Pros And Cons Of An Encapsulated Crawlspace
There are a variety of good reasons why it would be a good idea to completely close off your crawlspace from the outside world. To be fair, however, there are also a few good reasons why you might not want to do so. Here is a quick list with some of the pros and cons of taking this step:
- You’ll cut way down on the moisture that causes mold infestations.
- You’ll save on your energy bill because your climate-controlled air won’t be bleeding into the crawlspace and then out into the world.
- You can use the opportunity to install a radiant heat system for the floor above. It’s more complicated than the basic ductwork but it’s more energy efficient and more effective at warming the whole room.
- A crawlspace that’s protected from moisture and humidity is also protected from termites, rats, and other pests.
- You can use the new crawlspace as a safe, sanitary storage place.
- Whether you do the job yourself or you hire a contractor, encapsulating a crawlspace is going to cost a pretty penny.
- There are additional costs involved in upgrading or replacing any combustion-based furnaces, water heaters, or other appliances. Without any air circulation, combustion-based heaters won’t get enough oxygen to run effectively.
- The installation company you hire (or you and your friends) might happen to add a new vent, negating the effect of the encapsulation.
- An encapsulated crawlspace is not an appropriate place to store volatile chemicals like gasoline or paint thinner.
- If you don’t install the right dehumidifier system, you could be stuck emptying it by hand.
Overall, the pros seem to outweigh the cons, but the cons should not be dismissed completely. Not everyone has the money or the home improvement knowhow to properly encapsulate a crawlspace, and there could be some trouble if things don’t work out correctly. So if you do the job yourself, make sure you know it inside and out before you begin, and if you hire a contractor, make sure you investigate their credentials and get a few extra quotes on top.