Did you know that encapsulating your crawl space can reduce your energy bills? That’s because it helps reduce moisture significantly, which makes your air conditioner work less. Is crawl space encapsulation covered by insurance, though?
It depends on your insurance policy and the type of damage. Typically, a standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover crawl space encapsulation, but there’s more to it than just that.
If you’ve been wondering about crawl space insurance, you’re not alone! We’ll provide you with everything you need to know about crawl space encapsulation insurance and how it works. So, read on!
Encapsulating your crawl space requires sealing the area below your floor using white plastic. In this process, professionals utilize heavy-duty polyethylene to seal off your crawl space floor and foundation walls.
This encapsulation system prevents excess moisture, which minimizes potential risks such as pest infestation, mold growth, vermin structural damage, and bulk water.
Additionally, some contractors prefer to add a dehumidifier to control humidity and improve air quality.
Generally speaking, standard homeowner’ insurance won’t cover crawl space encapsulation. However, if your insurance policy covers unforeseen damages like flooding, the encapsulation cost might be included in specific cases.
That’s why we need to take a closer look at various situations that lead to crawl space damage and how insurance works in each of them.
According to most insurance companies, foundation water flooding, slow water leak, being at a low level close to a water feature, and high humidity aren’t valid insurance claims.
On the other hand, an unexpected and instantaneous pipe burst or being located in a flood zone is a valid insurance claim. In this case, the insurance company covers the costs needed to get your crawl space to its pre-loss condition.
For instance, if your dehumidifier was in place and was destroyed because of the water flooding, it would be covered.
Similarly, if your crawl space is already encapsulated, insurance should cover the restoration cost.
Notably, the majority of insurance companies have preferred vendors who will do the repair work at a low price. This means they probably won’t pay your contractor who encapsulated your crawl space prior to the damage to fix it.
Nevertheless, the insurance company may contact your contractor to get estimates on the encapsulation prices. Afterward, they’ll inform you how much they’ll pay for the encapsulation.
Then again, some water damage restoration companies are only trained for getting your damaged area dry. In other words, they’re not licensed in encapsulation or mold removal.
So, it’s necessary to talk to your insurance agent to learn more details about the restoration company.
Should mold develop after water flooding or pipe damage, the insurance company wouldn’t be responsible for removing mold. From their perspective, you should’ve acted more quickly and called them earlier.
Even though microbiologists say that mold can grow in 24 to 48 hours, your insurance company may see it differently. The presence of mold in your crawl space might mean that you’ve neglected the water leak over a long period of time.
Consequently, they would only cover the cost required to restore the crawl space back to its previous condition.
For example, if your crawl space was encapsulated, they’ll put it back to its original condition. If it wasn’t insulated, the insulation cost wouldn’t be covered. They wouldn’t pay for the mold removal, though.
Undoubtedly, the situation could differ from one insurance company to another. So, it’s important to discuss the issue with the adjuster investigating your property damage.
Some insurance companies, especially the smaller brands, have a mold policy. If you have one, they’ll help you with mold remediation.
By vermin, we mean rodents, possums, raccoons, and squirrels. These animals can damage your crawl space. However, it’s up to the insurance company to decide whether to cover the damage or not.
Their decision might be affected by how long these pests have been invading your crawl space. So, the longer the duration, the more it’ll be seen as negligence.
To clarify, the damage inflicted by rodents happens over time, during which it’s the responsibility of the owners to carry out routine maintenance.
Alternatively, if wild animals like raccoons cause structural damage, standard homeowners insurance would typically cover the repairs.
It’s important to talk to your insurance representative to learn about your coverage limits.
Commonly, it’ll cost you $2 to $4 per square foot to install an encapsulation system for your crawl space. Put differently, your 1000 or 1500-square-foot crawl space encapsulation may cost you from $5,000 to $15,000.
Here are additional cost averages:
- Encapsulating a small area: $2000
- Foundation repairs: $4,000 to $10,000
- Fixing insulation or replacing fiberglass: $500 and $1500
- Addressing mold: $5,000 to $7,800
- Dealing with standing water: $3,000 to $10,000
To add, the cost depends on how big and tall your crawl space is. The lower the height, the more it’ll cost and the more time-consuming it will be to deal with.
On top of that, the bigger and taller your crawl space is, the more material and time it’ll take, which contributes to the high cost.
Lastly, since these are just estimates, you may need to inquire about the prices at your local contractors.
Is crawl space encapsulation covered by insurance? For the most part, insurance companies don’t cover the encapsulation cost unless it had been encapsulated before the unexpected damage occurred.
An important takeaway is to contact your insurance company as soon as the water leakage occurs. Waiting for a couple of days may result in mold growth, which could complicate the situation.
Besides, the restoration company can’t create a vortex of air to dry out your crawl space while it’s already moldy. That’s because the process will contaminate the whole crawl space.
In a word, encapsulating your crawl space is a good investment in the long run.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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