How Much Does Crawl Space Cleaning Cost?
A clean crawl space can result in lower heating and cooling bills, warmer floors, and cleaner indoor air. Crawl space cleaning cost ranges from $500 to $4,000.
- Crawl space cleaning costs between $500 and $4,000 on average.
- The exact cost can vary depending on the size and condition of the crawl space, the accessibility of the area, and the type of cleaning required.
- Homeowners may need crawl space cleaning if they notice their energy bills increase, their home’s temperature fluctuate, or if they have recently had flooding in the area.
- While a homeowner may be able to perform a basic crawl space cleaning themselves, it’s advisable to hire a professional if there are serious issues such as mold, mildew, rodent droppings, or foundation instability.
A home’s crawl space is typically out of sight, out of mind—until there’s a problem. A crawl space directly impacts the energy efficiency and indoor air quality of a home. Many homeowners may be surprised to learn that the crawl space underneath their home influences the quality of life for everyone in the house. Excess dirt, mold, mildew, rodent droppings, and insects can make their way through the vents or floorboards to potentially create a hazardous environment. The best cleaning services can eliminate these issues in a crawl space and keep the area clean and dry.
How much does it cost to clean a crawl space? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, crawl space cleaning costs between $500 and $4,000, depending on the accessibility and size of the space and the amount and types of items that need to be removed from the area. Some of the most common reasons for a homeowner to hire crawl space cleaners are mold and fungus growth, flooding, rodent and insect damage, improper insulation, settling foundation, and the removal of dirt and debris. If repairs are needed, the cost can run from $1,500 to $15,000 or more, depending on the extent and type of repairs necessary. Crawl space cleanup can result in warmer floors, significant savings on heating and cooling costs, and cleaner indoor air.
Regular crawl space cleaning and inspections by a crawl space specialist can quickly identify any potential issues before they develop into serious problems. This guide will examine the factors that influence crawl space cleaning cost, the different types of crawl space cleaning, the signs that a crawl space needs attention, and the most important questions for homeowners to ask a crawl space contractor about the cost and process of cleaning the area.
Factors in Calculating Crawl Space Cleaning Cost
While many homeowners spend between $500 and $4,000 to clean a crawl space, the overall price can vary due to a few important factors. These can include crawl space size and condition, cleaning type, accessibility, and geographic location.
Crawl Space Size
The overall crawl space cleaning cost is heavily influenced by the size of the crawl space. A 900-square-foot space can cost between $500 and $2,500, or from $0.55 to $2.70 per square foot. Larger crawl spaces that measure between 1,500 and 3,000 square feet can cost in the range of $4,000. Many crawl space contractors will charge more for clearing and disposing of any debris. Difficult-to-access spaces or areas that are less than 3 feet high will cost more to clean; homeowners can expect an additional charge of between $100 and $500 for such crawl spaces. If there are hazardous materials in the crawl space, the final price will be much higher due to the higher labor cost and risk factors, as well as the increased difficulty of the job.
Crawl Space Condition
Standard cleaning of dirt and debris from a crawl space can cost from $500 to $1,500. Adding the removal of rodent droppings to the cleaning project can increase the price to between $800 and $3,000. If additional problems are discovered, such as needed foundation repairs, mold removal, insulation issues, or the need for sealing—or if a new drainage system is required— the project cost can skyrocket to between $3,000 and $15,000. A regular cleaning project can get sidelined by flooding issues, rotten floor beams and joists, and fungal growth. Water management solutions, structural repairs, moisture control, and crawl space mold removal can cost as much as $20,000. Wet crawl spaces can have a variety of causes, such as gutter direction issues, leaky pipes, cracks in the foundation, incorrect landscape grading, or the need for a French drain.
