesive or be held in place with specialized tape or fasteners
- Installation of seals and/or sealing materials around crawl space vents, doors, or places where utility connections come into the crawl space area
- Placement and connection of one or more optional sump pumps
- Placement and connection of optional dehumidifiers
The main point of crawl space encapsulation is to protect your home by keeping destructive water, mold, allergens, humidity and pests out, and to make sure that conditions remain stable, clean, and healthy on the inside. As a bonus, additional benefits often include improved energy costs and a boost to your home’s resale value.
It’s important to know that although similar materials and equipment are involved, virtually every encapsulation job is unique (or at least it should be – remain wary of companies offering a 1-size-fits-all approach). Because of this dynamic, costs can vary a lot depending on the age and size of your home and on the current condition of your crawl space.
The right encapsulation partner will help you come up with an affordable solution that fits your individual needs.
How much does crawl space encapsulation cost in Alabama?
According to surveys by online home improvement hubs like HomeAdvisor, Angi, or Thumbtack, national price averages are pretty consistent across all regions in the U.S.
In the state of Alabama, a low end or basic job runs around $5,000 and a high end or extensive job may run as high as $25,000, with a midpoint averaging around $12,500. Before you succumb to sticker shock, it’s important to remember that these are broad state-wide averages, and not necessarily what you’ll pay locally.
If crawl space encapsulation is right for your home, it may be more affordable than you think. Here are the top factors that are most likely to influence your costs:
- Vapor barrier material selection. You can choose a variety of standard thicknesses ranging from 6 to 20 millimeters. Material cost averages between $0.15 to $0.50 per square foot, with installation labor running between $2.00 to $4.00 per square foot.
- Sealing tape. Specially designed four-inch wide tape to anchor the vapor barrier material in place and provide a continuous seal at the edges comes in 180 foot rolls. You can expect to pay around $50 per roll and it can take as many as four rolls to finish an average-sized crawl space.
- Sealing materials for doors and vents. Vent seals can range in price from $10 to $20 each, and a properly sealed access door could run you anywhere from $50.00 to over $100, excluding installation labor.
- Drainage solutions. These costs depend on the size and condition of each crawl space. For a simple French drain trench in affected areas, drainage rock is sold by the cubic yard at a unit rate of about $0.30 – $0.40. Perforated pipe prices range anywhere from under $0.50 to over $3.00 per linear foot.
- Sump pump units. Bare equipment cost (excluding installation labor) for a crawl space sump pump can range from under $500 for a basic model to over $2000 for an advanced unit with extra stages and features such as digital monitoring and a battery backup.
- Dehumidifier units. Large capacity, low-maintenance dehumidifiers can cost anywhere from $850 to $3200, depending on the features you need and how much upkeep you’re willing to do. This is bare equipment cost excluding installation labor.
- Local permitting fees. In some jurisdictions, you’ll need to leave room in your budget for applicable building permits. Your encapsulation partner should fully disclose these costs in their estimate with clear instructions on who is responsible for obtaining them. Permit fees in Alabama tend to run around $8 to $9 per $1,000 in construction valuation for existing homes, but may not be required in your locality.
- Labor costs and installer fees. In most cases, you will receive an itemized proposal or estimate based on an overall unit cost including all labor, equipment, and materials. When you reach out to a crawl space encapsulation expert for an evaluation, it’s important to ask direct questions about how they break down their estimates and how you know you’re getting competitive value for what they’re asking you to spend.
Material and labor aside, here is what we are seeing locally so far in Alabama in 2021 as far as the cost to encapsulate a crawl space home.
What is the average cost of crawl space encapsulation in Birmingham, AL in 2021?
We are seeing average foundation repair costs in the Birmingham area come in around $10,470. These costs are spread over a wide variety of jobs and sometimes include structural repairs like support jacks, so be sure to contact us for more information.*
What is the average cost of crawl space encapsulation in Huntsville, AL in 2021?
Projects including support jacks, drainage, vapor barriers, sump pumps and dehumidifiers are averaging $12,700 in this area. Contact us for an accurate and exact quote!*
What is the average cost of crawl space encapsulation in Auburn, AL in 2021?
Crawl space restoration can include a wide variety of repairs – we are seeing an average cost of $9,240 in this area. Again, this can vary, so an accurate quote tailored to your exact needs is an important step in the process.*
What is the average cost of crawl space encapsulation in Montgomery, AL in 2021?
We’re seeing an average cost of $8,247 for crawl space waterproofing in this area. Again, this can vary, so an accurate quote tailored to your exact needs is an important step in the process.*
All of the averages given above are based on local work but are the average for the Alabama area. These numbers are not an exact quote and should not be construed as such, they are provided for information purposes only. Contact our Project Planners for an exact quote.
How to save money on crawl space encapsulation
For a project this important to the security and longevity of your home, it pays to choose cost-cutting opportunities wisely. With some research and elbow grease it is possible to bring the job in below market averages with a good end result. The risk goes up when you work with a company that cuts corners on quality to get you to sign off on a deceptively low bid.
Here are a few of the best cost saving opportunities we’ve seen in the Birmingham area:
- Do the initial clean out, debris removal, and preparation yourself.
- Choose a less expensive vapor barrier. There’s an optimum thickness that’s best for the condition of your home. After that, the cost benefit stops going up with the price.
- Find out if the lower priced sump pump or dehumidifier will do the job. Some jobs can be completed by grading the landscape instead of using a sump pump.
- See if self-adhesive vapor barrier is available in your area. This speeds installation (saving some labor dollars) and reduces the need for other fastening materials.
- Ask if spray foam insulation will work in your situation. This can be a lower cost alternative to fiberglass insulation on more extensive jobs.
- Shop around for the right crawl space encapsulation partner. Compare bids on an itemized basis and check references to ensure the company is reputable.
Do I need a crawl space maintenance plan?
An annual crawl space maintenance plan is a great way to ensure years of worry-free living in your home.
Maintenance plans are offered by most reputable contractors in Alabama and include an annual inspection of your crawl space and any new equipment, such as sump pumps, vapor barriers, drainage and dehumidifiers. Inspections are usually performed on a yearly or seasonal basis. Air quality and moisture conditions will also be assessed during your inspection.
Because the fight against mother nature is an ongoing battle, maintenance plans are a great way to refresh your defense systems on an ongoing basis while protecting your home.
Need an exact price estimate for crawl space encapsulation in Alabama? Sign-up now for a personalized, no-cost evaluation of your crawl space
SputhernDry is a “customer first” company that’s focused on getting you the lasting results you need at a fair price. We excel at crawl space encapsulation, helical piers, basement waterproofing and all aspects of foundation repair.
The only reason we’re in business is to ensure decades of worry-free living in your home. We do that by offering you transparent, competitive pricing, and by staffing your job with people who care personally about delivering great work and great value.
With SouthernDry, you get one-on-one attention from the initial estimate to final repair. We’ll answer your questions, make the recommendations that are in your best interests, and stick with you until the job is done to your satisfaction. In the unlikely event that something’s out of order, we’ll come back out promptly and make it right. Homeowners choose us over the big box outfits because we’re relentless about quality.
For peace of mind about your crawl space, call us at (205) 719-2544.