Negatives To Crawl Space Encapsulation: Look Before You Leap!

There are quite a few negatives to crawl space encapsulations, even though approximately 20% of newly built homes, especially in the US, have these.

Crawl spaces are needed for proper irrigation systems, gas lines, electrical and plumbing more.

However, given that many homeowners have had bad experiences, it’s generic to enquire about drawbacks. Keep reading to find that out as I explain all the demerits.

Disadvantages of Crawl Space Encapsulation

drawbacks of crawl space encapsulation

Here’s a list of the usual drawbacks of crawl spaces.

  • Costs will go up.
  • Wall insulations are needed additionally.
  • Maintenance costs and inspecting needs will increase.
  • HVAC systems will need an upgrade.
  • Volatile substances must be kept away.
  • Regular dehumidifier services are required.
  • Needs additional drainage system.
  • Lack of storage space.

So, is crawl space encapsulation a good idea?

Well, as you can see there are plenty of disadvantages! However, you can reduce some of those problems by adopting a smart alternative to crawl space encapsulations.

And, apart from the list noted above, there are other issues to look into as well. Skim through all of them as I talk about them in detail.

  • Costs

A lot of homes survive without having to spend an arm and a leg on crawl space encapsulations.

On average, homeowners have to pay around $5,500 to install a crawl space system based on the size and geographic location.

Moreover, considering the supplies and labor cost, it could cost an additional $1500-$15000 per home.

  • Wall Insulations

A new system of crawl space encapsulation will require the installation of foundations wall insulations.

Wall insulations are composed of spray foam which can have a starting price of $.50 and range up to $2.

However, the costs will shoot higher for larger spaces, ranging from $3-$300. Not only will this raise your prices but, you will need a professional to get the job done.

  • Maintenance

Crawl space encapsulation installations will require maintenance and additional inspecting chores every month for the homeowners.

The cost and requirements will heighten based on the number of features you have opted for and the crawl space’s upgrade level.

Every month, these levels of protection are necessary and will raise the bar for costs and hassle higher.

On the other hand, if you live in a drier region with a lack of moisture and rain, the benefits of crawl spaces will not be worth your buck.

  • HVAC systems

After installing a crawl space encapsulation, there will be less to no air circulation through the house.

When the possibility of air circulation decreases for the HVAC systems, the heater or combustion-based furnace will be unable to receive the appropriate amount of oxygen.

If the system doesn’t receive its required level of oxygen, it will cease to run efficiently.

This will mean that your only option is to replace or upgrade your existing unit in order to regulate the indoor temperature and keep it at a consistent and neutral level.

The process of upgrading the HVAC system will need a thorough inspection of the ductwork.

This is done in order to check and inspect for leaks that could affect the overall crawl space upgrades.

  • Volatile Materials

Even with concrete padding systems on your flooring of the crawl space encapsulation, you mustn’t store any volatile materials or substances in this area or nearby.

Substances such as chemical cleaners, solvents, or gasoline must be placed in the garage and away from the crawl space because they pose direct threats of being flammable to your house.

In contrast, storing other anti-pest essentials, bottled water, store box, and emergency supplies can be stored without a worry in crawl spaces.

  • Servicing Dehumidifiers

Installing a crawl space encapsulation would also need regular dehumidifier servicing in order to maintain the entire system’s proper efficiency. You can also install manual dehumidifiers rather than automatic selection.

However, high moisture regions require the most servicing of dehumidifiers because of the environment. You might have to service it every 72 hours for it to work efficiently.

  • Drainage Systems

Assuming that crawl space encapsulations will automatically keep water out of their way is a wrong theory.

A proper drainage system is required to eliminate any and all possibilities of floods and accidental water entry.

If proper drainage systems aren’t implemented, clearing out any damage from the flood can be very expensive. Fixing and repairing water damages can push you back around $12000.

  • Storage Spaces

Generally, people like to access their crawl space encapsulations through a door. This is because, if done otherwise, they might be losing a lot of storage space.

If you want to continue to store materials in the crawl space, it would require someone to unseal the access. This will ultimately hinder the sole purpose and benefit of the crawl space encapsulation.

Therefore, storage spaces become limited after installation, and you might have to look for another spot or room for storing.

Let’s see what Crawl Space Ninja has to say about this!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why shouldn’t you encapsulate crawl spaces?

If a crawl space is un-encapsulated, it will welcome contaminants, mildew, and mold. These contaminants will hinder your health and living space. The contaminated air quality will make it extremely uncomfortable to breathe in and make indoor living harmful to your health.

Are crawl spaces good?

Crawl spaces are worth every penny of yours, and users never regret installing them. Furthermore, you can protect these crawl spaces against health hazards and damages, making them even more helpful to households and free space. Some say that with the combination of vapor barrier installation and crawl space insulations, you can protect your house for years at a stretch.

Are crawl space encapsulations worth your money?

To be very honest, crawl space encapsulations aren’t particularly cheap. However, even though some might think the installations alone could break the bank, these are entirely worth your time, effort, and money.
The benefits of crawl space encapsulations are that you will save a fortune on protecting the house’s foundation, pest control, energy bills, and mold or mildew build-up. So, when these costs are saved in the long run, crawl space encapsulations seem worth it as they can serve you for many years.

Does insurance cover crawl space encapsulations?

Unfortunately, crawl space encapsulations aren’t covered by the homeowner’s insurance. Even then, people deem this to be an effective and intelligent investment. This measure makes it way quicker and easier to eradicate water if it ever pools in the foundation of one’s home.
On the contrary, crawl space encapsulations can also make it more challenging for the standing water to accumulate and keep building up in the first place. Additionally, if homeowners install extra insulations, radiant barriers, sealed crawl space systems, and 15 SEER air conditioners, they can qualify and acquire 10% federal tax.

How long do crawl space encapsulations last?

Crawl spaces last around 15-20 years at best. In case of no catastrophe and controlled humid levels, they can ever surpass 20 years.


Crawl spaces on their own do have many benefits. However, the drawbacks to crawl space encapsulation can’t be overlooked either.

A barrier as such is often a necessity to control humidity, air circulation, and pests. Without crawl space encapsulations, many of these unwanted factors might invade your home.

Consequently, knowing all the cons and costs involved with it is also required. Thus, I believe we have given you much to think about and consult before jumping in on the bandwagon.

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