Crawl space cleaning cost is impacted by the type of cleaning that’s needed and the size of the space. Removing old construction debris or junk that’s been stored in the area can be done at a budget-friendly rate, but mold and fungal treatment or rodent removal can cause the project price to increase significantly. The most common types of cleaning for crawl spaces include basic cleaning, pest and rodent removal, junk removal, asbestos removal, mold remediation, fungal remediation, and sewer water cleanout. Each of these cleaning types is discussed in more detail below.
Since a home’s crawl space is located between the ground and the first floor, some areas may be more difficult to access than others. Many crawl spaces are between 1 and 3 feet high and provide access to HVAC ductwork, electrical wiring, and plumbing. If the crawl space is hard to access, many contractors will add $100 to $500 to the bill for the extra effort and time required.
Geographic location also affects crawl space cleaning cost. Labor prices in densely populated urban areas with higher costs of living are typically more expensive than in more rural areas.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for crawl space cleaning cost, homeowners will discover additional price factors and considerations that can change the project total. These can include crawl space inspection, crawl space repairs, vent repairs, insulation replacement, waterproofing, and encapsulation.
Crawl Space Inspection
A crawl space inspection can cost from $100 to $250, depending on the accessibility and size of the area, as well as the working conditions. Testing for asbestos, radon, or mold can increase the price by an additional $100 to $300. If the crawl space area is ruled unsafe, the inspector is not required to enter the area until all repairs and cleaning have been completed. The best mold removal companies can take care of mold and mildew issues before they get out of hand. Below are some of the common issues that a crawl space inspector will check for.
- Condition of electrical wiring
- Leaking water
- Broken sewage pipes
- Vapor barrier strength
- Evidence of mold or mildew growth
- Foundation weaknesses
- Pest infestations
- Insulation issues
- Water damage, excess humidity, and moisture buildup
- Ventilation problems
Adding a crawl space inspection to a whole-home inspection usually adds $50 to $100 to the total price. It’s recommended that homeowners inspect their crawl space area about every 6 months and especially after heavy rains or snowmelt.
Crawl Space Repairs
Depending on the type and scope of repair, it can cost between $1,500 and $15,000 or more for crawl space repairs. Many homeowners will find that they need a combination of cleaning, repairs, and preventive solutions. Below are some of the most common crawl space repairs and the average prices.
|Crawl Space Repair Type||Average Price Range|
|Encapsulation||$1,500 to $15,000|
|Foundation settling issues||$2,000 to $7,000|
|Insulation replacement||$1,000 to $4,000|
|Structural problems||$1,500 to $5,000|
|Water damage||$1,200 to $5,400|
- Encapsulation. Crawl space encapsulation costs run from $1,500 to $15,000. This process reduces not only humidity and moisture, but also pests, rodents, mold, mildew, and radon gas. Encapsulation is discussed in a section below.
- Foundation issues. Crawl space foundation issues cost between $2,000 and $7,000 or more to repair. Some common foundation fixes include support replacement, releveling, and crack repair. A damaged foundation may need pier replacement (if the home has a pier and beam foundation), underpinning to increase strength, or mudjacking to relevel the house. Crack repair can cost between $250 and $800 per crack, piles (which underpin several foundation types where the home can’t be built directly on the soil) and piers run from $1,000 to $3,000 each, mudjacking ranges from $600 to $1,500, and foundation wall stabilization costs from $5,000 to $10,000. Because foundation problems can be the result of soil issues that cause settling, it’s recommended that homeowners consult with a professional to determine the cause.
- Insulation replacement. Crawl space insulation removal and replacement can range from $1,000 to $4,000. Insulation replacement is covered in a section below.
- Structural repair. Repairing structural issues, such as replacing support beams, can cost from $1,500 to $5,000 or more. The overall price depends on the beam material (steel or wood), the accessibility of the area, what part of the house the beam supports, and the beam’s size and weight. Any other structural damage will also need to be addressed, as will the cause of the problem, whether it’s from water damage or a settling foundation.
- Crawl space water damage repair cost. Crawl space water damage repairs can cost from $1,200 to $5,400, with damage from severe flooding ranging upwards of $10,000 for repairs. Future water damage can be prevented with waterproofing and encapsulation, but that can add $15,000 to the total bill.
