Looking for accurate cost information related to crawl space cleaning?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Why is it important to clean your crawl space?
- What does crawl space cleanup cost?
- What parts of your crawl space shouldn’t be cleaned?
- What affects the price of cleaning?
- How can you save money on crawl space cleaning?
Homeowners often neglect their crawl spaces because they’re out of sight and aren’t as important to most people as their living space. However, the area under your home must be kept relatively clean.
Crawl spaces can have natural dirt floors and are usually generally unpleasant places to squeeze into, given the likelihood of running into insects, spider webs, rodents, and potential mold or mildew.
As such, getting into the space and cleaning it isn’t something most homeowners want to do, but these are the exact reasons you need to keep the area clean.
Below, I’m going to discuss why your crawl space needs to be cleaned, how much professional cleaning costs, and what should be avoided under your home if you decide to clean it yourself.
We’ll also offer some tips on how to save money on crawl space cleaning.
Why Should You Clean Your Crawl Space?
Most homeowners are surprised to hear that the condition of their crawl space can have a significant impact on the air quality in their living space. Dirt and mold building up under your home can easily make their way up into your first floor through vents or floorboards, affecting the air quality and creating potentially hazardous air quality.
Cleaning your crawl space regularly will help identify the presence of mold and help reduce the chance of dirt or mold spores from seeping upstairs. Finding and addressing mold early can prevent costly damage to your home.
Cleaning your crawl space will also help dissuade critters from infesting your home. Pests like termites, carpenter ants, and small animals are naturally attracted to moist, untouched areas, so regular cleaning or hiring a pest control company will reduce the risk of a pest problem.
Lastly, regular crawl space inspections during cleaning can help identify problems under your home early, which can improve the energy efficiency of your home and the comfort of your living space.
How Much Does It Cost To Clean Your Crawl Space?
The national average cost for crawl space cleaning is around $1,500. The price for cleaning alone can range from $500 to about $5,000, depending mostly on what needs to be cleaned and the size of your crawl space.
We’ll break down the average price based on the most significant cost factors below.
Pest and Rodent Removal
Insects and rodents are often a part of the under-home cleaning process, and crawl space cleaning companies will charge approximately $500 extra for removal.
A standard cleaning plus pest or rodent removal will cost around $2,000 on average for a typical 1,000-square foot home.
Mold in crawl spaces is often pervasive and needs to be handled with safety equipment and adequate treatments. The cost for mold remediation will usually be close to $2,000 but can increase up to $5,000 if the problem is extensive.
For mold removal and a regular clean-out, you can expect to pay between $3,500 and $6,500, depending on how extensive the mold damage is.
This price doesn’t include build back, which may be necessary if moldy building material is found and needs replacement.
If a commercial crawl space cleaning service finds other types of fungi, like slime fungus, the cost for removal and treatment is about the same as that of mold removal.
Your total cost for cleaning and fungus removal will be anywhere from $3,500 to $6,500, depending on the extent of the problem.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Your Crawl Space
Your crawl space needs to be cleaned regularly to maintain healthy air quality and dissuade infestation.
You may notice some areas that you think need attention, but there are some portions of your under-home area that should remain untouched. We’ll discuss some things you generally want to avoid below.
Spray foam insulation is often used around wall openings or plumbing and HVAC ductwork in your living space.
You may see gaps around windows or pipes moving from your crawl space up into your first floor that appear to need insulating.
However, spray foam should never be used to insulate the area under your house, as it can trap water against construction material and accelerate wood rot or other damage.
Fiberglass batts and rolls are the most common type of insulation used in homes, but they should never be used as crawl space insulation. Fiberglass insulation readily holds water and can contribute to dangerous moisture and mold problems under your home.
Too Many Vents
Many homeowners with moisture issues in vented crawl spaces sometimes think additional vents will let more moisture out, thereby fixing their problems. However, too much ventilation can have the exact opposite effect and can increase the water vapor coming in from outside.
You should either have your crawl space sealed with a dehumidifier installed or follow proper vent spacing techniques to reduce the humidity in your crawl space.
Vapor barriers or crawl space encapsulation is usually an excellent waterproofing option for reducing under-home moisture build-up.
However, it should never be installed against support beams or other wood material, as it can trap moisture against the wood and create issues with rot and mold growth.
Lastly, never ignore standing water problems or a non-functioning drainage system in your crawl space.
Unsurprisingly, standing water from runoff of flooding can lead to severe moisture problems and water damage to your home, so always ensure that your sump pump or other interior drainage system is functioning correctly.
Cost Considerations with Crawl Space Cleaning
The average price of crawl space cleaning can vary quite a bit, and your total will depend on many different factors. We will review the most significant value factors below to help you get a better idea of what your cost will be.
Of course, the size of your crawl space will be one of the largest factors when it comes to your cleaning cost.
The bigger the area that needs cleaning, the higher your labor costs will be. You can estimate your price by assuming the charge will be about $1 per square foot.
The condition of your crawl space will be another significant value factor. A cleaning company will charge more for removing debris, mold, insects, rodents, or animal feces than they will for cleaning a problem-free space.
A standard cleaning for a 1,000 square foot home will average around $1,000. Add mold removal, and you’re looking at $3,000. Multiple complications can increase your cost to well over $5,000.
DIY vs. Professional
Of course, a DIY cleaning will be significantly cheaper and will only cost the price of materials, which will likely be under $50.
It may take hours or even days to complete, but you’ll save quite a bit on labor costs. A standard, professional cleaning will cost about $1,000.
How To Prevent Future Crawl Space Issues
The best way to prevent crawl space problems from recurring is to keep up with routine maintenance. Keeping your under-home area clean and dry will dissuade mold growth and infestation and help maintain safe, clean air that won’t make your indoor air quality poor.
Ensuring that you have adequate exterior drainage, like a gutter system and French drain, will also help reduce moisture problems and keep your crawl space problem-free.
Just be sure to fully evaluate your property to determine whether or not a french drain is right for you. (Not sure? Check out our article on why french drains can be a waste of money.)
How To Save Money When Cleaning Your Crawl Space?
The best way to save money on crawl space maintenance is to carry out cleaning regularly.
Moist areas can be breeding grounds for mold, insects, and fungi, so leaving your crawl space unattended will make you more likely to have more costly and more dangerous conditions occur.
Keeping up with regular cleaning will help keep future cleaning costs down and reduce costly crawl space repair.
You can also save money by completing the cleaning as a DIY project. Professionals should handle pests, rodents, and mold, but routine cleaning can be done very inexpensively by any homeowner.
Lastly, you can save money on crawl space maintenance by taking measures to keep the area dry.
Moisture is the most common cause of crawl space problems like mold, termites, and rodents, so make sure you have gutters and downpipes installed, as well as a sound exterior drainage system in the soil to direct runoff and groundwater away from your foundation.