Buyer Beware! Arm yourself with information. The last thing you do before you pour a concrete slab is install a moisture barrier. This barrier has many positive effects and the same principle can be applied to a home with a crawl space. Controlling moisture in a crawl space is key and a properly installed moisture barrier is a very good idea. Encapsulation is a whole different ballgame. I have been crawling under houses for over 40 years, and in my opinion, crawl space encapsulation a bad idea. If you are thinking about having your crawl space encapsulated, consider these factors first:
- Age – Consider the age of the structure. Structurally altering a historical property may not be a good idea.
- Value – Have you added value? Is this a good investment?
- Initial Cost – How much is it going to cost to have the spray foam installed?
- Cost Versus Savings – How long with it take to recover your costs with energy savings?
- Structure Alteration – Spray foam insulation is considered to be a structural alteration by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
- Resale Value – Lending institutions may not be comfortable with an asset that is not accessible for a wood infestation report inspection, untreatable and does not have a termite warranty.
Having said all of this, I love spray foam insulation and have used it in my own properties. It is great stuff. What the spray foam insulation companies say about their product is largely true. Ask good questions, make good decisions and live with the results. Unfortunately, if you do decide to have spray foam installed, this is one decision that may not be undone.