Repairing crawl space vents cost from $15 to $150 per vent, depending on the number and type of vents. If the crawl space will be encapsulated, the cost of sealing all the vents ranges from $150 to $450. A sealed crawl space uses 15 percent to 18 percent less energy than a crawl space that’s vented. Vents that are not regularly maintained or are installed incorrectly can cause problems with mold, mildew, wood rot, moisture damage, pests, and the structural integrity of the home.
There are three main types of vents that are found in crawl spaces, each with various average installation costs:
- Basic vents are the cheapest to install at $6 to $15 per vent, and help keep air moving through the crawl space to reduce the risk of rot, mold, mildew, and pest infestations, while also insulating the home to lower energy costs.
- Automatic temperature-sensitive vents cost $14 to $70 each to install. They use a sensor to open automatically at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and close at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows for greater airflow and ventilation.
- Powered vents come with a built-in exhaust fan, though they are also the priciest option at $130 to $160 per vent.
Insulation removal and replacement can cost from $1,000 to $4,000. The overall cost depends on the thickness and type of insulation, the height of the crawl space, and whether the exposed pipes are wrapped in foam. Below are the common types of insulation used in crawl spaces and the cost range for each type.
|Insulation Type||Cost (Per Square Foot)|
|Blown-in||$1 to $2.80|
|Rigid foam board||$1.20 to $3.70|
|Roll and batt||$0.90 to $1.40|
|Spray foam||$2 to $5|
Ensuring proper moisture control is vital before installing new insulation in a crawl space. Wet insulation can cause issues with mold, mildew, and rodent droppings. When a crawl space is properly insulated, it can reduce the risk of moisture and radon gas entering the home.
Crawl space or basement waterproofing can cost from $1,500 to $7,000 on average. Waterproofing can help prevent mold and mildew growth, wood rot, and structural damage. Wet crawl spaces may require a few different types of repairs, such as sealing cracks, repairing pipes, landscape grading, or the installation of a French drain. The best basement waterproofing companies can make sure the basement area stays dry.
Encapsulation, which involves creating a buffer between the dirt floor and walls and the first floor of the home, prevents moisture from entering the home. The crawl space is lined with a heavy-duty reinforced polyethylene vapor barrier to block any moisture from escaping. Encapsulation costs up to $15,000 to prevent humidity in the crawl space and water damage to the home.
Types of Crawl Space Cleaning
Crawl space cleaning cost can range from $500 to $4,000, depending on the type of cleaning service or crawl space remediation that’s needed. Fungal treatment, mold remediation, pest and rodent removal, and sewer water cleanout would put the project total toward the higher end of the price range. Below are the common types of crawl space cleaning that homeowners may need.
Basic cleanup of a crawl space that involves the removal of excess dirt and debris can cost less than $1,000.
Pest and Rodent Removal
The cost of pest and rodent removal can range from $800 to $3,000, depending on the extent of the problem and the size of the crawl space. Removing rodent droppings can help improve the air quality in the home. Pest removal, the cleaning of the area, and the sealing of any openings that rodents can access are typically included in a pest and rodent removal service. Insect and rodent infestations can be a health hazard and cause structural damage to the home. It’s recommended that homeowners inspect their crawl space for signs of a rodent problem, such as shredded insulation, chewed and frayed electrical wiring, bad odors, animal droppings, rodent burrows and holes in the dirt crawl space, chew marks on wooden support beams, food scraps brought in from the outside, or damaged plastic piping.
Removing old junk or construction material can cost from $200 to $500. If there is no danger of being exposed to mold, mildew, fungus growth, asbestos, or rodent droppings, many homeowners prefer to remove any junk from their crawl space on their own.
Crawl space asbestos removal needs to be done by a trained professional. Asbestos removal runs from $1,200 to $2,800, and testing for asbestos can cost from $100 to $300. Hiring a specialist for asbestos removal is safer and more efficient than trying to remove the hazardous material on your own.
Mold remediation cost ranges from $1,000 to $3,500 for the average crawl space. For more extensive mold problems, it can cost between $2,000 and $6,000 for mold removal. If a crawl space is wet or experiences high levels of humidity, chances are there is mold growth in the area. Since it’s important to keep a crawl space dry and free of mold and mildew growth, a mold remediation specialist can advise how to protect the area by using the best crawl space dehumidifiers, seals, vapor barriers, or encapsulation. Overall mold remediation pricing depends on the extent of the mold growth, mold type, and accessibility of the crawl space.
Crawl space fungus treatment cost runs from $1,000 to $3,500, depending on the size of the spread and the extent of the fungal growth. Excessive moisture can cause slime fungi, mushrooms, wood rot, and white mold to grow in a crawl space and trigger respiratory issues and asthma symptoms. Brown, white, and soft wood rot can damage the structure of a home if left untreated.
Sewer Water Cleanout
Sewer water cleanout can cost from $1,000 to $5,500, depending on the type of cleaning that’s needed, the size of the crawl space, and how difficult it is to access the space.
Do I Need Crawl Space Cleaning?
While it’s recommended that homeowners take a look at their crawl space area twice a year, many homeowners don’t prioritize crawl space inspections. A properly maintained crawl space area can result in significant savings on heating and cooling costs, cleaner indoor air, and warmer floors. Below are some red flags that signal when a crawl space needs attention.
Standing water from recent crawl space or basement flooding can lead to rotten joists and beams, mold and mildew growth, and excessive moisture problems. Sealing the area and encapsulation are solutions to prevent future flooding and structural issues under the home. It’s recommended that homeowners hire a local water restoration company to handle any damage from flooding and perform a thorough flooded basement cleanup.
High Home Humidity Levels
Hgh levels of humidity within the home can be a sign of moisture buildup or standing water in the crawl space area. Excessive humidity in the air creates a friendly environment for allergens in the home, which can lead to respiratory illnesses or asthma symptoms. To keep the air in the house properly regulated against excessive humidity, the crawl space should be checked regularly for standing water and extreme moisture.
Increased Energy Bills
Crawl space cleaning and insulation can lower monthly heating and cooling costs. With less of a chance of heating and cooling loss from a leaky crawl space area, homeowners can save money when the HVAC system works efficiently.
Inconsistent Indoor Temperature
If the temperature inside the home is inconsistent, there may be significant leaks in the crawl space area. A crawl space professional will be able to tell if additional or new insulation is needed or if the area requires air-sealing services.
If repairs are needed in the crawl space, it should always be cleaned first. Hiring a professional to clean the area is a much more efficient way to ensure the space is free from pests, animal remains and droppings, asbestos, mold and fungus, and any other hazards. Professional crawl space cleaning services have the tools, equipment, and experience to deal with small crawl spaces and potentially hazardous situations.
If a homeowner notices evidence of a pest infestation, whether it be insects or rodents, it needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Some concerning signs would be chewed or frayed electrical wiring, rodent droppings, tunnels, claw marks, or outside food brought into the crawl space area. Since a large percentage of the air in a home comes from the crawl space, it’s important to keep the area clean to avoid breathing in bacteria and viruses that come from pest infestations.
Presence of Mold or Mildew
If there is a noticeable musty or moldy smell in certain parts of the home, it’s important to check the crawl space for mold or mildew growth. Breathing in mold spores is dangerous to everyone in the home and can cause serious respiratory illnesses. If there are leaky pipes or standing water, the problem will need to be resolved before mold remediation can begin.
Crawl Space Cleaning: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Cleaning a crawl space as a DIY project is feasible if there are no potentially hazardous situations. If the area needs junk and dirt removal, it can be done for as little as $50 for the cost of trash bags, personal protective equipment, and cleaner, if needed. If there are serious issues, such as fungus, mold, rodent droppings, asbestos, or other hazardous materials, it’s strongly recommended to call in a pro. A crawl space remediation expert can assess the situation and advise ways to clean and protect the crawl space area. Hiring a professional is necessary to remove mold, mildew, fungus, standing water, and pests, and for encapsulation, structural repairs, and insulation removal and installation.
How to Save Money on Crawl Space Cleaning Cost
Having a crawl space professionally cleaned can help save money on heating and cooling costs and make a home feel more comfortable with cleaner air. Hiring professional crawl space cleaners is an extra expense and many homeowners are curious about how to save as much money as they can. Below are some money-saving tips when hiring a crawl space cleaning expert.
- Get multiple estimates. Get at least three estimates from reputable local crawl space cleaners in your area to find a price that works with your budget.
- Don’t put off crawl space cleaning. It always makes more financial sense to spend money on upkeep and repairs than to let problems get bigger and more expensive.
- Keep the area dry. By keeping the crawl space dry, you can avoid problems that develop from excess moisture and humidity in the area.
- Don’t ignore warning signs. If you notice an unpleasant smell coming up from the crawl space or notice evidence of a pest infestation, get it taken care of right away.
- Do some of the work yourself. If there are items in the crawl space you can easily remove, do it yourself to save money on labor.
- Ask about package deals. If the crawl space area needs more than just a simple cleaning, some contractors may offer mold remediation, pest control, or asbestos removal. Ask if there are package deals available to save some money.
Questions to Ask About Crawl Space Cleaning
Asking a crawl space professional the right questions can help avoid miscommunication and save money on the cleaning project. Below are some questions for homeowners to ask about crawl space cleaning cost and the various steps of the cleaning process.
- How long have you been cleaning crawl spaces?
- Are you licensed?
- Do you have workers’ compensation and liability insurance for your workers?
- Can you provide references?
- Do you have examples of past crawl space cleaning jobs?
- Does the crawl space insulation meet requirements?
- Does the crawl space need sealing or a vapor barrier?
- Do you hire subcontractors for any part of the cleaning process?
- What types of crawl space repairs do you recommend?
- Do you provide mold remediation?
- What is your process for dealing with standing water?
- Do you offer structural repairs?
- How often does the crawl space need to be cleaned?
- Why is crawl space cleaning important?
- Do you provide free estimates?
- Can I get the estimate in writing?
- Who will clean the crawl space area?
- Do you offer rodent-proofing and control services?
- Do you remove old insulation and install new insulation?
- What is your payment plan?
- How can I leave a review of your work?
Before hiring a crawl space cleaning professional, homeowners will want to make sure they have all the information they need regarding crawl space cleaning and the potential repairs. Below are some frequently asked questions about crawl spaces, the cleaning process, and some potential issues that may arise.
Q. What should I consider when cleaning my crawl space?
It’s important for homeowners to know what crawl space issues they need to address. Instead of simply calling in a crawl space cleaning pro, they may need various experts to address mold issues, HVAC problems, leaky plumbing, or rotting support beams. If the area needs to be cleared of debris or junk, a local junk removal service may work for the project.
Q. Should a crawl space be vented?
Some local building codes state that a crawl space needs to be vented for air circulation and to keep moisture levels low.
Q. How long does it take to clean a crawl space?
A straightforward clean out of the crawl space area could take an hour or two. If the space needs mold remediation, rodent-dropping removal, or other repairs, it could take several days.
Q. How do I keep water out of my crawl space?
Improper drainage around the house can cause the crawl space area to be wet and have standing water. To ensure proper drainage, a specialist needs to be consulted. They will suggest solutions to keep the crawl space dry, such as the use of a dehumidifier or the installation of a French drain.
Q. Is it worth it to clean a crawl space?
Absolutely. A clean crawl space improves indoor air quality, creates a consistent temperature inside the home, and reduces monthly heating and cooling bills.
Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, HomeGuide, Alpha Foundations